It is impossible to talk about the South Dakota motorcycle culture without mentioning the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The first Sturgis Rally took place in 1937 in the city of Sturgis and has grown to monumental heights through the years. Each year, the rally draws about a half-million people to the Black Hills of North Dakota. This has made Sturgis the most widely-identified motorcycle city in the United States. Motorcycle enthusiasts flock from all over the country for the annual event held in August. That helps to strengthen the overall motorcycle culture in South Dakota, although it is not defined by that lone event. Motorcycle popularity in South Dakota remains on the rise with more motorcycle mechanics entering the profession every year. There has also been plenty of commerce built in the state centered on motorcycles.

Steps to Becoming a South Dakota Motorcycle Mechanic

Motorcycle mechanics in South Dakota typically follow a detailed pathway that allows them to successfully hold a full-time position. There is an effective way to become a South Dakota motorcycle mechanic and it is one that does not require extensive years of schooling. Here are five steps that can be a formula for success for South Dakota motorcycle mechanics.

  1. Select a Motorcycle Mechanic Education Program
  2. Finish Admissions Process to a Program
  3. Complete Motorcycle Mechanic Program Requirements
  4. Obtain Motorcycle Mechanic Work Experience
  5. Pass Industry Certification Tests

The process that leads to a career as a motorcycle mechanic is one that teaches the finer points of repair, which includes engine dismantling, custom installations, motorcycle inspections and much more.

South Dakota Motorcycle Mechanic Education

South Dakota features a motorcycle repair industry comprised of motorcycle mechanics with some type of formal training. A post-secondary education of some kind is held by more than 80% of all motorcycle mechanics. Some states have more options than others when it comes to motorcycle mechanic education.

There are programs in Motorcycle Technology, although many programs go by the name of Small Engine Repair. Other similar programs are classified as Powersports Technology. It is up to each individual school to decide on the specifics of their program. Below is more information on motorcycle mechanic education in South Dakota.


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  • Mitchell Technical Institute
    The Powersports Technology program at MTI offers a one-year certificate, as well as a two-year program that concludes with the awarding of an Associate Degree of Applied Science.
    1800 East Spruce Street
    Mitchell, South Dakota 57301
    Phone: 800-MTI-1969

South Dakota Motorcycle Mechanic Education Admissions

Gaining admission to a program that features motorcycle mechanic education can be done by following individual guidelines. Every post-secondary school that offers motorcycle mechanic education has some sort of policy for admissions. Once this process is completed, motorcycle mechanic education may begin. During the admissions process, questions may be directed to each individual institution in the event that some specifics remain unclear.

Motorcycle Mechanic Work Experience in South Dakota

Work experience is one of the primary objectives of motorcycle mechanic education as it is the next step in this career path. Many motorcycle education programs have job placement options which enable motorcycle mechanics to begin their work experience upon graduation. Work experience familiarizes motorcycle mechanics with the everyday basics of motorcycle repair. It also exposes them to new engine problems, which helps with overall diagnosis. Motorcycle mechanic resumes also feature a vast amount of work experience as that is a way for individuals to differentiate themselves in this profession. The awarding of an open motorcycle mechanic job may come down to a matter of who has the better work experience. For motorcycle mechanics in South Dakota who are looking to obtain work experience, the following workplaces may prove to be a match:

  • Dakota V-Twin
    3123 E Fairgrounds Loop
    Spearfish, SD 57783
    Phone: (605) 717-0009
  • Motopros
    27065 Katie Rd
    Tea, SD 57064
    Phone: (605) 368-9750

Motorcycle Manufacturer Specific Training

Motorcycle manufacturer specific training involves learning the fundamentals of repair and service on one brand of motorcycles. This training is very in-depth which is why it is a valuable skill that not all motorcycle mechanics possess. Being well-versed in the repair and service of a specific motorcycle brand brings tremendous value to a motorcycle mechanic. Training programs are limited in number and here is a look at some of the manufacturers that offer this specific training:

  • Harley Davidson
  • Kawasaki
  • Yamaha
  • BMW
  • Suzuki
  • Honda

South Dakota Motorcycle Mechanic Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics records data on the salary amounts for motorcycle mechanics in every state. South Dakota has a wide range of motorcycle mechanic salaries, according to that data. There is also the chance for high earning potential in some areas of South Dakota. Salary amounts are often dictated by such factors as the volume of business, the strength of the individual motorcycle mechanic, and the type of services offered by a motorcycle repair shop. Here is a closer look at what a South Dakota motorcycle mechanic earns on an annual basis, as well as a breakdown of some pay rates in South Dakota cities.

  • State of South Dakota
    Top 10% Salary: $48,800 ($23.46 per hr)
    Median Salary: $30,360 ($14.60 per hr)
  • Rapid City
    Top 10% Salary: $56,900 ($27.36 per hr)
    Median Salary: $27,300 ($13.12 per hr)
  • Sioux City
    Top 10% Salary: $42,740 ($20.55 per hr)
    Median Salary: $29,850 ($14.35 per hr)

South Dakota Motorcycle Mechanic Employment Trends

The number of South Dakota motorcycle mechanics is steadily climbing. The growth rate of South Dakota motorcycle mechanic jobs is more than double the national average. South Dakota motorcycle mechanic positions are opening up more frequently than they have in years past. Statistics indicate that motorcycle mechanic job growth in South Dakota will see a 15% increase by the year 2024. This bodes extremely well for new motorcycle mechanics.

Motorcycle Mechanic Certification

Motorcycle mechanics can pursue certifications beyond their educational training. These certifications are dispersed by the EETC (Equipment & Engine Training Council). However, certifications are only issued when a motorcycle mechanic scores a 70% or better on a specific certification test. The process of applying to take the certification test is a relatively smooth one and a test can be retaken if a passing score is not earned. Motorcycle mechanics can then use these certifications as a way to promote themselves to potential employers. Certifications can also be used to negotiate pay rates.

There are no certifications for motorcycle mechanics specifically. However, motorcycle mechanics are classified as small engine mechanics. This is the primary area of concentration for the EETC. It is an organization that certifies small engine mechanics of all kinds. Motorcycle mechanics typically strive for certifications that are of the two, three, and four stroke varieties.

Employers decide the specifics of the hiring process when looking for new motorcycle mechanics. Being able to present an EETC certification is likely to help a motorcycle mechanic a significantly. Certifications could be a pathway to obtaining a motorcycle mechanic position. It is also important to note that there are no State certifications, which makes an EETC certification all the more valuable.