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Engine Technology Careers

Photo of a mechanic working on a small engine
​Motorcycle mechanics specialize in the repair and overhaul of motorcycles, motor scooters, mopeds, dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles.

Motorcycle, marine and small engine mechanics maintain and repair engines of motorcycles, motorboats and outdoor power equipment such as lawn mowers, tractors and chain saws.

A good small-engine mechanic should be able to:

  • Follow directions well according to cleaning and inspection checklists
  • Diagnose problems through excellent problem-solving skills
  • Perform  computer diagnostics
  • Put knowledge of basic electrical theory into practice
  • Perform engine overhauls
  • Take apart and reassemble equipment
  • Translate mechanical aptitude into working knowledge of engine repair
  • Understand and work on small two- and four-stroke engines
  • Work on several different types of small engines

Motorcycle mechanics specialize in the repair and overhaul of motorcycles, motor scooters, mopeds, dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles. Besides repairing engines, they may work on transmissions, brakes and ignition systems. Mechanics often service just a few makes and models of motorcycles because most work for dealers that service only the products they sell.

Marine equipment (boat) mechanics repair and adjust the electrical and mechanical equipment of inboard and outboard boat engines. 

Outdoor power equipment and other small-engine mechanics service and repair outdoor power equipment such as lawn mowers, garden tractors, edge trimmers and chain saws.

Other Job Possibilities

Knowledge of basic electronics is essential, and skills learned as a small-engine repairer may transfer to similar occupations, such as automotive, diesel or heavy vehicle mechanics. Experienced mechanics with leadership ability may advance to shop supervisor or service manager jobs. Mechanics with sales ability sometimes become sales representatives or open their own repair shops.

Salaries and Projected Job Growth

America’s Career Infonet gives detailed information about the skills, abilities, work activities and recommended education for related jobs, including median salaries in Texas:

Job Hourly Rate Annual Median Salary Projected Job Growth Through 2020
Motorboat mechanics and service technicians $17.50 $36,400 +18%
Motorcycle mechanics $15.40 $32,000 +15%
Outdoor power equipment and other small-engine mechanics $14.72 $30,600 +19%