Just like most types of mechanic jobs, being a motorcycle technician can be tough on the body. If you historically do not have the physical ability to work with your hands and be on your feet for most of the day, that will be your first step. It is important to be physically able before you start motorcycle technician school. This is so you do not spend all the time and money that it takes for motorcycle repair school and not be able to use the training in the long run.
Within the actual motorcycle mechanic training, there are a few key things to note. As stated above, motorcycle mechanic school will include a large amount of hands-on training. Many schools will offer two types of motorcycle technician programs; a general motorcycle repair program and a specialized motorcycle repair program. The general is the necessary program as it lays the foundation for all others.
From there, you will see specialized programs which focus on specific manufacturers such as Harley Davidson or Ducati. So, you can stop after the general motorcycle mechanic training and work on a vast amount of bikes but specialized mechanics often have an easier time finding a job and can often demand higher pay. Make sure you know what specializations your desired motorcycle mechanic school offers so you can get the training you need.
Here’s what you can expect to learn at a motorcycle mechanic school:
Both of these options are great although one may fit your situation better than the other. If you know all you ever want to work on is a motorcycle, then an associate’s degree is perfect. On the other hand, if you are unsure whether you will desire to work on motorcycles forever, a general automotive technology degree with a certificate in motorcycle mechanics might be best! Keep this in mind when choosing your motorcycle technician school.
As with many things, this will vary depending on which school you go to and your personal situation. Disregarding scholarship opportunities, motorcycle repair school can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $25,000. Some of the more expensive motorcycle technician schools will likely provide more within the cost such as tools, safety gear, shop uniform coveralls, and more. Keep in mind, there are many scholarships and grants out there for students going to motorcycle technician cost, we even have our own grant for aspiring mechanics.
The length it takes to become a motorcycle mechanic varies from student to student and from each different motorcycle mechanic school as everyone has different learning and teaching styles. In general, it will take 1 to 2 years of motorcycle mechanic training to be certified to work full-time. If you are taking the apprenticeship route, it can take even longer to be fully certified but you will be working the entire time.
There are many different ways to become a certified motorcycle mechanic. First of all, there is the formal education route with many different motorcycle repair schools all across the nation. Another major route is through on-the-job training. There are two regular types of on-the-job training, apprenticeship or informal training. Apprenticeship is a more formal training experience with a set end-date and program. On the other hand, informal training on-the-job normally takes place when someone gets in at the ground level mopping floors and just picks up jobs as they can learn.
Perhaps the most well-known motorcycle mechanic school in the nation is Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI in Phoenix and MMI in Orlando) by Universal Technical Institute. This is a result of the well-established programs they have and the multitude of manufacturer partnerships they have acquired. These specializations include; Harley Davidson, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and BMW. So, they have made a name for themselves by providing a specialization for almost every desire!
Motorcycle mechanics get paid an average of $35,680 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017. This will vary from location to location as well as mechanic to mechanic. Some locations naturally have more motorcyclists which drives more traffic to shops and the more motorcycle mechanic training you have the higher pay you can demand.
According to Simply Hired, the average salary of an MMI graduate is $64,269. This is much higher than the average salary of motorcycle mechanics showing that the extra investment in training really pays off. Keep in mind, this is not an exact or a guaranteed number. This was estimated from a number of submissions to Simply Hired.