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Dealerships Vs. Indy Shops: Which Motorcycle Mechanic Jobs Are Best for You?

Mechanic

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Do you have a passion for motorcycles that goes beyond the aesthetic appeal? Do you enjoy working on your own bikes? If so, you might fare well as a motorcycle mechanic or technician. You’d have the opportunity to work with various motorcycle parts and systems, meet people with similar passions and do something you enjoy while earning a decent living.

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Becoming a Motorcycle Mechanic

In general, a high school diploma or equivalent credential is all you need to qualify for motorcycle mechanic jobs. However, if you want the opportunity to really earn some serious cash and advance highly in the industry, it is recommended that you have some better experience to get started. This experience can come from previously working in a shop or through a certified motorcycle technician training school.

Finding Motorcycle Mechanic Jobs

After you’ve gotten some education and experience under your belt, the next step is finding gainful employment. There are lots of motorcycle mechanic jobs out there to choose from. The question is, will you work with a dealership or an independent motorcycle shop?

Do you have a passion for motorcycles that goes beyond the aesthetic appeal? Do you enjoy working on your own bikes? If so, you might fare well as a motorcycle mechanic or technician.

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Dealership or Indy Shop?

A motorcycle dealership is a facility authorized by certain original equipment (OE) brands to sell new and sometimes used bikes, as well as qualified and warrantied maintenance services and parts. An independent motorcycle shop, on the other hand, is an establishment that offers mechanic services completely separate from the OE brands.

There are pros and cons to either place, so here are a few key differences between these two types of motorcycle mechanic jobs to help you make the most informed decision

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General or Specialized Experience:

One key difference between indy and dealership motorcycle mechanic jobs is the type of experience. As stated previously, dealerships work on bikes exclusive to their authorized brands whereas, indy shops work on a broader range of bikes and brands. So for example, a motorcycle technician that works at a Honda dealership would have impeccable experience on all things Honda, but since they aren’t exposed to other types of bikes, their knowledge and experience would be limited on another brand of bike.

On the other hand, someone who works for an indy shop gets exposed to all kinds of bikes, so they have a broader understanding of how to complete a wide range of maintenance tasks and/or repairs on the various kinds and brands of motorcycles.

So, when looking for motorcycle mechanic jobs, you need to determine whether you want to become an expert on a specific brand or if you’d prefer to learn how to work on various brands’ parts and systems.

Hiring Requirements

Another factor to consider between dealership and indy shop motorcycle mechanic jobs are the hiring requirements. Dealerships are almost always going to require that any new motorcycle mechanics have the highest credentials to be hired. That means you need to go through a specialized training program, which gives you the accurate knowledge and extensive experience you need to meet their quality standards.

Independent shop owners, however, can be more lenient with hiring requirements for their motorcycle technician jobs. They may be willing to work with an individual who has the love of motorcycles and some personal experience; and especially with a bit of relevant education. They can provide opportunities that allow you to further sharpen your skills and develop new ones without the demands or pressures that the OE brands put on dealerships.

Salary

Last but not least, there’s a difference in pay. Dealerships are known for offering higher pay with better benefits for their motorcycle technician jobs. Be that as it may, you’re going to have to work for it. Not only must you have the specialized experience and educational background they require, but there is a lot of corporate bureaucracy involved.

When working for an independent motorcycle shop, while the salary may be less and the perks not as eye-catching, many professional mechanics have found it to be worth it in the end. Indy shop technicians are able to reach a broader customer base and have the means to directly provide quality service which keeps them coming back (and new business coming in). This, down the line, can lead to sizeable pay bumps and other perks.

“Vocational training provides very specific skills versus many four-year college programs which offer general knowledge but may not provide transferable skills. Vocational training programs are “hands-on” programs taught by industry professionals. Many programs lead to apprenticeship or internship opportunities.” – Kick-Start Your Career with Vocational Training

If you’re really interested in pursuing any motorcycle mechanic jobs, there are a ton of opportunities out there. Essentially all you have to do is decide whether you think working at a dealership or indy shop will provide you the best opportunities to shine for your level, and then start searching for a job to get your foot in the door of the motorcycle industry.

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