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bike mechanic salary range in SF, CA area

Old 08-18-21, 06:01 PM
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el forestero
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bike mechanic salary range in SF, CA area

Thinking of applying for a salaried full-time position as a bike mechanic in the East Bay or elsewhere in the SF Bay Area. It's hard to get a precise read on the industry standard salary range in this region. Glassdoor.com, indeed.com and other sites give guesstimates in the $28k to $40k/yr range in some contexts, and then in other contexts the numbers are more like $50 to $60k/yr. Anybody in the field, and especially in this region, have direct experience with what the numbers are really like now for positions targeting mechanics with 3 or fewer years of professional experience?
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Old 08-18-21, 06:29 PM
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No direct info about the S Cal retail service world but n ad looking for only 3 years (or less) experience says to me an entry level position. The shop is likely trying to filter out all the wanna bes who think they have experience but don't. If this is true I would expect the salary to be at the bottom of the range of full time workers. Andy
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Old 08-18-21, 06:42 PM
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Have no idea....but would not be surprised if it is minimum wage or close

here are some links to bay area shops with opening

https://mikesbikes.com/pages/careers

no positions listed but place to look https://shop.sportsbasement.com/pages/about-us

rei, you probably need to do more refined search https://rei.jobs/careers/SearchJobs/...Direction=ASC&

here is rei in san carlos at $19 an hour https://rei.jobs/careers/JobDetail/B...n-Carlos/20378

whether these are full time or not is another question

bay area is pretty expensive to live in
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Old 08-18-21, 06:57 PM
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With the price of housing in the greater SF area it would have to be really high to be able to afford to live there. If you were only paid minimum wage, you would have to live in a tent in Golden Gate Park.
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Old 08-18-21, 08:00 PM
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You have minimal experience so I wouldn't expect much. Where in the bay are you thinking about? If you want hard numbers send me a DM.
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Old 08-18-21, 10:16 PM
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Income for Bicycle shop workers overall is not high in the USA. Or for that matter in Europe either; however, a bike shop mechanic in Europe certainly has allot more respect than in the states. MUTA (Mechanics' Union of Trade Associations) puts San Fransisco bicycle mechanics at some of the highest paid workers in the USA at 30-35K. From what I hear that's not enough to live on in the Great SF...
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Old 08-19-21, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Income for Bicycle shop workers overall is not high in the USA. Or for that matter in Europe either; however, a bike shop mechanic in Europe certainly has allot more respect than in the states. MUTA (Mechanics' Union of Trade Associations) puts San Fransisco bicycle mechanics at some of the highest paid workers in the USA at 30-35K. From what I hear that's not enough to live on in the Great SF...
The only Mechanics' Union of Trade Associations I can find is the long-disbanded one mentioned in this article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechan...e_Associations

I'd be interested in looking at the source of info you're talking about if you could clear up what MUTA you're referring to. Thanks!
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Old 08-19-21, 08:02 AM
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(20+) World Bicycle Mechanic Forum | Groups | Facebook Andy
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Old 08-19-21, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by el forestero View Post
...I'd be interested in looking at the source of info you're talking about if you could clear up what MUTA you're referring to. Thanks!
My BAD!!! I was wrong on the data source. I found the data listed under a data table labeled MUTA when doing a search with The Bureau of Labor Statistics. I then looked up MUTA and assumed it was the Mechanics Union. I should have researched further.

Also... I returned to the site and tried the search again and could not come to the same data table. Or any usefully data table for Bicycle Mechanics in the San Fransisco area. I even went into my browser history and tried bringing up the same page I went to yesterday. Nada! Could not find it. It was there but I cannot find it.

OK... I am an unreliable source of income for bicycle mechanics in the San Francisco area and that's for sure. My apologies.

It would appear that taking a trip to the area and talking face to face with bicycle mechanics in that area would be best. Or rather the most reliable method of gathering your information.

With much embarrassment, I apologize again...

I found the data under MUTA at the web site: US Bureau of Labor Statistics> Occupational groups by region> annual income 2019>... I cannot find that derivative again. I keep plugging in my search quire and get thrown into a loop.

