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Schooling??

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Hello guys i have a very important question. and would love to hear your advice or answers. Im 23 and very interested into getting into some schooling and i live in indiana. ok so what im lookiing for is some good schools for motorcyle tech training. Im a very hands on guy and already well knoledge in mechanics.. for example i was swaping 5 horse briggs from my go cart to mini bike when i was 8 yrs old lol.. but anyways theres nothing more i want then to be in a pit crew working on dirtbikes or even street bikes. I hope you all take this as serious as i do. And hoope to find some good advice on where to start or good schools. PLease please and thank you!!

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I never worked for a factory team, but I was a third year apprentice bike wrench with factory and apprenticeship schooling before I bailed into another trade. I started out in a local dealership sweeping floors and doing all of the other jobs that the journeyman mechanics wouldn't waste their time with for minimum wage. I did that for two years before I graduated high school and went and took a pre-apprenticeship program in northern Alberta. I worked again for the same dealership for five months before going back to school to take a factory training program for three months again that Fall.

That was all in '96 and '97. I bounced around between dealerships and speed shops after that for about three years due to a poor economy in the city I was in and managed to challenge and pass the provincial apprenticeship exams and worked my way up to a third year standing. All of that work netted me some good experiences and an opportunity to work with a now defunct CMRC national race team (that I turned down) but it was not a trade that payed well at all.

I am not trying to discourage you at all here. I am just saying that if this is something that you really want to do then be prepared to start out at the bottom of the ladder. I have no idea how trades are structured in the US but in most provinces up here motorcycle wrenching is a recognized trade that involved two months of schooling out of every year to work your way up. I took a two semester pre-apprenticeship program and that coupled with the three months of factory training allowed me to challenge the first three years without going to school.

One thing you should also remember is that this is a trade that is very heavily influenced by changes in the economy. One downturn could mean unemployment for a long time and a major challenge to find a new job without significant relocation. Dealerships are closing throughout North America and racing is suffering as well. Not a great time to get into the trade from my point of view.

:bonk:

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do you want to make money?

if you answered yes. then look into another carrer. the biek industry is DEAD. very hard to get into a shop right now. never mind onto a factory team. the traid is over populated with rather good mechanics.

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wow you guys thank you so much on the great information and advice.. you really just saved me alot of time and head ache.. so now that im clear on that i have another question. even tho i really didnt expect those answers they really make sense. But anyways im wanting to do some sort of schooling (if thats best) and im a mechanic kinda guy and really want job security and good money (obvisouly if i perform really well at the task). What do you think would be a good education to persue.. Engineering?? manament?? high performance motorsport school?? I obvisouly dont want to waste my time earning a degree in somthing ill never use as well as blowing all that money. And it seems theres so manyyy different tech schools that its like a scam. It scares me because i have many friends that went to college for basic education recieving assciates or certificates and it has not help them what so ever just wasted there time and money and they maybe learned a couple things.. I just dont know where to start and or what a good career to go after.. like i said i love hands on and dont wanna sit in a office all day. Please and thank you guys.. this info could be life changing for me.

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Again, I have no idea how trades, degrees and such are structured in the US but have you considered a two year technologist program in engineering? I believe it would be classified as an Associate's Degree in the US if I remember correctly.

After I left the motorcycle trade (for the most part, still do some side work) I went and got a two year technical diploma from SAIT. I was the same as you in a sense. I was very mechanically inclined and was a math nerd to boot. Not sure what the offerings are in your area, but up here they offer all kinds of programs. I have a friend that took a two year program in Electrical Engineering Technology at SAIT and since graduating in 2005 has not made less than 100K in a year and is just shy of 200K this year. Mind you, he loves his job and works for a great company but he busts his ass and spends a lot of time up in northern Alberta in camps.

All in all it is hard to suggest a path without knowing anything about the offerings in your area. My best advice is to look into the utilities industries such as power generation and natural gas extraction, processing or delivery fields. No matter how much the economy is in the shitter people will always need electricity and gas fired power plants will always need gas to burn. Oil is another field but is much more dependant on the price and can be up and down.

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you want good pay, job security and to work with your hands. how about working on some of the biggest motors around?

look up marine engineering. youll have to obv. move to a state closer to the water/ports. but you get to work hands on, on some of the biggest engines. and lets face it. ships arnt going anywere anytime soon. its hard work, your uselly on a ship for 3 months...but then you also get 3 months off. then 3 months back on ect. or you could find a smaller company and be on a ship for less. but the rule of thumb uselly is, the time you work, is the time you get off.

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If you want to work on things for a living, and don't like being broke, motorsports is not the career choice for you.

If you're really good, a skilled auto dealership tech can make $80+K per year. Clean working environment too (at least at a nice dealer-dumpy places are a whole nother story.)

