Posted in Career Insights
how to become a small engine mechanic

Small engine mechanics service, repair, and maintain motors in small machines such as lawnmowers, power equipment, motorcycles, and boats. A small engine mechanic may have a general working knowledge of many types of small engines or may specialize in one specific area, like motorcycles or outdoor power equipment.

Small engine mechanic work is primarily seasonal. Even if a small engine mechanic does work year-round, they may find that they work fewer hours at some times of the year. Mechanics may work in a repair shop or be self-employed.

At Stratford Career Institute, we offer a first step to becoming a small engine mechanic. Our small engine mechanic course offers foundational education where you can learn the basics of the field.

Small Engine Mechanic Duties and Skills for the Job

Whether you work at a dealership, a hardware store, a repair shop, or anywhere else that needs a small engine mechanic on staff, a small engine mechanic’s duties often include:

  • Discussing issues and repairs with clients,
  • Performing routine maintenance,
  • Testing engine performance,
  • Ordering engine parts,
  • Advising customers,
  • Maintaining their equipment and place of business,
  • Keeping records of maintenance performed, and
  • Replacing defective and worn-out parts.

Besides having regular duties to take care of while working as a small engine mechanic, there are a variety of skills a small motor mechanic needs to succeed.

Skills that small engine mechanics often need are:

  • Mechanical skills,
  • Customer service,
  • Computer or technical skills,
  • Attention to details, and
  • Organizational skills.

Any good small engine mechanic needs to have these skills. You can learn these skills and many others on the job or by taking a small engine repair class. A class will prepare you for both the customer service and technical skills needed for the job.

Types of Engines a Small Engine Mechanic Works on

A small engine mechanic may work on a variety of different engines for the following equipment:

A small engine mechanic may have experience working with all the above engines or have a specialty, such as just motorcycles or boats.

Small Engine Mechanic Education Requirements

In general, to become a small engine mechanic, you need a high school diploma, knowledge of small engines, and possibly a post-secondary education, license, or certificate.

High School Diploma or GED

The minimum education required to become a small engine mechanic is usually a high school diploma or a GED certificate. You can gain experience, take a training course, or enroll in a degree program.

Although you can get a position working as a small engine mechanic with just a high school diploma and some previous experience, in some areas, you will have to complete a certification or training program to work as a small engine mechanic. 

Small Engine Mechanics Course

A small engine repair class may help set you apart from other job applicants. When you take a small engine repair class, you can learn many skills that can help you in your career as a small motor mechanic. Not only can you learn everything there is to know about taking apart and putting a small engine back together, but you’ll also learn different types of engines, and tools for your workshop.

Stratford Career Institute’s Small Engine Repair Distance Learning Course is a convenient and affordable place to begin learning more about how to repair small engines. This practical course covers a wide range of material while allowing you to study at a pace that is best for you.

Our course covers many topics, such as:

  • Basics of small engine design;
  • Typical small engine maintenance and repair tasks;
  • How some small engine machines work;
  • Safety when working with small engines;
  • Fundamentals of electricity, magnetism, and electronics;
  • Two-cycle and four-cycle engines;
  • Ignition systems;
  • Preventative maintenance;
  • Troubleshooting;
  • Engine disassembly and inspection; and
  • Specifics about certain small engines. 

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Consider a Postsecondary Degree

Keep in mind, if you decide to pursue a career as a small engine mechanic, getting an associate or bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering can greatly increase your job opportunities. These small engine repair training courses and degree programs range from two to four years. 

While you do not need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to get most small engine mechanic jobs, having one can open up more career opportunities or help you set up your own business.

Getting a postsecondary degree can teach you advanced skills that you can use to further your career.

Consider Mechanic Licenses and Certifications

Depending on your specialty, you may want to consider getting a certification. A certification can demonstrate your competency in your field and may help you earn more money.

You can usually get certified through different companies and manufacturers to work on their products. You can also get a certification from the Equipment & Engine Training Council to show your experience working with outdoor power equipment. To work with motorcycles, you may need a driver’s license.

Bonus: Know the Value of Experience

Aside from education, understand that experience goes a long way. Experience teaches you how to act in given situations, allowing you to learn from your triumphs and failures.

Some employers value experience over education. It all depends on their perspective and the position they are trying to fill.

Small Engine Mechanic’s Income

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a small engine mechanic makes an average of $44,080 per year or $21.19 per hour. 

The income is dependent on a variety of factors, including the following:

  • Education, 
  • Experience,
  • Geographic location, and
  • Use of sophisticated technology.

Whether employed by a company or self-employed, reputation can also affect your ability to generate income.

Job Outlook for Small Engine Mechanics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the job market for small engine mechanics will grow by three percent from 2022 to 2032.

Small engine mechanics generally find more work in the spring and summer months for work on boats and lawn care machinery. Winter months tend to be slower. However, in locations where winter sports dominate, there may be a peak for work on snowmobiles.

Learn More About Small Engine Mechanics at Stratford Career Institute

Stratford Career Institute offers introductory guided, home study courses in various subjects. Our goal is to provide a helpful initial step with essential information and skills in a subject area that you can use to further your career ambitions or general desire for knowledge.

Our small engine mechanics course can provide you with the steps to differentiate yourself and continue building your education and experience

.If this seems like a career field that interests you, check out Stratford Career Institute’s Small Engine Repair Distance Learning Course today!


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