Motorcycle mechanics assemble, maintain, repair and restore motorcycles and other multi-wheeled lightweight all-terrain vehicles that have astride seating and handlebar controls.
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 such as cleaning and adjusting the carburetor, adjusting the clutch, brakes and drive chain, and replacing worn parts,
- know how to rebuild or replace parts, and
- operate equipment such as valve seat cutters, chassis dynamometers, tire changers and computers.
For more information regarding tasks and activities, please review the Trade Regulation.
In colder climates like Alberta's, motorcycle repair work is seasonal. Motorcycle mechanics are very busy doing diagnostic and repair work in the warmer months, and encourage customers to have preventative maintenance work done in the winter. Motorcycle mechanics be skilled in other types of repair work (e.g. repairing snowmobiles) to remain employed year-round.
Motorcycle mechanics usually work indoors in shops. The work may be noisy when engines are being tested. Ventilation systems reduce the risk involved in working near exhaust fumes.
The work is rewarding for those who like precise work, love motorcycling, are interested in machines and enjoy mechanical problem-solving.
To be successful in their trade, motorcycle mechanics must have:
- mechanical aptitude,
- customer relations skills,
- interest and pride in their work,
- the strength, stamina, and ability to use proper lifting techniques to lift items weighing in excess of 25 kilograms,
- a willingness to work long hours, and
- the ability and willingness to continuously upgrade their knowledge and skills.
Motorcycle mechanics are employed by motorcycle dealerships or repair shops, or are self-employed. Journeyperson wage rates vary, but generally range from $20 to $32 an hour.
Experienced motorcycle mechanics may advance to supervisory positions or set up their own businesses.
To work as a motorcycle mechanic in Alberta, a person must be a registered apprentice, an Alberta-certified journeyperson, or hold a valid recognized credential.
Individuals possessing a valid recognized credential in Alberta are eligible to receive a Blue Seal business credential after completing the necessary requirements.
The term of apprenticeship for a motorcycle mechanic is 4 years (four 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1360 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training in the first and second year, and a minimum of 1420 hours of on-the-job training and 6 weeks technical training in the third and fourth year.
- An applicant who previously completed courses of study or work experience related to the motorcycle mechanic trade or holds a related journeyperson certificate and has the employer's recommendation, may qualify for credit that could reduce the term of apprenticeship. Inquiries about credit for previously completed courses of study or work experience can be directed to an apprentice representative toll-free at 1-800-248-4823.
- A person who has previous training or work experience in the trade and wants to determine their level of skill and knowledge for entry or advanced standing in an apprenticeship program may complete the online Prior Learning Assessment Application. For more information, see the online Prior Learning Assessment Guide.
- A high school student can become an apprentice and gain credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time under the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).
To learn the skills required of a motorcycle mechanic in Alberta and be issued an Alberta Journeyman Certificate, a person must:
- satisfy the entrance requirements or pass the entrance exam (see Entrance Level Competencies, Exam Counselling Sheet, Entrance Exam Study Guide, and Entrance Exam Support Materials List)
- find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice
Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates and may select apprentices from among their current employees.
For holders of an existing trade certificate, it can serve as your entrance requirement equivalency when registering in an additional trade.
- complete the online Apprenticeship Application and Contract
- pay the non-refundable application fee as part of the application process
- complete the required on-the-job training
- during on-the-job training, apprentice motorcycle mechanics earn at least 55 percent of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 65 percent in the second, 75 percent in the third, and 90 percent in the fourth year.
- complete all program requirements as identified in the course outline
- enroll in technical training
- select an educational institution that offers training for motorcycle mechanic apprentices, and a time to attend training
- determine requirements for enrolling at the selected institution, and forward completed enrolment form to the selected institution
- review books and materials required for training
- successfully complete all required exams
Apprentices may attempt the Interprovincial Exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training and, if successful, be granted a Red Seal.
When apprentices attend technical training, they are required to pay the applicable tuition fee and purchase course supplies.
Student loans, grants, scholarships and other financial assistance may be available. For more information see Financial Assistance, visit an Apprenticeship and Industry Training office or call toll-free to 1-800-248-4823.
A motorcycle mechanic who holds a valid trade certificate from Alberta or from another Canadian province or territory may apply to write the Interprovincial Exam and, if successful, be granted a Red Seal under the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program. The Red Seal is recognized throughout most of Canada.
For a Qualification Certificate based on a recognized credential or work experience in order to prepare for the exam(s) please refer to the Exam Counselling Sheets and review available resource materials.
Time spent on supervisory or foreman duties, counter work, heading the tool crib, or on training course is NOT counted as 'hands-on' work experience.
A person who holds a valid recognized credential does not require an Alberta equivalency document to work in the trade in Alberta.
However, some employers may require Alberta documentation as proof that the holder is allowed to work in the trade or that the holder's credential is recognized.
More information regarding the Equivalency Program can be found here.