17/04/2024 11:32 AM


If You Really

Motorcycle, Marine, and Small Engine Mechanics – Career Training Opportunities

Jet skis. Chain saws. Motorcycles. Lawn mowers. Portable generators. Snow blowers. Everywhere you look there are small engines that power tools and vehicles. These engines have one thing in common: sooner or later, they all need maintenance and repair.

From recreational vehicles such as motorboats to power tools including leaf blowers, small internal combustion engines are in daily use in America. If you love working with your hands, don’t mind a little grease, and enjoy making things work properly, then a career as a small engine mechanic may be just for you.

Given the fact that there are hundreds of different types of small engines in use, most mechanics and technicians specialize. The neighborhood shop owner who fixes your lawn mower isn’t going to repair your jet ski. The mechanic who tunes up your Harley is probably not going to be able to service your Yahama outboard marine motor. This is because the mechanics and technicians of today often use computer diagnostics and other sophisticated instruments, and often receive training from a manufacturer or a certified technical school.

Training Is Important. Check out what the U.S. Government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics says: “Due to the increasing complexity of motorcycles and motorboats, employers prefer to hire mechanics who have graduated from formal training programs.” Most motorcycle and motorboat mechanics work for authorized dealerships, and specialize in the brand sold by the dealer. They must often complete a manufacturer-authorized training program, and may even be sent for yearly refresher courses to expand their knowledge and keep up with new products.

Where to get training? A wide variety of technical schools offer dealer-authorized training programs. For example, let’s say you want to pursue marine mechanics. A typical training program might last 60 weeks. Generally, a program is in two parts. The first part offers basic training in a wide variety of areas. Topics covered could include two- and four-stroke engines, outboard engines, stern drive engines, electrical systems, fuel systems, trim and tilt, and hull design. Students are given hands-on training with diagnostic, repair, and maintenance equipment. Many programs include information on the business skills needed to own and operate a maintenance shop or dealership.

Once the basic theory and technology section of the program is completed, students often progress to manufacturer-sponsored courses, such as Marine Honda, Marine Volvo Penta, Marine Suzuki, Mercury MercTech, or Marine Yamaha. The goal is to give the graduate the skills and experience needed to begin a career as an entry-level marine technician.

How are the job prospects? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, during the current decade from 2008 to 2018, job prospects should be excellent for people who complete formal training programs. That’s good news! During the current decade, the number of retired persons will increase, and they have the leisure time and income to spend on recreational equipment such as motorcycles and motorboats. The steady increase in the population of America’s coastal and lake regions should increase motorboat use, and the popularity of motorcycles among both young people and retirees will contribute to rising motorcycle sales.

Boats, motorcycles, jet skis, and more-there are millions of tools and vehicles in America that use small engines, and the number is expected to increase. Sounds like a pretty good career choice for the right person.

How do you look for a training program? The fastest way to get started is to log onto a reputable college directory website. You can search for programs using keywords such as “motorcycle mechanics” or “California technical schools.” You can read about the career schools that meet your criteria. Don’t forget to check out online or hybrid (online and on-campus) programs. Then you can request free information from the schools that meet your criteria. Compare programs, schedules, financial aid, and job placement services. Then apply to the schools that are right for you. In less time than you think you could be training for a rewarding new career.