Job as a Motorcycle mechanic

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Andrew Cooper is a motorcycle technician in South Yorkshire. He is on an IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) Modern Apprentice Framework in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair (Motorcycle) which combines on-the-job training with day release at a specialist local college.

What does your job involve?

I repair motorcycles. This includes accident damage, servicing, general maintenance and tyre changing. I also undertake some administrative work like filing job cards and creating records on the computer.

What kind of tools do you use?

The main tools I use are spanners, screwdrivers and sockets. I have my own sets of these in a range of different sizes. I use the tyre machine to change tyres and I also use air tools, including an air gun and blowers.

What hours do you work?

I work from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Who do you work with?

This is quite a small company but I am one of two apprentices in the workshop. My two bosses work mainly in the showroom with a sales executive.

What was your route to your job as a motorcycle mechanic?

When I completed my Foundation Certificate at college, I handed out CVs to local businesses. After some rejections I got a call and they took me on as an apprentice. I'm now on day release to Doncaster Motor Trades Group Training Association (GTA) where I am working towards my NVQ Level 3 in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair.

What are you learning on the Apprenticeship?

I'm learning to understand how motorcycle systems work, how to diagnose faults and fix engines, gearboxes, brakes, steering and the suspension. I'm also studying motorcycle electrics and electronics. In addition, the course covers tyre repair and routine servicing. Apprenticeships also include Key Skills and a technical certificate.

Why did you want to work with motorcycles?

I have always wanted to be a mechanic. When I was old enough to get my own bikes, I started repairing them and really enjoyed it.

Do you have a typical day?

No – that is one of the best parts of the job because each day is different and you never know what to expect. Sometimes problems are more complicated than you realise and can lead to several repairs. I enjoy the variety and challenges in the work.

What skills and abilities are required?

You must be good with your hands and have a good memory, so that if you take something apart you can remember how to piece it back together.

Andrew's route to becoming a motorcycle mechanic

  • GCSEs.
  • IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) Technical Certificate Level 1.
  • Employed as a motorcycle apprentice.
  • Currently doing IMI Modern Apprentice Framework in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair (Motorcycle).

Andrew's tips

  • Listen and learn from experienced colleagues and tutors.
  • Don't let a bad day put you off – we all have them occasionally!

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Salary of a motorcycle mechanic

  • The starting salary for a motorcycle technician is around £11,000.
  • Qualified and experienced technicians can earn £20,000.

Getting in

  • Most motorcycle technicians start work on an Apprenticeship or as a trainee with a garage or motor manufacturer. Apprentices usually need some GCSEs/S grades including English, maths and a science, or equivalent qualifications.
  • Training can begin while still at school on an IMI Pre-Apprenticeship from 14 to 16, leading to a Level 1 Technical Certificate, which offers a fast-track route to a full Apprenticeship.
  • Apprentices can work towards IMI Motorcycle Technician NVQs/SVQs at Levels 2 and 3 as well as vocationally-related qualifications (VRQs) in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair (Motor Cycle).
  • City & Guilds Progression Awards (Levels 1 and 2) have routes for motorcycle maintenance.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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