There are no nationwide or state-level bicycle mechanic certification or licensure requirements. Various community colleges offer certificate and certification programs in bicycle mechanics and repair, either on their own or through groups such as bike advocacy organizations. For those hoping to become bicycle mechanics, bicycle institutes or businesses dedicated specifically to training bike mechanics also offer training and certification. A relevant bicycle mechanic and repair certificate from a comprehensive program could indeed improve a hopeful bicycle mechanic's employment prospects.
A number of bicycle mechanic programs can be found through the Internet. The "iSeekEducation" website, for example, offers information and links to several bicycle mechanic certification programs. Another example of a bicycle mechanic certification program available to all is Columbia, Missouri's, PedNet education program. PedNet's bicycle mechanic and repair programs run from 2 to 24 total hours in length. Mechanic programs offered by organizations such as Oregon's United Bicycle Institute can run several thousand dollars, though they're extremely thorough in nature.
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Effective bicycle mechanic certification programs require a combination of classroom plus hands-on experience to complete. Additionally, the more thorough and comprehensive the bicycle certification program, the more likely it is you'll need to pass a certification examination before completing it. For instance, the nation's two most widely recognized professional bicycle mechanic schools, UBI and the Barnett Bicycle Institute, require a final examination to achieve certification. A bike mechanic certification examination typically consists of a written portion combined with a practical skills test.
Most bicycle mechanics work for sporting goods and hobby stores, though employment is also found at independent local bike stores. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that bicycle repairers make a mean or average hourly wage of $12.25, or $25,250 yearly, as of May, 2012. States employing the most bicycle mechanics include California, Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania. Colorado bicycle mechanics enjoy the highest average yearly wage, at $29,700, while Michigan mechanics are the lowest paid, at $22,700.
by Tony Guerra, Demand Media
Though not highly paid, many bicycle mechanics love what they do.
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While a bicycle might appear to be a relatively simple mechanism to the untrained eye, its many parts require a skilled hand to make it perform properly. For example, 21st century multispeed road and mountain bikes feature components that are both sturdy, yet light and delicately balanced with each other. Many bicycle mechanics undergo training and work in the field before plying their trade. Increasingly, many stores selling bicycles also require the people assembling, servicing and repairing them to possess appropriate mechanic certifications.