Small engine mechanic essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $30,510
- 2012, number of jobs: 27,350
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 21 percent
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
Small engine mechanics; what they do:
A small engine mechanic career includes working with small machinery parts, selling equipment and parts, and repairing machines. Small engine mechanics diagnose, adjust and repair motorized power equipment and often specialize in one area such as recreational sports equipment, chainsaws or motorcycles.
A typical day for a small engine mechanic involves meeting with customers to discuss equipment failures, finding the issues whether fuel, mechanical or electrical and organizing maintenance plans going forward. Small engines mechanics also replace broken and worn parts, perform routine maintenance such as cleaning and oiling machinery, perform inspections, and record test results and time spent on work.
A small engine mechanic career can vary in terms of jobs performed and can range from fairly straightforward repairs to extremely complex operations. These mechanics can solve any kind of small engine problem from routine inspections and minor part replacements to diagnosing issues with computerized equipment in order to fix large machines such as motorcycles and motorboats. For larger jobs, they use major tools such as computerized engine analyzers and pneumatic power tools. These kinds of tools are a big investment for small engine mechanics as most workers buy their own equipment collections.
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Small engine mechanics job titles:
- Small Engines Mechanic
- Motorcycle Mechanics
- Motorboat and Marine Equipment Mechanic
- Service Mechanic
- Outdoor Power Equipment Service Technician
- Golf Cart Mechanic
- Lawnmower Repair Mechanic
Small Engine Mechanics Education, Certification and License Requirements
People typically need a high school diploma and on-the-job training to begin a small engine mechanic career. However, employers also look favorably upon postsecondary training in small engine repair and automobile mechanics.
When in training, small engine mechanics work with experienced mechanics to learn basic tasks, such as taking apart engine components. In time, trainees learn to complete more difficult tasks, such as engine overhauls. The training process can take from several months to three years. Actual training courses, run by different manufacturers such as motorcycle dealers, can take up to two weeks.
Small engine mechanics programs cover subjects such as:
- Small engine parts and operation
- Small engine parts cooling and lubrication systems
- Ignition systems
- Electrical systems
- Fuel systems
- Servicing lawn mowers
- Engine disassembly
- Transmission systems
Small Engine Mechanics Job Outlook
Forecast: 21 percent employment growth for small engine mechanics between 2010 and 2020. Repair services in the motorcycle industry have increased due to greater sales and a growing number of registered motorcyclists.
Retail areas continuing to employ small engine mechanics include motorboat and outdoor power equipment dealers. The ever evolving and sophistication of these engines and equipment increases the demand for the services of small engine mechanics.
Small Engine Mechanics Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $30,510
- 2012 workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $37,560
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $24,210
- Motor vehicle dealers
- Lawn and garden equipment and supplies stores
- Amusement and recreation industries
- Personal and household goods repair and services
- Machinery, supplies and equipment wholesalers