https://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2020/o...areas/home.htm
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Old 08-20-21, 04:05 AM
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If you ever found out please share.
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Old 08-20-21, 12:15 PM
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The salary range in SF is probably Poverty to Low income
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Old 08-20-21, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
The salary range in SF is probably Poverty to Low income
And this is pretty much what every entry level position in a LBS is anywhere in the country. I learned one sure fire way to be able to remain in the LBS world as a worker is to have a smart and well off partner, or some other source of income/subsidized living arrangement. Andy
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Old 08-20-21, 02:27 PM
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I could be wrong, but I think the highest income job at the bike shop is the bike fitter.
If you ski, you would know how important the boot fitter is, especially when you get older. I see a parallel need in the bike world- a specialist who can create footbeds, adjust cant angles, reduce heel lift, measure and correct cleat angles, q-factors, etc. Maybe even a way to customize saddles.
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Old 08-20-21, 03:02 PM
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I suspect most shop fitters also do a lot of other work. Sales, wrenching, ownership... This is the case in the last 3 shops I've been in that had fitting as a service. I will also speculate that most fitters are far older and have many more years of experience then the entry level workers the OP likely was. Andy
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Old 08-20-21, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
I could be wrong, but I think the highest income job at the bike shop is the bike fitter.
If you ski, you would know how important the boot fitter is, especially when you get older. I see a parallel need in the bike world- a specialist who can create footbeds, adjust cant angles, reduce heel lift, measure and correct cleat angles, q-factors, etc. Maybe even a way to customize saddles.
At least per hour. Seems like bike fitters make over $100 an hour if not more vs bike mechanic I guess $15 to $20 an hour.
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Old 08-21-21, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
At least per hour. Seems like bike fitters make over $100 an hour if not more vs bike mechanic I guess $15 to $20 an hour.
Charge or "make"?
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Old 08-21-21, 08:22 AM
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Local fitters charge $400 or so for a couple of hours work. They can "survive" if there's enough demand.
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Old 08-21-21, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Local fitters charge $400 or so for a couple of hours work. They can "survive" if there's enough demand.
Just backing this out, $400 at 2 hours of actual fitting, 20 minutes of answering questions to random people for every actual fit, two 20 minute follow up conversations per fit. Aim really high and go for 50% utilization of time and say the shop take is 50% (I just made that number up). Your real $/hour in that scenario is $400/6 hours = $33.33/hour. At 40 hours/week you make $69k/year. Back in 2018 the cutoff for an individual to qualify for low income housing was just over $82k. Cutoff for a family was a bit over $117k.
Yes, it is a bit cheaper outside the city and yes, there are a lot of people who have lower rent due to the local rent control laws if they havenít moved in a while, you could have several housemates, etc., but it isnít a short path to riches even once you get the skills to command that price.
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Old 08-22-21, 06:46 PM
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Thanks for the replies, all. I just asked a local employer the usual starting pay range and was told it's $15 to $19, depending on qualifications/experience.
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Old 08-22-21, 07:15 PM
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Good luck finding a place remotely close to the central bay area that you can afford on $19.00/hr. Unless you've got roommates, live in a closet, or have a significant other that makes good money.
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Old 08-22-21, 09:46 PM
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https://sfist.com/2021/07/03/minimum...-is-it-enough/

You should consider setting your sights higher. I do get it that you love working with bicycles, but realistically there is no way to pay the bills!

