The natural setting in Alaska provides some scenic routes for motorcycle owners. Alaska has approximately 32,000 registered motorcycles across the state. While the weather may not be as conducive as other states for motorcycles, there is still a vast collection of avid motorcycle enthusiasts. In fact, there are seven other states with fewer registered motorcycles in Alaska. Motorcycle repair is a skill used by Alaskans in different ways. Knowing how to repair small engines can help with all kinds of power equipment which includes snow machines. There is a demand for mechanics who are capable of conducting this type of repair, which has led to a growing profession in the state of Alaska.
Alaska Motorcycle Mechanic Education
A career as a motorcycle mechanic in Alaska starts with introductory training that gradually expands on a basic core of fundamental knowledge. The number of educational options for motorcycle repair in Alaska are limited compared to some other states. However, the design of each program is similar in that the instructional portion is divvied up between classroom and hands-on learning. That combines to give students a comprehensive grasp of the repair process. It often involves breaking down small engines and then putting them back together.
To begin a career as a motorcycle mechanic there is a need for a general understanding of repair essentials. This is taught through formal training in programs that award a diploma, certificate of completion or an associate degree. Some schools offer individual courses on small engine repair and motorcycle technology. There are options available to help facilitate the process of becoming a motorcycle mechanic in Alaska and they exist in the following institutions and centers.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers two-cycle and four-cycle engine repair courses as part of its Trades and Technology program.
505 South Chandalar Drive
Fairbanks, AK 99775
Phone: (907) 474-7034
There are a variety of courses that focus on small engine repair offered through the technology program at the Anchorage campus.
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Small engine repair is offered through multi-week sessions that teach students the basic principles of repairing small engines.
3.5 Mile Nome-Teller Highway
Phone: (907) 443-3507
Alaska Motorcycle Mechanic Education Admissions
Gaining admission to a post-secondary school program that offers educational training in motorcycle repair usually requires a high school diploma or GED equivalency. Most motorcycle mechanics have some type of training beyond the high school level. However, it is not mandatory to acquire any post-secondary school training in order to work as a motorcycle mechanic. The admissions process for a motorcycle mechanic educational training course or small engine program differs on a school to school basis. Nonetheless, the admissions requirements are not very rigorous. Financial aid options are available in most post-secondary schools that offer motorcycle repair technology or small engine repair.
Motorcycle Mechanic Work Experience in Alaska
Work experience as a motorcycle mechanic is a way to get acclimated to the daily trials that come with this profession. Work experience serves as a way for new motorcycle mechanics to develop their skills when it comes to service and repair. Work experience may also function in the role of an apprenticeship. Some motorcycle shops take on new employees and provide them with on-the-job learning through the form of an apprenticeship. Most motorcycle repair shops are looking for experienced mechanics as this is an invaluable part of being a motorcycle mechanic. Work experience also provides a way for mechanics to keep on learning, even as they accumulate more and more years on the job. Alaska features several motorcycle repair establishments and here is a look at some that could serve as a possible place of employment.
Motorcycle Manufacturer Specific Training
There are motorcycle training programs that provide instruction on the specifics of working with one brand of bikes. This type of training provides mechanics with a specialization that could lead to a higher annual salary. Being skilled in the repair and service of working on one type of motorcycle can also help mechanics diagnose rare problems that might not be seen on a routine basis. Here is a look at some of the companies that offer manufacturer specific training.
- Harley Davidson
Alaska Motorcycle Mechanic Salary
While the state of Alaska is expansive in terms of square miles, there are only so many settings for motorcycle mechanics to find work. The major Alaskan cities feature motorcycle repair shops and there are a variety to choose from. When it comes to the pay rate of a motorcycle mechanic, Alaska features the highest average salaries of any state in the country. The median and top 10% of salaries check in at No.1, as there are no other states with higher salaries for motorcycle mechanics than Alaska. These amounts have been compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those statistics also show the city of Anchorage offers some of the highest motorcycle mechanic salaries anywhere in the country. Here is a look at those annual amounts.
- State of Alaska
Top 10% Salary: $68,910 ($33.13 per hr)
Median Salary: $45,480 ($21.87 per hr)
Top 10% Salary: $70,140 ($33.72 per hr)
Median Salary: $48,960 ($23.54 per hr)
Alaska Motorcycle Mechanic Employment Trends
Motorcycle mechanics in Alaska are limited in number, mainly because of the limited amount of time the weather enables riding. It is not a year-round activity, as it would be in the southern states where the climate is much more temperate. However, there has not been a reduction in the number of motorcycle mechanics in recent years. The numbers remain relatively the same, with slight increases continuing to occur. Those projections are expected to continue and while Alaska has one of the lowest populations of motorcycle mechanics, it is a profession that can provide a very comfortable living.
Motorcycle Mechanic Certification
The path to becoming a professional motorcycle mechanic does not require individuals to attain a specific certification. Motorcycle repair shop owners make their own choices in terms of criteria for new hires. The automotive industry features several certifications distributed by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). However, the ASE has not instituted any certifications for motorcycle mechanics. There are certifications available to mechanics who work strictly on motorcycles.
Motorcycle mechanics can apply for a certification from the Equipment & Engine Training Council. The EETC is revered throughout the industry and adds a bit more credibility to the resume of a motorcycle mechanic. There are specific guidelines that need to be followed in order to earn an EETC certification. Some mechanics place more stock into these certifications, although that differs on an individual basis.
Alaska does not have a state mandated certification that applies to motorcycle mechanics. Post-secondary programs offer their own types of certificates, and these can be used to gain employment. EETC certifications are used by many mechanics as a way to advance their career. Continuing education may also result in other forms of certification. Any type of additional training or certification serves as a benefit to motorcycle mechanics. While none of these certifications are mandatory, they will not hinder a motorcycle mechanic's status. It will actually be viewed as a way of improving one’s overall skills and technical knowledge.