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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For your profession i mean. Everything from snowmobiles to jet skis to lawn mowers. This profession kind of intrests me and since im becoming the age i need to figure of where im going I thought id askl anyone here who was one. What kind of collage or courses did you have to take.. or what kind of collages offer them? Any info would be appreciated, Thanks!
 

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I'm not going into that field, but most tech colleges offer small engines. I believe most are 2 year, some are 1 year programs, but it's been a long time since I have looked into it.

Here is a link to NDSCS' program. I would assume it's about the same as other tech programs.

http://www.ndscs.edu/instruct/curriculum/techsvcsdean/RecreationalEnginesTechnology.htm
 

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When I worked at a boat marine shop a couple summers back, I believe the mechanic that I worked under had a degree from a school in Detroit Lakes, MN in small enginges. I also believe that i have heard of a similar program in Alexandria, MN. If I recall correctly one of those two schools is top notch for small/recreational engines certification.
 

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If your looking into that field then go to no other than
M.M.I-Motorcycle mechanics institute.A friend of mine went there and when he was finished he had a handfull of job offers waiting for him.He decided on being a mechanic for a superbike racing team in california making a good buck.Look them up on the web and have a packet sent to your house.Also most people have heard of orange county choppers tv show,Well that's where most of them went to.That shows you what kind of school it is.Take care,sparkyd31
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
alright thanks for the info guys!
 

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also chekc out north dakota state college of science. they have a small engine class that is for all sorts of things like you mentioned. I know they had a good john deere program there. since we almost always send a team to the national contest. I got second in state and 7th in national.


on a side not for the money aspect. look at what a mojority of people are making. I got out of mechanics because of the future. I came in gold rated with john deere. and would be at top pay in a matter of a year. but when I looked at the future. getting 25 cent a year raises was a joke. and then for family it was crazy on what health care was costing. 15 dollars per hour will barely support a family if both of you are working. I went to the labors union instead. started out at 18.50 per hour, got to 22.20 per hour in a matter of months. plus a great and free health care for the family and a good real good pension.

if you do become a small engine mechanic. give eric at bikemans performance a call. you will work for one to several comapanies, and do as much cash work as you can at home as well. once you get some years under you it wont be to bad to try and have your own shop. unless your in minnesota. then it sucks tohave your own buisness. lawn mowers,snowblowers, are a very good buisness. once you have a reputation in a town or area, then you can have your own weekend store, so you go to your job during the day. at night and weekends you put in a little extra hours, pick up dealerships for parts and possibly sales, but the biggest thing is to be able to make money and provide parts. labor is pure money, but if you cant get parts or dont make money on parts you are loosing money. I am getting a little far in the future but you need to think some day you might have a family to support.
 

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yea i was kinda hoping to go into that field too, probably just snowmobiles and four wheelers, or i might go for an auto mechanic, but small engines are a lot easier to work on, and there are two powersport places around here that i know i could get a job at so i will probably go into that field.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Originally posted by madcow
[br]also chekc out north dakota state college of science. they have a small engine class that is for all sorts of things like you mentioned. I know they had a good john deere program there. since we almost always send a team to the national contest. I got second in state and 7th in national.


on a side not for the money aspect. look at what a mojority of people are making. I got out of mechanics because of the future. I came in gold rated with john deere. and would be at top pay in a matter of a year. but when I looked at the future. getting 25 cent a year raises was a joke. and then for family it was crazy on what health care was costing. 15 dollars per hour will barely support a family if both of you are working. I went to the labors union instead. started out at 18.50 per hour, got to 22.20 per hour in a matter of months. plus a great and free health care for the family and a good real good pension.

if you do become a small engine mechanic. give eric at bikemans performance a call. you will work for one to several comapanies, and do as much cash work as you can at home as well. once you get some years under you it wont be to bad to try and have your own shop. unless your in minnesota. then it sucks tohave your own buisness. lawn mowers,snowblowers, are a very good buisness. once you have a reputation in a town or area, then you can have your own weekend store, so you go to your job during the day. at night and weekends you put in a little extra hours, pick up dealerships for parts and possibly sales, but the biggest thing is to be able to make money and provide parts. labor is pure money, but if you cant get parts or dont make money on parts you are loosing money. I am getting a little far in the future but you need to think some day you might have a family to support.
So pretty much fresh outta collage its hard to find good paying work ?

I figured that. I looked into it a little. it seemed like you really have to have good business sence and everything to go far in the career.
 

