Mechanic is a very general term than covers a wide variety of jobs. Most mechanics specialize in the service and repair of one kind of equipment. For example, motorcycle mechanics repair and overhaul motorcycles and other all-terrain vehicles. They repair engines, work on transmissions, brakes, and ignition systems. Motorboat mechanics, or marine equipment mechanics, repair and adjust the electrical and mechanical equipment of boat engines. Outdoor power equipment and other small engine mechanics service and repair lawnmowers, garden tractors, edge trimmers, and chain saws. Routine maintenance is also part of the mechanic's work.

Due to the increasing complexity of mechanical devices, employers nowadays prefer to hire mechanics who have graduated from formal training programs. Some still learn their skills on the job, and some are prodigies who have an affinity for all things mechanical. Many got their basic skills through working on automobiles, motorcycles, and other equipment as a hobby.

The average hourly earnings of motorcycle mechanics are $13.70. Motorboat mechanics earn $14.74 per hour, and those who service outdoor power equipment and small engines make $11.98 per hour.

Many government jobs for mechanics can be found locally. Cities and states have fleets of vehicles that must be serviced. Your local parks and recreation department contains legions of lawnmowers that occasionally will go kaput. The pay for these jobs can be quite good. The city of Phoenix, Arizona recently advertised for a heavy-duty maintenance mechanic. The pay range was $46,000 to $55,000 per year, but it required four years of skilled experience.

For more details about work opportunities, you can contact your local motorcycle, motorboat, and lawn and garden equipment dealers, boatyards, and marinas. Your state employment service also may have information about employment and training opportunities.

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