Education and Training None
Salary Median—$9.76 per hour
Employment Outlook Good
Definition and Nature of the Work
Because bicycling is popular as a form of exercise and recreation as well as a means of transportation, specialized mechanics are in demand. They usually work for bicycle shops or for the bicycle departments of large sporting goods or department stores.
After determining what repairs or services are needed, mechanics give estimates and order any parts that are not kept in stock. They may have to adjust the frames or replace or repair major parts such as wheels or brakes. They also upgrade bicycles by adding special tires or pedals or customize bikes to fit their riders.
Mechanics also provide basic maintenance, such as cleaning, lubricating, and adjusting chains and hub bearings. In some shops, mechanics teach bike owners to do basic maintenance themselves.
Some mechanics specialize in racing bicycles. They are usually employed by large bicycle shops or by racing teams.
Education and Training Requirements
No formal training is required, but good mechanical and communication skills are necessary. On-the-job training is usually provided, and some manufacturers offer free repair courses for employees of stores that carry their products. Some vocational schools and high school shop classes teach bicycle repair.
Getting the Job
Job seekers can apply directly to bicycle shops or to the bicycle departments of large stores. Many repairers contact the bike shops they patronize.
Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
Bicycle mechanics may become sales representatives for manufacturers. They may also be promoted to shop or department managers, or they may open their own shops.
The demand for bicycle mechanics is expected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations through 2014.
Mechanics generally work in rooms set aside at the back of bicycle shops. They use a variety of spare parts and tools such as air hoses and racks for mounting bicycles. They may use electronic monitoring equipment to make adjustments.
The demand for mechanics is often seasonal. Many mechanics work part time or only on weekends when their services are most in demand.
Earnings and Benefits
Earnings vary by location, but in 2004 the median wage for all bicycle mechanics was $9.76 per hour.
Where to Go for More Information
National Bicycle Dealers Association
777 W. Nineteenth St., Ste. O
Costa Mesa, CA 92627-6130
Benefits for mechanics who work for department stores and bicycle companies include paid holidays and vacations, medical insurance, and retirement plans.