Outdoor Power Equipment and Other Small Engine Mechanics
Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul small engines used to power lawn mowers, chain saws, recreational sporting equipment, and related equipment.
Sample of reported job titles: Chainsaw Technician, Golf Cart Mechanic, Lawnmower Repair Mechanic, Mechanic, Outdoor Power Equipment Service Technician, Service Technician (Service Tech), Shop Mechanic, Small Engine Mechanic, Small Engine Technician (Small Engine Tech)
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Record repairs made, time spent, and parts used.
- Test and inspect engines to determine malfunctions, to locate missing and broken parts, and to verify repairs, using diagnostic instruments.
- Dismantle engines, using hand tools, and examine parts for defects.
- Repair and maintain gasoline engines used to power equipment such as portable saws, lawn mowers, generators, and compressors.
- Adjust points, valves, carburetors, distributors, and spark plug gaps, using feeler gauges.
- Repair or replace defective parts such as magnetos, water pumps, gears, pistons, and carburetors, using hand tools.
- Perform routine maintenance such as cleaning and oiling parts, honing cylinders, and tuning ignition systems.
- Reassemble engines after repair or maintenance work is complete.
- Replace motors.
- Obtain problem descriptions from customers, and prepare cost estimates for repairs.
- Show customers how to maintain equipment.
- Remove engines from equipment, and position and bolt engines to repair stands.
- Sell parts and equipment.
- Grind, ream, rebore, and re-tap parts to obtain specified clearances, using grinders, lathes, taps, reamers, boring machines, and micrometers.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
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- Analytical or scientific software — Land & Sea DYNO-MAX; VersaDyne small engine test system
- Data base user interface and query software — Ideal Computer Systems Ideal OPE; RepairTRAX; Smart Equipment Repair
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Point of sale POS software — Sale processing software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
- Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
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- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Equipment Selection — Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
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- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
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- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Maintain repair or maintenance records.
- Inspect mechanical components of vehicles to identify problems.
- Test mechanical equipment to ensure proper functioning.
- Adjust vehicle components according to specifications.
- Disassemble equipment to inspect for deficiencies.
- Maintain work equipment or machinery.
- Repair defective engines or engine components.
- Replace worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
- Repair worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
- Clean equipment, parts, or tools to repair or maintain them in good working order.
- Lubricate equipment to allow proper functioning.
- Service vehicles to maintain functionality.
- Reassemble equipment after repair.
- Confer with customers or users to assess problems.
- Estimate costs for labor or materials.
- Train customers in the use of products.
- Bolt objects into place.
- Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
- Position equipment using hand tools, power tools, or heavy equipment.
- Sell products or services.
- Grind parts to required dimensions.
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- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 77% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Spend Time Standing — 61% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Contact With Others — 76% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 32% responded “Some freedom.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 25% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 66% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 64% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 75% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 16% responded “Minor results.”
- In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 17% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 36% responded “Important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 40% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 19% responded “Never.”
- Time Pressure — 19% responded “Every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 28% responded “Not important at all.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 15% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Consequence of Error — 30% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 38% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling — 26% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 26% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 49% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 34% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 15% responded “Very important.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 36% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 32% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
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|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|48||High school diploma or equivalent
|27||Some college, no degree|
|12||Less than high school diploma|
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Interest code: RC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
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- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$18.04 hourly, $37,530 annual|
|Employment (2020)||33,300 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||4,000|
|Top industries (2020)||
Administrative and Support Services
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Small engine mechanics
- Outdoor Power Equipment Aftermarket Association
- Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
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This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.