As of 2009, over 16,000 motorcycle mechanics and technicians were employed in the United States. Job growth for these technicians is expected to be at least average, and opportunities for those who are formally trained are excellent. Motorcycle technicians also work on mopeds, scooters, and all-terrain vehicles. Common tasks performed include repairing engines, transmissions, brakes, and ignition systems, and making minor body repairs.
Technically there are no formal requirements to become a motorcycle technician and many learn on the job or growing up. However, as technology develops and motorcycles become more complex, many employers prefer mechanics and technicians who have graduated from formal training institutions. Courses during this training or in high school that apply to the job include engine repair, automobile mechanics, science, and math. Experience often becomes the greatest factor in obtaining higher-level and higher-paying positions as a motorcycle mechanic.
The location where a motorcycle technician works may have an influence on his or her salary. The primary reason for this is cost of living as well as level of demand for the skill. For example, Wyoming has the highest concentration of motorcycle technicians and mechanics in the United States as well as a relatively low cost of living. A technician here can expect an average salary of $32,590 a year. However, in California, where the cost of living is high and the concentration of motorcycle technicians is about one fourth the rate of Wyoming, the average salary is $41,590 annually. The national average wage for motorcycle mechanics in the U.S. is $33,870 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Type of Employer
The vast majority of motorcycle technicians are employed by motor vehicle dealers and make a national average salary of $33,810 a year. However, other working environments are available and have varying wages. On the low end of the scale are those employed by automotive parts, accessories, and tire stores, providing an average of $25,350 a year. The highest-paying employers in the country are motor vehicle and parts and supplies merchant wholesalers. There are less than 100 positions in this industry in the country, but motorcycle technicians employed in this area can expect a national average salary of $49,190 a year.
Experience and High Paying Jobs
Like virtually all jobs, career experience will usually bring higher salaries. Starting wages, representing the bottom 10th percentile, are around $20,730 annually. However, the top 25% of motorcycle technicians can average $40,230 a year, and the most experienced or talented mechanics earning the 90th percentile in wages will average $51,050 a year.