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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bicycle Mechanic Jobs & Salaries

Bike shops are ALWAYS looking to hire more bicycle mechanics, especially in the Spring. The problem however is the Old Catch 22... they only want experienced mechanics who know what they are doing, don't need to be taught anything and do what they're told.

And because every bike shop is different and follows their own set of rules as to the proper way to fix a bicycle (most of them don't do things "by the book"). Worse some bicycle mechanics who have been at a bicycle shop a long time have some serious ego problems and will deride new mechanics, complain about their lack of skills/experience (even if the new mechanic is actually older or even more experienced) because they see the new mechanic as a threat.

If you were thinking of escaping office politics by becoming a bicycle mechanic, think again. Some bicycle mechanics think the shop is their "turf" and the moment you step on their turf you had better do what they say or they will find some excuse to either not hire you or get you fired.

And for what?

Why would anyone want to go through this nonsense and put up with backstabbing / egotistical co-workers with a serious personality problem like that? For getting paid minimum wage or barely above it (this is true, although it varies from state to state, province to province depending on what the local minimum wage is).

Well as some bicycle mechanics put it, its all about the lifestyle. They just love fixing bicycles.

It would have to be the lifestyle because the average salary for a bicycle mechanic is horrible. Minimum wage or barely above minimum wage. Depending on where you go bicycle mechanics can get up to $30,000 per year in wages... but that is only if you are really experienced and know what you are doing.

Otherwise don't expect much in terms of salary. The good news is if your job resume is good a bicycle mechanic can EASILY find work. Bicycle mechanics are always in high demand. If you don't like a particular shop, you can easily quit and work some place else within days.

But if your resume is short on experience then bicycle shops don't even want to look at you.

I'd argue the best way to get hired as a bicycle mechanic if you don't have experience is to first get training (see my posts about bicycle mechanic schools) and then you have several options...

#1. Go to every bicycle shop near you and give them your resume. Your resume should be based on skills instead of experience. Talk about your ability to fix brakes, shocks, derailleurs, etc.

#2. Become friends with other bicycle mechanics and/or managers. Bug them into hiring you.

#3. Beg the manager to give you a chance. Get down on your freaking knees when you do it just to show them you are serious.

#4. If all else fails, grab your tools and setup shop down the street from a bike shop or across the street and offer "free bicycle repairs, donations accepted!" When the manager of the bike shop realizes they are losing business to you and that all you want is a chance to prove you can do it they will rethink hiring you.

2 comments:

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  2. My David doesn't make much money at being a bicycle mechanic but he loves it. Being his own boss, helping people, working partially outside in the summer, problem solving and being challenged. He's a mechanical engineer and is crazy about the history, the practicality and the beauty of these machines. If only we could see a way of maintaining business throughout the winter we would have it all figured out.

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