Find an alternate career path that offers you a chance for advancement, and all important health insurance, and wages with that increase significantly as your responsibilities expand and your performance goals within the company are exceeded. There is an old saying: "You Gotta Achieve Before Ya Can Receive!"
You must distinguish yourself as a most valuable member of the firm. It is a rat race. Average folks are interchangibly replaceable. I know this sounds harsh but it is the way that things have been in the modern world since the turn of the century.
If you are leaning more towards average and are simply looking to clock out at five and have no worries until eight AM the next day, then you need to focus on seeking a goverment agency position in either some federal agency, or state goverment agency-dept, or local goverment administrative position or local department such as public works, recreation, animal services, libraries, tax assessor dept, water works, public assistance, and other depts. Well, this would allow you to earn a living and pay the bills and it will come with a quality benefits package with health insurance and retirement plan, as well as a very good maternity leave, and superb sick day and paid vacation days. Often if you maintain great health and stay illness free, they sometimes give you the unused sick days as paid vacation time in the following year(s).
WHAT THE HECK AM I SAYING? I am saying that you need to Find a F@#$ing REAL JOB that can PAY THE BILLS and allow you the opportunity to marry and have children and raise said children without being a welfare recipient! I'm sure you are intelligent and capable and you likely already possess the prerequisites for at least an entry level municipal position, and even if you have some otherwise useless bachelors degree in English ......or Psychology, or Philosophy, or History, or Basketweaving, or Physical Education........................that QUALIFIES YOU FOR Decent Starting Positions Within MUNICIPAL GOVT AGENCIES, STATE AGENCIES, AND FEDERAL GOVT AGENCIES & DEPTS because you have a four year degree from an accredited University. So even Blutarsky, the legend who took nine and a half years to graduate with a 2.01 gpa majoring in Recreation ............Blutarsky is a legend for being on the Dean's list of most suspensions, and for the largest consumption of alcohol during his stint at the University of - - - - - - - - -. , can land a decent paying position out of college with some govermental agency or municipal department because Blutarsky has a Degree.
True, you don't see folks taking 9+ years in College today because it costs so damn much but you still did in the 1970's when cost was virtually nothing and anyone could pay their way working part time.
George Thorogood who had several big hits, had one that said to "Get It Together Like Your Big Brother Bob" ..........
Hey, DO FIND SOMETHING THAT ALLOWS YOU TO LIVE LIFE AND FOLLOW IN THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!!
You'll have that much more money and disposable income, and the freedom to do and enjoy more with family and friends. You'll also have the ability to do more with your bicycle wrenching hobbies and recreational riding. Who knows, with some luck and money saved and invested in the market, you might get to the point a decade from now where you can become entrepreneurial and either open your own bike store or just purchase an existing local bike shop. I do not recommend that you do this unless you have three times the cash that you'd just need to buy that local bike shop, because undercapitalization is the downfall of 85% of all business ventures. Can ya say "going, going', gone" because unless you have a thorough background in accounting and are a CPA, you'll be severely unprepared for the challenges and you'll go broke in a hurry. You cannot really fault the prioprietors of Local Bike Shops from keeping a sharp pencil and keeping costs and expenses in check. You must remember that it is their capital which is at risk. The proprietors do not get a steady salary no matter what you might think! Sure, they might try to allocate a certain annual amount for their gross wages, but unlike someone deriving a paycheck from say The Texas Wildlife Commission or something like that, the bike shop proprietors are more like car salespeople in that their income fluctuates and is based on their sales....... ....Unlike, the car salespeople, the bike shop propietor has payroll, rent, inventory cost, payroll taxes, unemployment taxes, sales tax, city business license, possible franchise fees, loan repayment obligations, pest control expense, water, heat, electricity, utilities and building repairs, maintenance and plumbing and more. The proprietors also have wives, children , home mortgages, car loans, and self paid health care insurance premiums for their family unless the spouse works in a good job for a big firm or municipal agency, school system or local hospital.
Yes, so before all of you begin attacking the LOCAL BIKE SHOPS for not paying much for staff wages, you must REALIZE that it doesn't take a whole helluva lot of knowledge and skills to become competent as a bicycle mechanic or technician. THE BUSINESS MODEL IS REALLY PREDICATED ON HAVING LOW COST LABOR, MUCH IN THE SAME WAY AS A FAST FOOD PLACE LIKE McDonalds. There just is not such a huge after tax profit that is anywhere close to what most young folks might believe for the Proprietors of a Local Bike Shop. If they do have a great year, the proprietors have earned it because afterall it is because of their decisions that they do make it or break it each year......................there is more than meets the eye.......................................Ask any long-time experienced CPA the same questions about "small businesses" such as a bike shop and any others and they will tell you because they know and have seen it, because those businesses are the clients of the CPA firm(s) who often do their payroll, and quarterly taxes, 941 deposits, monthly sales tax reports, and the P&L statements and audits and reviews as required by the banks/financial institutions that hold their debt and credit lines, etc.......and of course the annual income tax returns of the partners and the K-1's etc.
IF IT WERE SO DAMN EASY, EVERYBODY WOULD BE OPENING A DANG BIKE SHOP. Don't go hating the bike shop owners as they are just trying to make a living and doing the best they can..............................Ain't nothing easy..............if you think so, you're in dreamland or have been watching too much of that Sharktank show or American Idol or The Voice where those idiots think they can go from rags to riches with no other marketable skills. It is just insane! Yes, it could happen, and you could get struck by lightning on Wed the 26th of Nov at 11:43 AM but what is the realistic probability. Sure, go for it but don't be crushed when you aren't the Idol , Voice, or SharkTank winner. You gotta pay the cost to be the boss and truthfully, you might not want to be the boss in certain business ventures....

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Old 08-23-21, 11:13 AM
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At some point all those e-bikes will need their batteries replaced. Get in on the ground floor and start figuring out how to do that.
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Old 08-23-21, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by el forestero View Post
Thinking of applying for a salaried full-time position as a bike mechanic in the East Bay or elsewhere in the SF Bay Area. It's hard to get a precise read on the industry standard salary range in this region. Glassdoor.com, indeed.com and other sites give guesstimates in the $28k to $40k/yr range in some contexts, and then in other contexts the numbers are more like $50 to $60k/yr. Anybody in the field, and especially in this region, have direct experience with what the numbers are really like now for positions targeting mechanics with 3 or fewer years of professional experience?
There are lots of enthusiastic cyclists here in the Bay Area, and lots looking for work. I'd count on the lower range. There are probably three or four really good shops here where you might get that higher range.

And here $40k a year is pretty hard to live on. Rents are sky high.
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Old 08-23-21, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn View Post
https://sfist.com/2021/07/03/minimum...-is-it-enough/

You should consider setting your sights higher... you might not want to be the boss in certain business ventures....
Holy wall-of-text batman...talk about TL;DR!
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Old 08-23-21, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by afm199 View Post
There are lots of enthusiastic cyclists here in the Bay Area, and lots looking for work. I'd count on the lower range. There are probably three or four really good shops here where you might get that higher range.

And here $40k a year is pretty hard to live on. Rents are sky high.
seems like shops are hiring; at least the ones i frequent tend to have "experienced mechanic wanted," or "reduced hours due to not having enough experienced mechanics" or "sorry we can only work on bikes we sold due to not having enough experienced mechanics!"

i see current postings for $55k, which jives with various online sources like glassdoor and comparably. a couple each making $54k can absolutely live in san francisco - that's around the median household income (112k) and around the median household size (2.3.) all the BS about it being impossible to live in san francisco on $$$,$$$ is based on unrealistic expectations for a young person's urban lifestyle, like buying a house or condo, sending kids to private schools, eating at atelier crenn and shopping at epicurean trader, having a car, etc etc.

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