Landing a job as a motorcycle mechanic can lead to an exciting career that features competitive salaries and job security. Since many motorcycle mechanics are also motorcycle enthusiasts, it is often considered to be a job that provides high levels of enjoyment and satisfaction. This is also a career that does not require an extensive amount of education or an elongated certification process. Motorcycle mechanics do not have to go through the same lengthy in order to be certified process that auto mechanics must complete. That means a future job as a motorcycle mechanic could become a reality sooner than many people assume. It can result in a fulfilling career that provides a valuable service.
Geographic Makeup of Motorcycle Mechanic Jobs
There are more than 17,000 motorcycle mechanic jobs in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. California is home to the highest number of motorcycle mechanics and that is followed by Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. In terms of location quotient, which refers to the number of motorcycle mechanics per 1,000 residents, Montana leads all states. That is followed by Iowa, Wyoming, New Hampshire and South Dakota as they round out the five states with the highest number of motorcycle mechanics per 1,000 residents.
By the year 2024, Florida is expected to overtake California as the state with the most employed motorcycle mechanics. Illinois and North Carolina have also been showing an increase in motorcycle mechanic jobs as each of those states are expected to add a significant to their total number of employed motorcycle mechanics. That is a common trend across almost all of the United States.
Job Growth for Motorcycle Mechanics
There are some states that are experiencing a huge amount of growth in the number of job openings for motorcycle mechanics. Texas is leading this category with an expected 27% new motorcycle mechanic jobs to be in place in the ten-year period that spans 2014 through 2024. That is followed by Florida (26%), Utah (25%), Oregon (22%), Arizona (20%), Washington (20%), Colorado (19%), Wisconsin (15%), South Dakota (15%) and California (14%).
Only three states have listed a decline in job growth for motorcycle mechanics during that period and that was only by a minimal amount of minus 1%. There are a total of 29 states that expect at least a seven percent job growth for motorcycle mechanics by 2024. There are also six states that check in at 9% job growth for motorcycle mechanics and they are Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Virginia and Missouri.
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Motorcycle Mechanic Job Setting
Most motorcycle mechanics find work in repair shops that specialize in working on motorcycles. Some of these businesses sell motorcycles while others simply offer repair services. Mechanics may find work in larger automotive repair centers, although it would require a steady volume of business in the area of motorcycle repair. Motorcycle dealerships also employ a staff of mechanics as part of their service center.
There are many dealerships that sell a variety of vehicles in addition to motorcycles, such as ATVs and UTVs. These places of business employ a staff of motorcycle mechanics and the size of that staff is typically contingent upon the volume of business. The work setting for motorcycle repair requires an area the provides an abundance of light and ventilation. The nature of this work is not considered to be as cluttered or messy as automotive repair because there is no need to slide under a motorcycle to conduct repair work. However, motorcycle repair areas may be noisy at times.
The work setting for motorcycle mechanics is usually busier in the warmer months when more motorcycles are out on the road. States that are home to colder weather may experience a bit of a lull in business during the winter months. These places usually make up for those lulls in the warmer months as mechanics can expect to be much busier on a seasonal basis in some parts of the country. Some motorcycle repair businesses actually need to hire more help for the summer months to attend to the increase in business. In these areas, some motorcycle mechanics may even look to find work on a seasonal or part-time basis.
Job Duties of a Motorcycle Mechanic
Motorcycle mechanics are entrusted with the duties of performing regular maintenance to keep motorcycles running efficiently. This may simpler tasks, such as oil changes and spark plug replacement. There are also more complex repair tasks, which extend to transmission and engine work. Experienced motorcycle mechanics may find themselves doing specialized work in the form of custom installations or tuning motorcycles for street racing purposes. Below are some of the common job duties of motorcycle mechanics.
This process is done for the purpose of repairing or replacing broken or non-working parts, which may include carburetors and magnetos.
Removing cylinder heads
This is done to check and replace bad rings, pistons, valves and other components.
Hammering out frames
It is not uncommon for a motorcycle frame to acquire bends, dents and tears. A mechanic is capable of hammering out those issues and reassembling frames.
Suspension and Chassis Work
These two areas are vital to a motorcycle and mechanics use special tools in this type of repair.
Certain specifications require forks, drive chains and brakes to be repaired according to how the manufacturer prescribes.
Motorcycle Mechanic Job Advancement
There is the potential for motorcycle mechanics to advance their careers and increase their earning potential. There are no industry-recognized master certifications for motorcycle mechanics, although job advancement comes in a different form. Mechanics who start to experience success early in their careers may be recommended for a management position. Taking on the role of service manager is generally the next step up for motorcycle mechanics. Those who thrive in this capacity may be offered an even loftier position, such as general manager.
Some motorcycle mechanics gain their share of work experience and then branch off to open up their own repair shop. This is such a unique skillset that there is always a demand, especially since motorcycle mechanics are fewer in number than automotive mechanics. Advancement can also be seen as taking on a higher-paying job once a sufficient amount of experience has been attained.
Motorcycle Mechanic Job Advancement
The job outlook is very favorable for motorcycle mechanics as there is expected to be a 6% growth rate in overall jobs by the year 2024. Those numbers may continue to increase with the growing popularity of motorcycles. The 18-24 age demographic is continuing to show an increased interest in motorcycling and the same goes for motorcycle enthusiasts over the age of 40.
Rising fuel prices have also contributed to the widespread use of motorcycles as this method of travel is cheaper than driving a car. Should gas prices continue to trend upward, the movement towards motorcycles can be expected to increase. This will ultimately prompt the need for more motorcycle mechanics to contend with the higher demand.
Motorcycling is also being considered as a leisure activity and not just a form of transportation. This has increased membership in motorcycle clubs and expanded the overall population of motorcycle enthusiasts. When examining job growth for motorcycle mechanics, it is important to also examine the popularity level and trends for motorcycling in the United States. Favorable statistics and findings in this area is a positive sign for the job prospects of a motorcycle mechanic.
Motorcycle Job Listings and Availability
It is not difficult to locate businesses who are looking to hire new motorcycle mechanics. A quick Internet search will bring up a number of job openings specific to one’s individual location. The application process is relatively simple as many businesses are very up-front with their job requirements. The most common criteria for new hires is some form of certification from a motorcycle mechanic training program. Some employers will require a certain amount of work experience. However, there are enough entry-level positions available to jumpstart the career of novice motorcycle mechanics.
Finding a motorcycle mechanic job is not going to require hiring a job recruiter or headhunter. Most motorcycle mechanics are familiar with the businesses in their immediate area that offer motorcycle repair services. That is mainly because becoming a motorcycle mechanic is not usually a spontaneous career choice. Motorcycle mechanics often develop an affinity for motorcycles prior to entering the job market, which means they are already well versed in the local motorcycle landscape.
Motorcycle Mechanic Job Pay Rates
The pay rate for motorcycle mechanics differs according to location and the type of business. The average salary for a motorcycle mechanic in the United States is $37,040 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, that general amount tends to vary throughout the United States. Motorcycle mechanics can expect to earn higher pay rates with the more experience and training that they accumulate. Many motorcycle mechanic jobs are paid on an hourly basis, although it is not out of the question to earn a set salary. These terms are negotiable and change according to each individual business.