Career Profile: Bicycle Maintenance and Repair
Cycling is extremely popular in Canada as a hobby, a sport and a mode of transportation. Whether you live in a small town, or a large city, chances are good that there are lots of cyclists riding around. But what happens when a bike gets a flat tire, pops a chain, needs new brakes, or just could use a good cleaning? While some people are able to do repairs and maintenance on their bicycle themselves, others will prefer to take their bikes to a professional.
Bicycle maintenance and repair persons are skilled tradespeople who fix, assemble and maintain bicycles. To work in this field, you will need to know how to work on many different bicycle types and brands, from children’s bikes to adult leisure and competitive sport cycles. These workers regularly inspect, assemble and disassemble, install replacement parts and clean the components of bicycles. They will also often demonstrate assembly or repair actions for bicycle owners who wish to learn how to do these tasks themselves.
Most bicycle maintenance and repair persons will work for either an independent cycle shop, or the bicycle department of a larger chain store that sells bikes. In these positions, they will also be responsible for tasks such as tracking and ordering inventory for parts and supplies, maintaining service logs and providing troubleshooting and customer support to bike owners. In particular, the customer service aspect requires workers who have good interpersonal communication skills in order to demonstrate bike repair tasks, answer customer questions and perform sales.
To work in this trade, you will need at minimum a Grade 12 high school diploma, but it is increasingly common to complete a college diploma or training program in Bicycle Assembly and Maintenance, as well as completing an apprenticeship of between 2,000 to 2,500 hours in order to attain a Certificate of Apprenticeship.
Most bicycle repair persons will be paid at an hourly wage, starting around $11 per hour or minimum wage in your province. As you accumulate experience, wages will increase up to around $20 per hour, with the average wage being around $15 per hour. This makes for an annual salary of around $23,000 to $42,000. If you work in a more specialized field, such as doing repair and maintenance for a high-level sport cycling team or high-end cycle shop, wages can be higher.
Hours you will work as a bike repair person will be quite regular if you work for a chain sporting goods or department store, as your work hours will likely line up with the open and close hours of the store or mall complex. If you work for a smaller independent cycle shop, hours can vary a little more depending on the hours of the store. Both small and large store employment is likely to include evening and weekend hours, in order to accommodate cyclists who are not able to pick up or drop off their bike during what are considered regular office hours.