Small Engine Mechanic

Keep lawnmowers, tractors, and golf cart-sized engines humming.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$19,000 – $45,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Small Engine Mechanics do?

Small engines are used to power small machines, such as lawnmowers, golf carts, and garden tractors. As a Small Engine Mechanic, you keep these small engines running properly.

Most Small Engine Mechanics specialize in one type of engine. If you’re working with only one type, you won’t need several sets of tools and you will be able to do your job quickly. You may specialize in lawn mower engines, for example, and you can find work with a lawn maintenance company. Or you may have extensive expertise in golf carts and can work at a golf course.

When an engine is brought to your shop for repair, you begin by diagnosing the problem. You may use computer programs to do this, or you may develop a feel for certain problems and how they impact an engine. Some repairs may only take you a moment of working with pliers and screwdrivers, while others may take hours and require a complete dismantling of the engine.

A Small Engine Mechanic is a lot like a Detective in that you’re examining evidence and determining the cause of the problem, and the possible solution. But some mechanical problems require quite a bit of detective work, and it can get frustrating. Taking breaks and walking away from problems allow you to think and come up with innovative solutions. These solutions shouldn’t involve duct tape.

You’re also required to maintain the equipment your company owns so you’ll have fewer repairs to make during the course of your workweek. You perform oil changes, gasket replacements, bearing replacements, and other small adjustments on a regular basis.


Should I be a Small Engine Mechanic?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Garden Machinery Mechanic, Gas Engine Mechanic, Model Engine Mechanic, Small Engine Specialist See More

    How to become a Small Engine Mechanic

    Most Small Engine Mechanics have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9eaaaa&chl=no+college+%2867%25%29|certificate+%2833%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,67,67
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