How to Become a Motorcycle Mechanic

If you're an avid motorcycle fan then you may have contemplated turning your hobby into a full time occupation by becoming a motorcycle mechanic. These talented people will keep your machine operational and roadworthy by performing maintenance tasks like oil changes, brake repair, and fluid checks. They may undertake more complex issues when they occur like transmission, engine problems or ignition systems. All that knowledge is not learned overnight so how do you pursue your career dreams of becoming a motorcycle mechanic?

1. Have the necessary Entry Requirements

Per the National Careers Service, the required basic education needed to train as a professionally certified motorcycle mechanic are:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

There may also be a number of entry-level equivalents that will be accepted and count towards admission to a professional motorcycle mechanic qualification. These can be found HERE.

2. Choose your Motorcycle Training Program

There are a number of courses available that you may select from depending on the level of proficiency you wish to achieve:

  • Certificate in Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair
  • Diploma in Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Apprenticeship in Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair
  • Advanced Apprenticeship in Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair

These training programs can contain multiple levels and varying qualifications such as Certifications, Diploma, NVQ, or QCF. The more advanced and higher-level courses will typically focus on more specialised areas of mechanical training and repair.

3. Apply for an Apprenticeship

Apply to local motorcycle repair shops or check listings on job search websites for 1 to 5 year apprenticeships. Apprenticeships can be undertaken at various levels so determine which ones you are eligible for based on your education.

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • Higher
  • Degree

An apprenticeship will give you the opportunity to work alongside fully trained and experienced mechanics to learn skills from them. This combines on the job training with some of the practicalities of being a motorcycle mechanic. Some on the job training and apprenticeships will award certification or industry-recognised qualification at the end of the training period.

4. Take the Direct Route

If you do not have the requisite academic entry requirements apply directly to motorcycle maintenance or repair shops to see if they will agree to take you on as a mechanic.

If you have a good and provable history of mechanical repair and know your way around an engine this can be a way to get started and skip all of the classroom-based training. Maybe you have spent years tinkering with motorbikes or cars, perhaps you spend every summer and school holiday helping your Uncle in his motor repair shop. Either way, if you can verify that you have suitable knowledge and experience you may be able to get hired directly and begin working as a motorcycle mechanic.

5. Continuing Education

The Institute of the Motor Industry is a governing body that is dedicated to the training and education of people that wish to work in the car or motorcycle trade.

Being a good motorcycle mechanic will mean keeping up with industry changes and new technologies that are constantly being integrated on to new motorcycle models. For this reason, it is worth considering having some sort of continuing education after you are fully qualified as a motorcycle mechanic. Some ongoing courses or industry training will keep you abreast of upcoming or new implementations and ahead of the game.

Finally, being part of a motorcycle club can provide fantastic exposure to experienced bikers with a breadth and depth of mechanical knowledge about their bikes.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Motorcycle Mechanic?

After you have fulfilled the basic GCSE requirements the qualification time for a motorcycle mechanic is typically 2-3 years to complete a course of study combined with on the job training.

An apprenticeship path will take between 1 and 5 years depending on the level of training required. You may train at an intermediate through to a degree level.

The ‘direct route’ of being hired by a motorcycle mechanic or repair shop can be almost immediate as soon as you have successfully completed an interview and been approved to work.

How Much Does a Motorcycle Mechanic Earn?

A typical motorcycle mechanic earns anywhere from £13,000 up to £24,500 a year, largely depending on experience level.

How much does a motorcycle mechanic make a year?
Starter£13,000
Experienced£24,500

That said, those with an entrepreneurial spirit might one day considering opening their own sales and repair business. Other career options include specialising in custom bike building or becoming a motorcycle diagnostic technician, workshop manager or motorcycle MOT examiner. Given the average age of motorcycles in the UK continues to increase, we'd expect more demand for motorcycle mechanics to keep these older bikes ticking!

Becoming a motorcycle mechanic can be a great way to offset the costs of owning a motorcycle, if you're an avid rider.

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