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hey im not a small engine mechanis but i really want to be one and i found the best way to become one is to get an apprentiseship at a place that fixes that kinda stuff
 

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Small engine mechanic seems like kind of a deadend job. Only working on one thing and they are all basically the same.

However some people may say an aircraft mechanic is dead end too. But I work on everything from recip engines to turbine engines to doing sheet metal work etc....Alot more variety than just an engine mechanic.
 

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Originally out of high school I was a car mechanic. I worked at a exhaust/brake shop, a independent garage, and a saab dealer.


One thing that was repeated by everyone to me:Get out of this--when you turn 40 and start having back problems, or being in miserable conditions..not worth it.

I used my auto experience to get a 2 year computer degree, eventually into a masters.

I am definitely out of shape and overweight (I was only half this wait 15 years ago), but my body is in good shape. My one buddy already has back problems, and not much of a future or retirement.
 

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just look around and ask what your local sled mechanics are making. the one thing I saw was the older mechanics that had put in 15 years or so. and they were only making a little more than me. they had to rely on a 401k for retirement. and they never had good vehicles. if a kid or spouse was sick it was a big deal because they couldnt afford to loose that money. in the union I will have a huge pension at 62. with full medical. the fact that in 10 years I could be making 85 grand is very possible. especially with free schooling in the winter to up the ladder.


if you really want to be a small engine mechanic. go to school. get a job where ever you want or can. put in your time and learn. after 10 years you could be a service manager for a company, that will pay a lot better, or you could go out on your own. thats how we have companys like bikeman performance, price performance, and a million others. just keep looking ahead and changing with the times. having your own shop selling and servicing lawnmowers and homeowner stuff is a good career. every home owner needs a lawn mower, snow blower, other things like weed whips and chain saws. and they all need to have them serviced or fixed. doing sleds in the winter just helps offset the slow time for summer stuff.
 

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As far as it being a Dead End Job. They used to say that about Diesal Tech and Computers were the only way to go. Things have since swapped, jobs in computers are getting harder to find where as diesal technicians are on high demand and only increasing.

I really don't pay that much attention to small engines, but I would say that just because it is slow now doesn't mean it will be in 5-10 years.

Piece of advice. Just because that's something you enjoy to do at home from time to time does not mean you will like it as a job. It's totally different.

I always liked working on farm machinery and as I found out at my SOE, it's not the same. You have to get things done in a certain amount of time, if you screw up the customer and the service manager are on your back, and the biggest thing that I found as a dissapointment; when you get done working on something at home you get to run it whereas, when you get something done at the shop you turn around and start on something completely different. It's alot harder to have that since of pride.

Even though it's good to go into something you enjoy, you will want to really think about it. Just know it's not going to be like working on your or your parents stuff.

*edit* - Perhaps you should try getting a job in that field. You probably won't get to work on things all of the time, but I am sure they will let you do simple things from time to time.

It never hurts to talk to mechanics about it either.
 

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I would have to agree with ACG, I am an aircraft mechanic for the canadian airforce, and it is awesome. Currently I work on the c-130 hercules engines. but there is all kinds of oppurtunity working on planes, and every day is different, and the coolest thing about my job is that when I am done fixing the engine I get to run the plane. So if thinking about mechanics maybe give this a shot.
 

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unless your going to open your own shop, your not going to make much $$$.
to open your own shop you need the trust of your local community.
go to school, get your ticket. then get some experience. then, when you get the chance, open your own shop.
 

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Originally posted by bigshooter80
[br]I would have to agree with ACG, I am an aircraft mechanic for the canadian airforce, and it is awesome. Currently I work on the c-130 hercules engines. but there is all kinds of oppurtunity working on planes, and every day is different, and the coolest thing about my job is that when I am done fixing the engine I get to run the plane. So if thinking about mechanics maybe give this a shot.
Far more responsibility too I would say. When the engine quits its not just pull over or get to the side of the trail and call someone to get it serviced. You have to make sure it is done right the first time no matter what. You will get to see the finished result if you are working for anything other than the airlines. You get to see it take off and fly, and more than likely you will be in it because you worked on it. If you won't fly in it after maintenance, you better not be there because you didn't do a good enough job on it. If you can't go home at night and sleep, don't go home. It really is rewarding to stay up all night changing an engine, get 2 hours of sleep and get up and do some ground runs and go fly around and know that you are safe.
 
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