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 Powersports mechanic training in Des Moines, small engine mechanic certification in Des Moines

Powersports Equipment & Small Engine Mechanic Career Profile - Des Moines


Small engines can be found in so many different tools and appliances, doing a lot of work for people in recreational, industrial and home applications. But even the best built and maintained engine will run into problems eventually causing real trouble for the people and businesses that rely on these machines. As a small engine mechanic you can be the one to solve these problems, making a career out of working on powersports equipment and other small engines.

Job Outlook and Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, analyzes data on all types of careers throughout the United States. According to the BLS, small engine mechanics:

  • Can expect to see an increase in the employment of small engine mechanics of 6% over the decade from 2012 through 2022.
  • Earned a nationwide median yearly salary of $30,500 in 2013.
  • Earned a nationwide median hourly salary of $14.68 in 2013.
  • Small engine mechanics in Des Moines, IA made an annual median wage of $27,400 and a median hourly pay of $13.17 in 2013.

It is important to note that while Des Moines small engine mechanics made slightly less than the national numbers, the national data includes numbers from the biggest and most expensive cities in the country. The pay for small engine mechanics in Des Moines is competitive compared to the estimated per capita income in the city. According to City Data, the estimated per capita income in Des Moines in 2012 was $23,045.

Outline of Career Path

There are a surprising variety of small engines out there, including lawnmowers, motorcycles, weed eaters, various types of sports equipment, boat motors and more. Because there are so many different types of engines, small engine mechanics may pursue numerous different career paths once they enter the field. This is why there is no single career path model for small engine mechanics.
Some of the different career paths for small engine mechanics include:

  • Powersports equipment mechanic – If you are into motorized sports this might be an appealing path. The more experience you gain in this industry, the greater the opportunities to work on your favorite types of equipment and even in competitive scenarios.
  • Lawn and garden mechanic – Some small engine mechanics choose to focus on the practical side – one with steady demand and high seasons in spring and fall.
  • Hardware store – Stores that sell small engine machines need specialists that can work on those machines when necessary. This may be a more customer service oriented job, depending on the company.
  • Business owner – Many small engine mechanics choose to go out on their own and build a business doing what they love. It takes hard work and perseverance, but it is possible to be successful as an independent small engine mechanic.

Education and Training for Powersports Equipment & Small Engine Mechanics

There are no specific education requirements – aside from a high school diploma - for becoming a small engine mechanic. Some people choose to go straight out of high school and into the industry. However, there are advantages to getting an education prior to going on the job hunt.

According to the BLS, competition in this industry is fierce. Many employers are seeking applicants that have been trained in using computerized diagnostic systems and are familiar with working on modern small engines. Newer engines are designed to reduce emissions and are more complicated than older models. This means that small engine mechanic training can make you more competitive in the industry.

So while it is not necessarily required go through powersports equipment mechanic training or small engine mechanic training, it is recommended for individuals just entering this career field. Education programs are also a good opportunity for current small engine mechanics to get a leg up on the competition and to further advance an existing small engine mechanic career.
According to the BLS, “Job opportunities are expected to be better for candidates with postsecondary education.” 

Resources for Powersports Equipment & Small Engine Mechanics

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics page for small engine mechanics
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics page for Des Moines, IA occupations – including small engine mechanics.
  • Career One Stop (sponsored by the BLS)