Small engine mechanics inspect, service, and repair motorized power equipment. Mechanics often specialize in one type of equipment, such as motorcycles, motorboats, or outdoor power equipment.
Small engine mechanics generally work in well-ventilated but noisy repair shops. They sometimes make onsite repair calls, which may require working in poor weather conditions. Although most work full time, seasonal work hours often fluctuate. Workers are often busiest during the spring and summer, when equipment use is the highest.
How to Become a Small Engine Mechanic
Small engine mechanics typically enter the occupation with a high school diploma or postsecondary nondegree award and learn their trade through on-the-job training. As motorized power equipment becomes more sophisticated, employers increasingly prefer to hire mechanics who have completed postsecondary education programs.
Employment of small engine mechanics is projected to grow 4 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Those with formal training should have better job opportunities.
This occupation supported 68,100 jobs in 2012 and 71,800 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 5.4%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 5.7% in 2022 to 72,000 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 68,800, compared with an observed value of 71,800, 4.4% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 4.6% in 2024 to 74,900 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 72,700 jobs for 2024, 2.9% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.