Small Engine Mechanics

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Small Engine Mechanics

Small Engine Mechanics


Education

What’s needed: Most small engine mechanics complete either a certificate in small engine mechanics or hold an A.A. degree in small engine mechanics. The majority of small engine mechanics also complete training updates and refresher courses to stay apprised of new developments in the field.

What you study:

You will study all of the following in a small engine mechanics program:

  • Small Engine Performance and Tune-Up
  • Small Engine Electrical Systems
  • Fuel and Fluid Handling
  • Small Engine Troubleshooting
  • Power Tool Repair
  • Lawnmower and Outdoor Equipment Repair
  • Two-cycle and Four-cycle Engine Repair

What courses you’ll take

Below are examples of courses that you’ll likely take as a small engine repair or technology student.

Course Studies Purpose
Small Engine Service Principles Reviews the principles of operation for small gasoline engines and associated components and systems. This includes: two and four stroke engines; lubrication cooling; fuel systems; governor speed control; cutter decks; chains; and clutches. A focus is placed on teaching diagnosis and resolution of faults. Teach basics of small engine operation and troubleshooting as a foundation for further classroom studies and field experience.
Small Engine Four Stroke Engines Reviews design basics of four stroke engines transmissions and transaxles. Emphasizes overhaul procedures tools used fasteners; inspection and measurement of equipment components. Ready students to diagnose repair and overhaul four stroke engines.
Small Engine Two Stroke Engines Reviews operation and overhaul basics for two stroke engines most typically for lawn and garden equipment. Focuses on proper procedure for the engine and any drive components. Prepare students to repair two stroke gasoline engines.
Small Engine Tune Up Teaches how to analyze and adjust engines for optimal performance including: valves; fuel systems; starter; cutter; and safety systems. Studies focus on use of equipment and tune up procedures in the shop. Give students expertise needed to tune up small engine equipment for optimal and safe performance.
Small Engine Drive Systems Operation diagnosis disassembly reassembly and servicing of the drive systems found on small engine equipment such as lawn mowers snow blowers and weed trimmers. Drives covered include: belts; chains; pulleys; and gears. Ready students to completely repair the drive systems found on a variety of small engine equipment.
Small Engine Electrical Systems Covers theory of operation for the various electrical circuits found on small engine equipment such as circuits for: ignition and magnetos; charging batteries; starting; and safety systems. Topics include fundamentals of electricity and magnetism. Reviews diagnostic tests color codes wiring schematics equipment and repairs. Prepare students to analyze electrical system problems and complete repairs.
Field Experience Work with an employer to practice studies in a workplace setting. Includes an individualized plan that combines goals of students school and employer. Relate classroom studies to real working situations fully readying students to move into full-time small engine mechanic positions.


Video Overview

Shows the work of small engine mechanics. Created for the US Dept. of Labor.


Certifications and Licensing

No formal certification is needed in order to become a small engine mechanic. However many professionals in this field take tests offered by the Institute for Automotive Service Excellence so that they can be awarded ASE certification.


Job Flexibility

Full-time versus part-time:

As a small engine mechanic you will generally be able to decide if you would like to work a full-time or part-time schedule. If you work for a manufacturer or dealership you will likely be required to work a full-time schedule.

Work location:

You will complete the majority of your work in a shop or garage. You have the opportunity to move around throughout the day and can take breaks as needed so long as you complete work according to a determined schedule.


Recommended Websites

  • U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook for Small Engine Mechanics: The Bureau of Labor Statistics website offers general information about careers in small engine mechanics. Prospective mechanics will find information about career outlooks and average salaries in this field. It is important that individuals who are interested in careers in small engine mechanics also consult sites with more qualitative information about this profession.
  • The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence: ASE is the premier association for mechanics and students in this field. The ASE website provides a wealth of information about becoming certified in many different fields of mechanics. Resources to help students who plan on taking certification tests are also provided making this an excellent site for beginning small engine mechanics.
  • Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association: The AMRA website offers information about client relations and training in the field of automotive repairs. Brochures and pamphlets to help explain common mechanical issues to customers are also provided on the site. While this site is designed for automotive mechanics it is still an excellent resource for new small engine mechanics who have not worked in a repair shop before.


Salaries by City

See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column — for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.