Even cleaner yet is Caterpillar-the local Cat shop has AC, dust control, and nothing comes in the door til it's clean (hydraulic system contamination prevention). Every machine gets washed before service. Never seen a shop so clean in my life. Never seen such a mess in a wash bay either. :bonk:

Along those same lines, diesel engine techs with brains are starting to get fewer and fewer. The more emissions controls and more electronic sensors, valves, selonoids and whirlygigs that the big trucks are getting, the more they break, and the more they need someone who knows what they're doing to fix them. HUGE tech shortage, even in this down economy.

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wow you guys are a blessin.. this is the best advice ive ever received.. and i thank you all of you for your time. I know have a clearer idea of what direction im going to head. And if any new readers see this please feel free to post your advice im still very interested in what everyone thinks. all in all i think im going to enter a college for a associates degree in some sort of engineering of course im going to speak with advisers firsts.. and again thank you thank you!!

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hey guys i am also a kid looking for a career. i never feel better than when i am tearing apart a carburetor or troubleshooting a faulty bike. this thread was great to read for me. i learned some good stuff especially about cat and diesel mehanics. i atually talked to a guy about a CDL license today.

450thumpin: good luck in finding your career

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This is great info guys, you are posting great questions and answers. Feel free to keep them rolling. I now know I'm going to schools for a assiociates in engineneering not postive on type yet.. getting ready to start filling finacial aid.

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First, sorry for the novel... but I'm sitting at home bored eating a late lunch. :banana:

I mean there are two ways to go; Do something you love to do and forget about making money or get into a profession that makes money, but might not be your passion.

I went to school for visual media arts, so thats photography, videography/filmmaking and a minor in journalism. I went to a community school for 3 years, got 2 degree's there and then went to a expensive school for 2 years plus 2 summers and got another degree. I didn't learn much in college actually, the whole experience was to be an alumni of a prestigious school in order to get a good job because of where I went to school. The problem today is; we have too many qualified people and not enough jobs.

When I was in college, I was teaching scuba diving. I absolutely loved diving and it brought everything I loved together into one profession; the ocean, mechanical shit (gear), teaching and I did quite a bit of underwater videography. At the time (2000-2002) it was still a very popular thing and lots of people were diving in New England which is where I'm from. Sadly, I had a severe inner ear medical condition that prevented me from continuing to dive, after spending thousands on a business and education. It left me without a direction to go in my life and instead of living at home, I moved to California to be involved in the film industry.

When I moved here, all the doors to the film industry were closed, so I fell back on a trade I did years ago, which was fixing computers. I re-certified myself as a Mac Technician and was the service manager for a local shop. Those were great times, I really enjoyed myself and loved working with customers and it gave me the opportunity to meet lots of film industry people. Now years later, those people I made friends with, they have helped me get into the film industry. So now my life is full of film work, which is exactly why I moved to California to do in the first place. It was a long journey, but I placed myself in a trade, in the place where I would meet the right people to eventually track myself onto the right path.

Whilst all of that was happening, my engineering brain was focused on doing engineering related jobs on the side. I played paintball when I moved to LA and eventually sold my own private label paintball marker which I co-designed. I then got into car's, helped on a few engine rebuilds, but they were so big to work with, I wanted something smaller. So I got into motorcycles with a few friends of mine at the same time and two years after I first swung my leg over a motorcycle, I had won my first expert roadracing championship on a Ducati that I built from the ground up. It all happens so fast, one day you don't know anything about something and eventually with hard work you're an expert. I got into motocross because roadracing was too expensive and it seemed like an obvious direction to head in. Since then, I've been working with KTM's and just finished my 2nd engine build from the ground up. Instead of learning everything about every bike, I just focused on a few brands, learning everything about the brands I could; Ducati for street bikes and KTM for off-road. This eventually will give me a very viable skill set that could lead to a job if I need one desperately. Its funny, I can build motors with my eyes closed, assemble full race bikes from the ground up without any assistance, yet I've never mounted a motocross tire! LOL :smirk:

My goal with riding 2 wheels was to become a good enough rider so I could test the bikes I built and be able to give myself feedback because I was a good enough rider. Few more years, I might just have that in the bag! :bonk:

Ok, MORAL OF THE STORY!!!

Life is too short to not have fun.

The key is to have a very low overhead, so either you live at home or with some friends. You need to be paying almost nothing to live. Then find a job that pays you for the skills you already have, where you can work part time and go to school part time. During the time you have off, play with the stuff you really enjoy doing with the small funds you get from working. Once you get the degree, then you can focus on which direction you want to go in. But having a degree in your pocket helps a great deal on yee'ol resume. Engineering is a good degree to get, but do your certification courses after college once you figure out which trade you wanna go in.

Hope my story helps ya!

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tye1138- thanks for you interest and time, it definitely helps. And your life sounds amazing lol you done just about every thing that is awesome. Hope to b where your at in life when im older.

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