Hi all. My name is Colin; I know what I like, and I like bicycles.
I'm looking to go to UBI in the fall and pursue a career as Professional Bicycle Mechanic. I was wondering if anyone knew of any other schools or had any adivce for me before I make the commitment to any one school.
I also wanted to know if you all had any tips on actually breaking into the profession (recommendations for tool sets, places to look for jobs, etc.).
I don't have personal experience, but volunteering is a good way to break into any business. Find a charity ride or local 1 day race and ask the organizers if they need volunteers to wrench. You'll end up getting valuable training and making good connections.
Go go UBI and learn to wrench and all of that, but forget about it as a career. Bike mechanics are a dime a dozen, and there's 10x as many people out there who know how to do high-end work as there is high-end work to be done. If you really want to make a career out of bikes and don't want to go the "get a finance degree and work for a bike company" route, find a way to get trained as a frame builder. That's not the road to riches either, but it's certainly a field where supply and demand favors those with the skills.
If you have a mechanical aptitude and are willing to study, I'd suggest pursuing an aircraft mechanic certification (A&P license). The opportunities are greater, the pay is better and you can work on bikes as a hobby.
If you have a mechanical aptitude and are willing to study, I'd suggest pursuing an aircraft mechanic certification (A&P license).
If you choose this path instead let be one of the first to impart some training: it's so simple maybe you need a refresher course. It's all ball bearings nowadays. Now you prepare that Fetzer valve with some 3-in-1 oil and some gauze pads, and I'm gonna need 'bout ten quarts of anti-freeze, preferably Prestone...
You might try mechanic in general "auto/boat/motorcycle/scooter/bike" mechanic. I think the air craft post was a good idea. The new light sport aircraft designation will surely improve the market. Bikes and airplanes are the same, ask the Wright brothers.
But I think I have to give you all kind of a set up of why I would like to do this. As of right now I am 23 years old and in the printing industry. I have kind of settled on the fact that I am not going to kmake much money in my life. Nor do I have any plans to. I dont have a family or any other underlying commitments. I dont plan to ever have a family and Im pretty stearn on that. I was just looking for any advuse anybody would be willing to impart on me, but I guess there really isnt any. Im pretty dead set on going for because if I am not going to be rich I going to do something that I highly enjoy to do. I have registerd for class' and will be heading out in Oct. Im getting as much experience as possible right now and having a blast doing it.
I have to pat you on the back for following your aspirations. I was planning on going to UBI for a long time but things turned out different. Right now I have a crappy job as a cashier but I spend my nights volunteering and the main volunteer task is to take old bikes and make them rideable again. I'm essentially a mechanic (in training, there's always more to learn) that specializes on lowend bikes. Meanwhile, for the same tuition as UBI, I'm saving up to attend a community college and get a degree in Environmental science that includes an internship (It seems every bluecollar job requires experience), more pay than a wrench, and my job would support something as positive as bikes.
A local shop here often hires salespeople requiring either sales experience or just bike knowledge. I've often thought of jumping into that route and hoping to use that position to break into wrenching.
enough about me, this thread's about you. Have fun.