State City / Region Typical Salary Salary Range Job Count % of All Jobs
AL Birmingham – Hoover $30150 $22K – $43K 70 0.02%
AL Dothan $20550 $16K – $36K N/A N/A
AL Florence – Muscle Shoals $28250 $17K – $37K N/A N/A
AL Mobile $32030 $21K – $49K 40 0.02%
AR Fayetteville – Springdale – Rogers $25880 $17K – $30K 90 0.04%
AR Little Rock – North Little Rock – Conway $27080 $19K – $31K 120 0.04%
AZ Phoenix – Mesa – Glendale $28820 $19K – $51K 430 0.03%
CA Fresno $27530 $22K – $36K N/A N/A
CA Los Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale (Metro Area) $36900 $28K – $60K 110 0.00%
CA Riverside – San Bernardino – Ontario $32140 $18K – $47K 110 0.01%
CA Sacramento – Arden – Arcade – Roseville $40300 $25K – $55K 50 0.01%
CA San Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos $32180 $26K – $48K N/A N/A
CA San Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City (Metro Area) $37540 $28K – $60K 40 0.00%
CA San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara $44120 $34K – $59K 40 0.00%
CA Santa Ana – Anaheim – Irvine (Metro Area) $34850 $28K – $53K 100 0.01%
CA Santa Rosa – Petaluma $40350 $21K – $46K N/A N/A
CO Colorado Springs $31550 $21K – $50K 40 0.01%
CO Denver – Aurora – Broomfield $35550 $27K – $51K 290 0.02%
CO Fort Collins – Loveland $40770 $25K – $51K 50 0.04%
CO Grand Junction $28330 $23K – $54K N/A N/A
CT Bridgeport – Stamford – Norwalk $43170 $26K – $68K 40 0.01%
CT Hartford – West Hartford – East Hartford $35230 $18K – $55K 140 0.02%
CT New Haven $33950 $26K – $65K 40 0.01%
CT Waterbury $27680 $18K – $55K N/A N/A
DC Washington – Arlington – Alexandria (Metro Area) $33450 $26K – $54K 430 0.02%
DE Wilmington (Metro Area) $34620 $22K – $48K 140 0.04%
FL Cape Coral – Fort Myers $32900 $19K – $43K 120 0.06%
FL Deltona – Daytona Beach – Ormond Beach $24090 $17K – $37K 70 0.04%
FL Fort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield Beach (Metro Area) $33180 $25K – $51K 170 0.02%
FL Jacksonville $30380 $25K – $45K 240 0.04%
FL Lakeland – Winter Haven $27450 $18K – $43K 90 0.05%
FL Miami – Miami Beach – Kendall (Metro Area) $28890 $21K – $43K 220 0.02%
FL Naples – Marco Island $21830 $17K – $36K 220 0.19%
FL North Port – Bradenton – Sarasota $27490 $21K – $40K 120 0.05%
FL Ocala $28770 $17K – $45K N/A N/A
FL Orlando – Kissimmee – Sanford $27800 $21K – $37K 420 0.04%
FL Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville $28780 $17K – $43K 80 0.04%
FL Panama City – Lynn Haven – Panama City Beach $26230 $19K – $32K 70 0.09%
FL Pensacola – Ferry Pass – Brent $27020 $18K – $34K N/A N/A
FL Port St. Lucie $26740 $20K – $44K N/A N/A
FL Punta Gorda $29010 $20K – $38K N/A N/A
FL Sebastian – Vero Beach $27020 $22K – $41K 50 0.11%
FL Tallahassee $26760 $20K – $38K 30 0.02%
FL Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater $22250 $17K – $36K 370 0.03%
FL West Palm Beach – Boca Raton – Boynton Beach (Metro Area) $31140 $22K – $43K 270 0.05%
GA Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta $39250 $26K – $56K 160 0.01%
GA Augusta – Richmond County $41280 $23K – $53K 80 0.04%
GA Savannah $25490 $21K – $40K 40 0.03%
HI Honolulu $32360 $21K – $59K N/A N/A
IA Des Moines – West Des Moines $28180 $18K – $39K 80 0.02%
IA Iowa City $27260 $17K – $32K N/A N/A
