How to Become a Small Engine Mechanic

How to Become a Small Engine MechanicIndividuals who enjoy working with engines and mechanical components may wish to work in the field of repair. Working as a small engine mechanic means individuals will work on a variety of machines, generally those for outdoor power equipment or motorcycles. These smaller systems tend to be more simple in their overall design.

This is unlike working on a car’s engine, which takes advanced education in not only auto mechanics but it also takes experience with various vehicle brands.Individuals looking to work as a small engine mechanic may find this job an easy field to get into, though there are educational requirements and certifications that do exist. People who wish to learn to become a mechanic should consider this field in-depth.

Job Overview

High School or GED

Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The job of someone in this field will vary. That is one of the reasons some people enter into this field over others. As a challenging, but rewarding career, many people find success in this field by simply investing time in helping others. Individuals will need to inspect systems and determine if they are in good repair or need modifications. They will then need to properly service the systems to maintain them. These mechanics will also need to handle any repairs necessary.

Generally, small engine mechanics work with smaller types of motorized power equipment. This may include items such as power tools, lawnmowers, motorcycles, and motorboats. They will learn the skills to work on a number of different types of systems as well as a range of brands. In some cases, individuals are able to train with specific brands to become a certified technician from that company.

The job of a small engine mechanic generally happens in a workshop or repair shop. In some cases, they provide on-site repairs, especially for larger systems, such as farming equipment. They may work in bad weather, noisy areas, and in physically-demanding positions. Sometimes, they will need to work long hours, especially in the summer when their services are most in demand.

Requirements and Qualifications

To work in this field, individuals simply need to obtain the necessary skills to do so. Most individuals will need a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some areas offer vocational schools that provide this type of training, according to Some states may have some requirements for individuals operating a business, though no licensing is common for this field. Individuals who join mechanic professional organizations may need to maintain their education and skills through continuing education.

Typical Education

The education required of someone in this field is mostly hands-on. In some situations, vocational schools become available to students in the 11th and 12th grade. Other times, these schools, or trade schools, become available after graduation. The student learns in a hands-on method, though education through books is often necessary as well. The trade school may teach the student the skills to do the job, but they may also learn basic business management skills as well. Some individuals go on to own their own shops.

Salary and Job Outlook

Overall, small machines are a part of everyday life. From those that operate simple appliances within the home to the larger machines that keep factories running, each system requires some type of maintenance and repair from time to time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the 2010 median pay for someone working as a small engine mechanic was $31,790 per year.

In terms of demand, for the period of 2010 through 2020, it is expected that this field will grow at a rate of 21 percent. This is faster than many other fields. During this time, 14,300 jobs are likely to be added to this industry.

Individuals interested in becoming a small engine mechanic may want to roll up their sleeves and begin learning. A variety of educational programs are available to help.

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