Small engine mechanics service and repair motorized power equipment, including motorcycles, motorboats, snow mobiles, lawnmowers, garden tractors, and portable generators. They perform routine maintenance and inspections of motorized equipment and repair or replace malfunctioning or worn parts. The tools of their trade can range from screwdriver bit sets to complex computerized equipment. Small engine mechanics specialize in repairing a particular type of equipment and are employed by repair shops, dealerships, hardware stores, and equipment rental agencies. Some are self-employed and operate their own repair shops.
Employers are likely to favor candidate with a diploma or certificate in small engine repair, but practical on-the-job experience is crucial given the hands-on nature of this profession. Diploma or certificate programs offered by technical or community colleges will teach students the principles of engine operation, engine construction, preventive maintenance, and the tools and methods used for engine repair. Some schools offer small engine repair training programs entirely online. Completing a two-week training course offered by an equipment manufacturer or dealer is usually a prerequisite for performing warranty or manufacturer-specific work.
As outdoor power equipment and motor boat engine technology grows more complex, the demand for skilled small engine repairers has increased. The rising number of registered motorcycles in the U.S. is also stimulating job growth in this field.