ID Boise City – Nampa $31800 $25K – $44K N/A N/A
IL Chicago – Joliet – Naperville (Metro Area) $35210 $26K – $50K 220 0.01%
IL Lake County – Kenosha County (Metro Area) $48420 $33K – $61K 70 0.02%
IL Peoria $28650 $20K – $37K 50 0.03%
IN Elkhart – Goshen $29550 $22K – $47K N/A N/A
IN Fort Wayne $27630 $22K – $38K 70 0.04%
IN Gary (Metro Area) $33410 $17K – $55K N/A N/A
IN Indianapolis – Carmel $35710 $23K – $45K 210 0.02%
IN Lafayette $23900 $21K – $40K 40 0.05%
IN Michigan City – La Porte $29820 $21K – $37K 30 0.07%
IN South Bend – Mishawaka $30590 $20K – $37K 50 0.04%
KS Topeka $22730 $20K – $30K 40 0.03%
KS Wichita $31050 $20K – $55K 30 0.01%
KY Lexington – Fayette $28330 $22K – $43K 70 0.03%
KY Louisville – Jefferson County $31780 $18K – $56K 160 0.03%
LA Baton Rouge $27770 $23K – $31K N/A N/A
LA New Orleans – Metairie – Kenner $18920 $16K – $35K N/A N/A
MA Boston – Cambridge – Quincy (Metro Area) $39150 $27K – $55K 160 0.01%
MA Lowell – Billerica – Chelmsford (Metro Area) $42930 $26K – $56K 60 0.05%
MA Springfield $37870 $29K – $47K 70 0.02%
MA Worcester $41210 $31K – $49K 110 0.04%
MD Baltimore – Towson $38190 $30K – $49K 150 0.01%
MD Bethesda – Rockville – Frederick (Metro Area) $36470 $23K – $69K 40 0.01%
MD Hagerstown – Martinsburg $27280 $20K – $40K N/A N/A
ME Portland – South Portland – Biddeford $34660 $29K – $38K N/A N/A
MI Grand Rapids – Wyoming $29560 $18K – $44K N/A N/A
MI Kalamazoo – Portage $36470 $27K – $46K N/A N/A
MI Saginaw – Saginaw Township North $18840 $16K – $45K 50 0.06%
MI Warren – Troy – Farmington Hills (Metro Area) $28780 $21K – $49K 150 0.01%
MN Duluth $26300 $20K – $36K 30 0.03%
MN Minneapolis – St. Paul – Bloomington $37940 $27K – $48K N/A N/A
MN St. Cloud $32070 $19K – $40K 40 0.04%
MO Kansas City $37170 $22K – $52K 210 0.02%
MO Springfield $26360 $17K – $43K N/A N/A
MO St. Joseph $22840 $20K – $33K N/A N/A
MO St. Louis $32030 $18K – $48K 280 0.02%
MS Gulfport – Biloxi $23620 $20K – $35K N/A N/A
MS Pascagoula $32800 $19K – $45K N/A N/A
MT Missoula $28000 $18K – $38K 40 0.08%
NC Asheville $26780 $18K – $33K 130 0.07%
NC Charlotte – Gastonia – Rock Hill $33540 $22K – $55K 200 0.02%
NC Durham – Chapel Hill $30590 $26K – $47K 30 0.01%
NC Hickory – Lenoir – Morganton $28350 $21K – $38K 70 0.05%
NC Raleigh – Cary $29880 $25K – $51K N/A N/A
NC Wilmington $22820 $20K – $34K N/A N/A
NE Omaha – Council Bluffs $27610 $22K – $44K N/A N/A
NH Nashua (Metro Area) $32950 $22K – $56K 70 0.05%
NH Portsmouth $34640 $26K – $56K 50 0.09%
NJ Camden (Metro Area) $33010 $22K – $46K 160 0.03%
NJ Edison – New Brunswick (Metro Area) $41620 $32K – $55K 120 0.01%
NJ Newark – Union (Metro Area) $35610 $25K – $63K 80 0.01%
NM Albuquerque $30310 $20K – $44K 50 0.01%
NV Las Vegas – Paradise $34970 $21K – $66K 70 0.01%
NV Reno – Sparks $30,930 $24K – $47K N/A N/A
NY Albany – Schenectady – Troy $29,870 $20K – $42K 100 0.02%
NY Binghamton $31,850 $19K – $46K 50 0.05%
NY Buffalo – Niagara Falls $41,580 $33K – $48K N/A N/A
NY Nassau – Suffolk (Metro Area) $27,700 $20K – $43K N/A N/A
NY New York – White Plains – Wayne (Metro Area) $46,800 $25K – $62K 240 0.00%
NY Poughkeepsie – Newburgh – Middletown $34,650 $19K – $42K 80 0.03%
NY Rochester $31,070 $19K – $48K 90 0.02%
NY Syracuse $33,180 $24K – $48K N/A N/A
NY Utica – Rome $33,590 $19K – $45K N/A N/A
