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Motorcycle Mechanics

At a Glance

  • Besides motorcycles, fix all-terrain vehicles, motor scooters, and mopeds
  • Use a variety of tools and equipment
  • Work alone most of the time
  • May work fewer hours in the winter
  • Train on the job
  • Complete a formal training program

Career summary

Motorcycle mechanics maintain and repair motorcycles. They also work on all-terrain vehicles, motor scooters, and mopeds.

Motorcycle mechanics talk to customers to learn about the problems they are having with their motorcycles. They inspect engines to diagnose the type of repair needed. They examine motorcycle frames to assess damage. They estimate how much repairs will cost.

Mechanics take apart engines and examine how the parts are working. They use gauges to assess the alignment and movements of parts. They may connect computers to engines to test how parts are performing.

Motorcycle mechanics decide whether to put in new parts or repair current parts. Mechanics finish repairs and put the engine back together and test how it runs.

Some repairs may be made to the body of the motorcycle. Motorcycle mechanics use hand and power tools to replace or adjust parts. They hammer out dents and put the bike frame back together. Most specialize in repairing one brand of motorcycle.

Related careers

This career is part of the Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to motorcycle mechanics.

Common work activities

Motorcycle mechanics perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, motorcycle mechanics:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Motorcycle mechanics frequently:

It is important for motorcycle mechanics to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for motorcycle mechanics to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Motorcycle mechanics need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Work with things

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as a motorcycle mechanic, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Most mechanics complete a formal training program. Motorcycle repair programs are available at professional-technical schools and two-year colleges. Most programs offer a combination of class instruction and hands-on practice. Programs last from six months to two years. Two-year programs usually grant an associate degree.

On-the-job training

Once on the job, mechanics typically receive training from an experienced mechanic. You begin by working as a helper. As a helper, you perform routine services and make minor repairs. As you get more experience, you work on more complex tasks. During training, you learn to:

On-the-job training usually takes one to two years to complete.

Employers also send mechanics to training courses provided by manufacturers. Some courses take several weeks to complete.

Helpful high school courses

You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements (external link). You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups (PDF file) that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

With motorcycles becoming more complex, employers may have a harder time doing all the training on the job. An increasing number of employers prefer to hire motorcycle mechanics who are graduates of formal training programs.

Employers look for motorcycle mechanics who know the basics of electronics. Electronic technology controls engine performance and instrument displays on motorcycles. For motorcycle mechanics to recognize and fix problems, they need to know the basics of electronics.

Employers prefer to hire trainees who have mechanical ability. They look for people who know the basics about small engines. Most employers hire high school graduates for trainee positions. They may accept applicants with less education if they have good reading, writing, and math skills. Some motorcycle dealers may hire part-time students in the summers. They help put together new equipment and make minor repairs.

Certification through the Equipment and Engine Training Council, which is affiliated with the Outdoor Power Equipment and Engine Service Association, may be helpful. See the Other Resources section in this description for contact information.

#Verified this certification still offered, 3/25/08 lh. Added ref to EETC here & in IA database since OPEESA website now has a link to it, 3/12/09, cj. Info here still accurate, 3/1/11, cj. Ok 2/13/12 lh. Ok 4/10/13 & 3/4/15 & 12/5/16, 4/9/19 cj.


Employees who relate well to the public are preferred. Obtaining and studying manufacturers' technical manuals are helpful. Talk with local shop managers to assess job prospects in your area.

Costs to workers

Workers are usually required to furnish their own hand tools. The cost varies.

#Deleted estimated cost for hand tools since no longer have way (no RP) to verify this, 3/12/09, cj

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Motorcycle mechanics (SOC 49-3052)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $12.61 $15.71 $20.57 $25.83 $29.35
Monthly $2,185 $2,723 $3,565 $4,476 $5,086
Yearly $26,220 $32,680 $42,780 $53,720 $61,050
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $13.81 $16.64 $20.75 $23.75 $26.97
Monthly $2,393 $2,884 $3,596 $4,116 $4,674
Yearly $28,724 $34,614 $43,161 $49,404 $56,112
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $15.85 $18.73 $25.35 $28.51 $30.53
Monthly $2,747 $3,246 $4,393 $4,941 $5,291
Yearly $32,974 $38,954 $52,734 $59,305 $63,508
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $11.94 $12.37 $17.17 $21.76 $26.71
Monthly $2,069 $2,144 $2,976 $3,771 $4,629
Yearly $24,849 $25,717 $35,720 $45,256 $55,551
    Vancouver Hourly $10.57 $11.45 $19.85 $23.77 $28.35
Monthly $1,832 $1,984 $3,440 $4,119 $4,913
Yearly $22,001 $23,803 $41,299 $49,455 $58,966
United States Hourly $11.35 $14.05 $17.69 $22.90 $28.67
Monthly $1,967 $2,435 $3,066 $3,969 $4,969
Yearly $23,620 $29,220 $36,790 $47,640 $59,640

Wages vary by employer and by the mechanic's level of experience and training.

Motorcycle mechanics who work in large shops may receive more benefits than those who work in smaller shops. These benefits may include paid vacation, sick leave, and health insurance. Some employers pay for additional training and provide uniforms. In general, only mechanics who work full time receive benefits. 

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook

The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Motorcycle Mechanics (SOC 49-3052)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 592 13.7% 16.1% 81
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 96 9.4% 13.4% 11
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 20 15.0% 8.6% 3
    Benton and Franklin Counties 33 18.2% 15.0% 4
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 45 2.2% 11.9% 4
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 38 23.7% 15.2% 6
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 18 11.1% 14.1% 2
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 77 14.3% 14.6% 10
    King County 41 12.2% 19.6% 5
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 26 15.4% 13.8% 3
    Pierce County 102 15.7% 15.2% 14
    Snohomish County 23 17.4% 12.4% 3
    Spokane County 100 18.0% 13.9% 14
United States 16,600 9.0% 5.2% 1,900

National employment

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand for this occupation will grow faster than average. New technology in motorcycle engines will create new jobs for mechanics. Jobs will also be created because more people are buying and riding motorcycles.

Most job openings are expected to be from mechanics transferring to other jobs or retiring. Job opportunities will be good for those who complete formal training in a postsecondary program.

Other resources

Equipment & Engine Training Council (external link)
344 Oak Grove Rd
Kings Mountain, NC 28086


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational cluster