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www.tradesecrets.orgMotorcycle Mechanic

Motorcycle mechanics assemble, maintain, repair and restore motorcycles and other multi-wheeled lightweight all-terrain vehicles that do not have lateral seating and are equipped with handlebar controls.

Also Known As:Gasoline Engine Technician, Mechanic, Motor Vehicle Trades, Service Technician, Small Engine Mechanic
NOC Number(s):7334
Minimum Education:Apprenticeship Trade
Employment Outlook:Job openings generated due to employment turnover. Occupational outlook currently unavailable.
Interests:O M i

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Motorcycle Mechanic


Duties | Working Conditions | Personal Characteristics | Education | Employment | Salary | Other Information | Related Occupations | Related School Subjects | Related Field of Study

Duties

When customers bring in motorcycles or all-terrain vehicles for preventative maintenance or repair, motorcycle mechanics:

  • discuss complaints with customers or the service manager
  • diagnose problems and locate failures with the electrical system, engine, power train, suspension or frame by inspecting the vehicle, listening to it operate and using testing equipment
  • dismantle, adjust and repair or replace mechanical and electrical system parts and components
  • perform routine maintenance tasks such as cleaning and adjusting the carburetor, adjusting the clutch, brakes and drive chain, and replacing worn parts
  • rebuild or replace parts
  • operate equipment such as boring bars, valve grinders, lathes, tire changers and computers.

Motorcycle mechanics who work for motorcycle dealerships also assemble new machines.


Working Conditions

Motorcycle mechanics usually work indoors in shops. The work is noisy when engines are being tested. Ventilation systems reduce the risk involved in working near exhaust fumes.

Motorcycle mechanics may be required to lift and move items that weigh over 20 kilograms.


Personal Characteristics

Motorcycle mechanics need the following characteristics:

  • mechanical interest and aptitude
  • good customer relations skills
  • willingness to work long hours in the busy season
  • the ability and willingness to continuously upgrade their knowledge and skills.

They should enjoy work that requires precision and solving problems.


Educational Requirements

To work in Alberta, a motorcycle mechanic must be ONE of the following:

  • a registered apprentice
  • an Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate.

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must:

  • have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 20-2, Math 20-3 and Science 10, or equivalent, or pass an entrance exam.
  • find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates. 

The term of apprenticeship is four years (four 12-month periods) that include a minimum of:

  • 1,360 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training in the first and second year
  • 1,420 hours of on-the-job training and six weeks of technical training in the third and fourth.

High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for credit or certification.

Motorcycle mechanic apprentices may take the interprovincial exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training to earn a Red Seal (certification recognized in most parts of Canada).

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered by Grande Prairie Regional College in Fairview.

For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.

Outside the apprenticeship program, Grande Prairie Regional College in Fairview offers a 15 week Harley Davidson Technician certificate program and a 34 week Pre-Employment Motorcycle Mechanic certificate program that includes six weeks of work experience. The entrance requirement for both programs is Grade 10 or 11 English and math. For current information about these programs, admission requirements and mature student admission policies, please check the GPRC calendar or website.

Section revised May 2012

Employment and Advancement

Motorcycle mechanics are employed by motorcycle dealerships or repair shops, or are self-employed.

In colder climates such as Alberta's, motorcycle repair work is seasonal. Motorcycle mechanics are very busy doing diagnostic and repair work in the warmer months and may encourage customers to have preventative maintenance work done in the winter. However, motorcycle mechanics must be skilled in other types of repair work (for example, repairing snowmobiles) to remain employed throughout the year.

Experienced motorcycle mechanics may advance to supervisory positions or set up their own businesses. Alberta certified journeyperson motorcycle mechanics who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Motorcycle mechanics are part of the larger National Occupational Classification 7334: Motorcycle and Other Related Mechanics. In Alberta, most people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • time of year (see above)
  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Section revised October 2012

Salary

Journeyperson wage rates vary but generally range from $15 to $28 an hour plus benefits (2009 estimate). Apprentice motorcycle mechanics earn at least 55 per cent of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 65 per cent in the second, 75 per cent in the third and 90 per cent in the fourth

According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Motorcycle and Other Related Mechanics occupational group earned on average from $14.58 to $38.18 an hour. The mean wage for this group was $28.10 an hour.

For more detailed information, see WAGEinfo.

Section revised February 2012

Other Sources of Information

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.alberta.ca

EDinfo website: www.alis.alberta.ca/edinfo

Post-secondary institution calendars and websites (see Educational Requirements above)


Related Occupational Profiles
Appliance Service Technician
Outdoor Power Equipment Technician

Related High School Subjects
Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation (Mechanics)

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
Trades, Industrial and Related Training

Produced June 2009
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For more information on career planning, occupations and educational programs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website at alis.alberta.ca, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

The information contained in this profile was current as of the dates shown. Salaries, employment outlook and educational programs may change. Please check the information before making any career decisions.


Government of Alberta, Human Services