OH Akron $34,610 $22K – $53K 110 0.03%
OH Canton – Massillon $24,300 $20K – $42K 40 0.03%
OH Cincinnati – Middletown $38,470 $28K – $48K 160 0.02%
OH Cleveland – Elyria – Mentor $24,110 $19K – $51K 310 0.03%
OH Columbus $29,880 $22K – $45K 80 0.01%
OH Dayton $31,760 $22K – $45K 80 0.02%
OH Lima $34,890 $31K – $38K N/A N/A
OH Steubenville – Weirton $31,080 $17K – $44K 40 0.09%
OH Toledo $24,630 $18K – $54K 130 0.04%
OH Youngstown – Warren – Boardman $27,510 $20K – $37K 40 0.02%
OK Oklahoma City $22,940 $17K – $39K 70 0.01%
OK Tulsa $34,140 $24K – $75K 120 0.03%
OR Eugene – Springfield $32,850 $19K – $38K 140 0.11%
OR Portland – Vancouver – Hillsboro $36,730 $24K – $50K 170 0.02%
PA Allentown – Bethlehem – Easton $27,000 $17K – $36K 120 0.04%
PA Harrisburg – Carlisle $29,830 $21K – $45K 50 0.01%
PA Lancaster $30,150 $20K – $41K 110 0.05%
PA Philadelphia (Metro Area) $40,320 $24K – $60K 280 0.02%
PA Pittsburgh $23,560 $20K – $38K N/A N/A
PA Reading $34,200 $21K – $45K N/A N/A
PA Scranton – Wilkes – Barre $32,280 $20K – $52K 50 0.02%
RI Providence – Fall River – Warwick $32,670 $26K – $44K 110 0.02%
SC Charleston – North Charleston – Summerville $26,840 $21K – $43K 70 0.02%
SC Columbia $32,580 $19K – $43K 60 0.02%
SC Greenville – Mauldin – Easley $32,640 $19K – $48K 130 0.04%
SC Myrtle Beach – North Myrtle Beach – Conway $32,360 $17K – $39K 50 0.04%
TN Chattanooga $27,320 $19K – $44K 40 0.02%
TN Johnson City $25,080 $20K – $30K N/A N/A
TN Kingsport – Bristol – Bristol $24,120 $17K – $37K 50 0.04%
TN Knoxville $30,210 $22K – $38K 30 0.01%
TN Memphis $24,890 $20K – $53K 100 0.02%
TN Morristown $22,690 $17K – $29K 30 0.08%
TN Nashville – Davidson – Murfreesboro – Franklin $23,570 $19K – $41K N/A N/A
TX Austin – Round Rock – San Marcos $33,080 $25K – $57K 80 0.01%
TX Beaumont – Port Arthur $27,140 $21K – $35K 150 0.10%
TX Brownsville – Harlingen $25,020 $19K – $44K 40 0.03%
TX Dallas – Plano – Irving (Metro Area) $37,120 $23K – $54K 160 0.01%
TX El Paso $31,970 $23K – $58K 30 0.01%
TX Fort Worth – Arlington (Metro Area) $33,100 $26K – $42K 100 0.01%
TX Houston – Sugar Land – Baytown $29,670 $18K – $47K 520 0.02%
TX McAllen – Edinburg – Mission $22,470 $18K – $32K 40 0.02%
TX San Antonio – New Braunfels $32,990 $24K – $45K 210 0.02%
TX Tyler $23,670 $20K – $45K 30 0.03%
UT Logan $33,980 $21K – $51K 30 0.06%
UT Ogden – Clearfield $42,260 $24K – $48K N/A N/A
VA Blacksburg – Christiansburg – Radford $26,110 $20K – $30K 40 0.06%
VA Richmond $33,480 $25K – $55K N/A N/A
VA Virginia Beach – Norfolk – Newport News $34,940 $23K – $47K 150 0.02%
VT Burlington – South Burlington $30,280 $25K – $52K 50 0.05%
WA Kennewick – Pasco – Richland $26,770 $22K – $39K 50 0.05%
WA Seattle – Bellevue – Everett (Metro Area) $35,800 $23K – $49K 120 0.01%
WA Spokane $26,450 $21K – $33K N/A N/A
WA Tacoma (Metro Area) $36,320 $32K – $48K 90 0.03%
WI Appleton $31,340 $17K – $38K 80 0.07%
WI Fond du Lac $26,090 $21K – $37K 60 0.14%
WI Madison $31,300 $18K – $43K 90 0.03%
WI Milwaukee – Waukesha – West Allis $31,720 $21K – $48K 200 0.02%
WI Wausau $23,420 $21K – $29K 30 0.05%
WV Charleston $27,630 $18K – $34K N/A N/A
WV Parkersburg – Marietta – Vienna $24,510 $18K – $36K 40 0.06%

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