Twenty-first century motorcycle maintenance requires more than knowing your way around an engine. Motorcycle mechanics must have a working knowledge of electronics, brake systems, and transmissions, as well as engines, if they are to keep the country’s motorcycles operating at peak performance. With modern testing equipment and software, as well as increasingly complex and sophisticated systems, motorcycle repair specialists must remain keep up-to-date on some of the latest technology. Many choose to develop the expertise they need in an online motorcycle mechanic training program.
Most online motorcycle mechanic schools require a commitment of one year or less. These highly focused programs teach the fundamentals of motorcycle testing, diagnosis, repair, and maintenance. Certificate holders are highly sought after; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), motorcycle mechanics can expect their field to grow 24% by the end of the decade.
Types of Motorcycle Maintenance Certificates
Many choose to obtain a certificate in motorcycle maintenance because they know this specialized field produces steady work. Certificate holders are qualified to repair nearly any problem that arises with specialized motorcycle engines, be it the electrical, steering, brake, or transmission systems. Many motorcycle repair professionals choose to develop these necessary and diverse skills in online motorcycle mechanic courses where a certificate can be obtained quickly and inexpensively. For most programs, only a high school diploma or GED is required.
The typical program will provide training in diagnostics and repair, as well as maintenance. Most will require classes covering electrical, ignition, fuel, and emission systems. The typical program will include coursework on both two- and four- cycle engines. Of course, classes on regular maintenance, routine inspection, and regular tuning and adjustment will be required as well.
What’s Next for Motorcycle Maintenance Certificate Holders?
According to a report by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, certificate holders will earn 18% more during their lifetimes than someone who stops his or her education with a high school diploma; in fact, another study by the Center reported that certificate holders enjoyed average annual earnings of about $35,000. According to data compiled by the BLS, 18,000 people were employed as motorcycle mechanics in 2010, and they earned a median salary of $31,980.
Many certificate holders choose to continue their education and pursue an associate degree in related subjects like engine repair; these professionals realize that the more education a person has, the greater his/her earnings and likelihood of having a job. According to the BLS, people with an associate degree were almost 20% more likely to be employed than those who stopped their education with a vocational certificate; in 2012, the unemployment rate for associate degree holders was 6.2%, which was 1.5% lower than those who only had a vocational certificate to their name. Of course, both of these groups had far better employment than those who did not graduate high school, who suffered from a whopping 12.4% unemployment rate.
For this reason, some motorcycle mechanics choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in areas like electronics engineering. According to BLS and Georgetown University data, bachelor’s degree holders will have a 40% better chance of finding a job over certificate holders; by the Center’s projections, a person with a bachelor’s degree will earn nearly $2.3 million over his career, while the person who did not graduate high school will earn less than $1 million.