On the Road to a Revved Up Motorcycle Job
There is one universal truth about motorcycles — they are cool. There is something about the open road that links motorcycles to freedom. Shows like “American Chopper” gave us a glimpse of the artistry that goes into creating those dream bikes.
Working in the motorcycle industry requires you to be part grease monkey and part Michelangelo. There is a future for you in this industry if you can create a piece of art with a 160 horsepower engine.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly rate for a motorcycle mechanic is a little more than $17 per hour. This number varies depending on location and expertise. Like many jobs, the more you know and the better industry sector you work in, the pay goes up. Working for a motorcycle dealer will earn you the average, but landing a job with a specialty manufacturer will give you a 25 percent bump. The Bureau of Labor statistics sees the outlook as a little bit slow but, if you can master auto and motorcycle repair, the outlook is very good.
On one end of the cycle spectrum there are the bikes used for dirt biking and motocross. At the other end are the luxury motorcycles built for comfort and style. Somewhere completely off of the spectrum are the concept bikes. Motorcycles are a rapidly changing technology and someone getting into this field will want to be on top of all of the engineering. Installing parts on a motorbike is one skill set, but creating the Swordfish concept cycle is another. To truly be successful in this industry, it is best if you can do both.
Get The Paper
Because motorcycles vary so greatly, the credentialing for repair and manufacturing has just as much variety. You can get a certificate as a motorcycle mechanic or a degree as a mechanical engineer. How much time you want to invest depends on your passion for the job. A certificate program will typically take 36 weeks to complete and will teach you about the electrical system, engine, and fuel system as well as give you troubleshooting instruction. A bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering will take about four years and will give you the knowledge to design motorcycles.
The Resume With Horsepower
The resume is the traditional document needed to get a job, even in the motorcycle trade. The first step in writing a good resume is knowing about your target employer and making the resume specific to the company. Create an employer-centered resume and make the case that you are the best fit for this company. If the employer specializes in race bikes, then highlight your racing experience. Also use this time to hone your own requirements. If you cannot show that you belong with a company then maybe that company is not right for you.