2017 Small Engine Mechanics
Median Pay: US$34,650
Entry Level: See How to Become One
Small engine mechanics inspect, service, and repair motorized power equipment. Mechanics often specialize in one type of equipment, such as motorcycles, motorboats, or outdoor power equipment.

Small engine mechanics typically do the following:

  • Discuss equipment issues, maintenance plans, and work performed with customers
  • Perform routine engine maintenance, such as lubricating parts and replacing spark plugs
  • Test and inspect engines for malfunctioning parts
  • Adjust components according to specifications
  • Repair or replace worn, defective, or broken parts
  • Reassemble and reinstall components and engines following repairs
  • Keep records of inspections, test results, work performed, and parts used

Small engine mechanics work on power equipment ranging from snowmobiles to chainsaws. When equipment breaks down, mechanics use many strategies to diagnose the source and the extent of the problem. Small engine mechanics identify mechanical, electrical, and fuel system problems and make necessary repairs.

Mechanics' tasks vary in complexity and difficulty. Maintenance inspections and repairs, for example, involve minor adjustments or the replacement of a single part. On the other hand, piston calibration and spark plug replacement may require taking an engine apart completely. Some mechanics use computerized equipment to tune racing motorcycles and motorboats.

Mechanics use a variety of hand tools, including screwdrivers, wrenches, and pliers, for many common tasks. Some mechanics may also use compression gauges, ammeters, and voltmeters to test engine performance. For more complicated procedures, they commonly use pneumatic tools, which are powered by compressed air, or diagnostic equipment.

Although employers usually provide the more expensive tools and testing equipment, mechanics usually own their own hand tools. Some mechanics have thousands of dollars invested in their tool collections.

Motorboat mechanics and service technicians maintain and repair the mechanical and electrical components of boat engines. Most of their work, whether on small outboard engines or large diesel-powered inboard motors, is performed at docks and marinas where the repair shop is located. Motorboat mechanics may also work on propellers, steering mechanisms, marine plumbing, and other boat equipment.

Motorcycle mechanics specialize in working on motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, dirt bikes, and all-terrain vehicles. They service engines, transmissions, brakes, and ignition systems and make minor body repairs, among other tasks. Most work for dealerships, servicing and repairing specific makes and models.

Outdoor power equipment and other small engine mechanics service and repair outdoor power equipment, such as lawnmowers, edge trimmers, garden tractors, and portable generators. Some mechanics may work on snowblowers and snowmobiles, but this work is highly seasonal and regional.

For information about technicians and mechanics who work primarily on automobiles, see the profile on automotive service technicians and mechanics.

For information about technicians who work primarily on large trucks and buses, see the profile on diesel service technicians and mechanics.

For information about technicians and mechanics who work primarily on farm equipment, construction vehicles, and rail cars, see the profile on heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians.

Heavy Equipment Mechanic

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
Position Summary:Must have significant experience with various mechanical, hydraulic and electrical systems associated heavy equipment. Must be willing and able to work indoors, outdoors and on job sites. Primary responsibilities will include service and repair work on our fleet of misc. heavy...
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Mechanical Upgrade/Install Engineer

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
Mechanical Upgrade/Install EngineerOur client is seeking a Mechanical Upgrade/Install Engineer to join their team in Hillsboro, OR. This role will install leading edge systems, at the customer site, within specifications, on time, with quality exceeding the customer’s expectations. Our client is...
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Hillsboro, OR

Maintenance Mechanic LD

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
Our Mission: At STERIS, we help our Customers create a healthier and safer world by providing innovative healthcare and life science product and service solutions around the globe.Who we are: STERIS is a growing provider of infection prevention and other procedural products and services through our...
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St. Louis, MO

Business Analytics, Marketing and Administrative

Type: Part Time
We are seeking an energetic and outgoing Business Analytics Marketing Administrator to assist with marketing aspects for business development and recruiting!Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc., (AMA) is proud of our customer relationships, our diverse and dynamic work environment, and our...
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