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Jobs Outlook: Small Engine Mechanics




Employment of small engine mechanics is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2014. Most of the job openings are expected to be due to the need to replace many experienced small engine mechanics that are expected to transfer to other occupations, retire, or stop working for other reasons. Job prospects should be especially favorable for persons who complete mechanic training programs.

Motorcycle usage should continue to be popular with persons between 18 and 24 years, an age group that historically has had the greatest proportion of motorcycle enthusiasts. Motorcycles also are becoming increasingly popular with persons over the age of 40. Traditionally, this group has more disposable income to spend on recreational equipment such as motorcycles and motorboats.

Over the next decade, more people will be entering the 40-and-older age group, the group responsible for the largest segment of marine craft purchases. These potential buyers will help expand the market for motorboats, while maintaining the demand for qualified mechanics.

The construction of new single-family houses will result in an increase in the lawn and garden equipment in operation, increasing the need for mechanics. However, equipment growth will be slowed by trends toward smaller lawns and the contracting out of maintenance to lawn service firms. Small engine mechanics’ growth will also be tempered by the tendency of many consumers to dispose of and replace relatively inexpensive items rather than have them repaired.

Employers will increasingly prefer mechanics to have knowledge of both two- and four-stroke engines, as well as other emissions-reducing technology, as the government increases regulation over the emissions produced by small engines. While advancements in technology will lengthen the interval between checkups, the need for qualified mechanics to perform services on motorcycles, motorboats, and lawn and garden equipment will increase.