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Summary Report for:
49-3053.00 - 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: Golf Cart Mechanic, Lawnmower Repair Mechanic, Mechanic, Outdoor Power Equipment Service Technician, Service Technician, Small Engine Mechanic, Small Engine Technician

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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

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Reassemble engines after repair or maintenance work is complete.
  • Record repairs made, time spent, and parts used.
  • Perform routine maintenance such as cleaning and oiling parts, honing cylinders, and tuning ignition systems.
  • Obtain problem descriptions from customers, and prepare cost estimates for repairs.
  • Test and inspect engines to determine malfunctions, to locate missing and broken parts, and to verify repairs, using diagnostic instruments.
  • Repair or replace defective parts such as magnetos, water pumps, gears, pistons, and carburetors, using hand tools.
  • Sell parts and equipment.
  • Show customers how to maintain equipment.
  • Dismantle engines, using hand tools, and examine parts for defects.
  • Replace motors.
  • Grind, ream, rebore, and re-tap parts to obtain specified clearances, using grinders, lathes, taps, reamers, boring machines, and micrometers.
  • Remove engines from equipment, and position and bolt engines to repair stands.

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Technology Skills

  • 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

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Air compressors — Portable air compressors
  • Allen wrench — Allen wrench sets
  • Automotive honing machine — Cylinder hones
  • Ball peen hammer — Ball peen hammers
  • Bearing fitting tool kits — Cam bearing plug gauges; Main bearing plug gauges
  • Calipers — Dial calipers
  • Center punch — Automatic center punches
  • Circuit tester — Test lights
  • Cold chisels — Flat cold chisels
  • Combination pliers
  • Combination wrenches
  • Compression pressure gauge — Carburetor pressure gauges; Compression testing gauges; Leakdown testers
  • Crankshaft grinder — Crankshaft straighteners
  • Crimping pliers — Wire crimpers
  • Crows foot wrench — Crowfoot wrenches
  • Diagonal cut pliers — Diagonal cutters
  • Drill bit set — Power drill bits
  • Feeler gauges — Taper feeler gauges
  • Flashlight — Penlights
  • Flat hand file — Tapered hand files
  • Grinders — Valve grinders
  • Growler tester — Coil testers
  • Hacksaw — Mini hacksaws
  • Hand reamer — Ridge reamers
  • Hex keys — Hex sets; T handle hex wrenches
  • Hold down clamps — Flywheel holders
  • Hole gauge — Dial bore gauges
  • Hour meter — Engine hour meters
  • Impact screwdriver — Impact drivers
  • Impact wrenches — Power wrenches
  • Infrared thermometer — Temperature guns
  • Inspection mirror — Inspection mirrors
  • Locking pliers — Channel lock pliers; Vise grip pliers
  • Machine reamer — Valve guide reamers
  • Magnetic tools — Magnetic pickup tools
  • Manual wire straighteners — Z benders
  • Minivans or vans — Work vans
  • Multimeters — Digital multimeters
  • Needlenose pliers — Needle nose pliers
  • Parallel pin punch — Parallel pin punches
  • Personal computers
  • Picks — Mechanics' pick sets
  • Piston ring compressor — Piston ring compressors
  • Piston ring expander — Piston ring expanders
  • Power drills — Impact drills
  • Pullers — Cotter pin pullers; Fuel line removers; Gear pullers; Magneto bearing pullers (see all 7 examples)
  • Punches or nail sets or drifts — Flat tip screw starters; Starter punches
  • Ratchets — Speed handles
  • Retaining ring pliers — Fixed tip snap ring pliers
  • Rubber mallet — Dead blow hammers
  • Scanners — Computer data input scanners
  • Screw extractors — Fluted screw extractors
  • Screwdrivers — Phillips head screwdrivers; Slot screwdrivers; Small jet carburetor screwdrivers
  • Socket attachments and accessories — Socket wrench extensions
  • Socket sets — Torx bit sets
  • Sockets — Metric flex socket wrenches; Spark plug socket wrenches; Standard flex socket wrenches; Standard socket wrenches (see all 5 examples)
  • Soldering iron — Solder guns
  • Spanner wrenches — Spanners
  • Spark plug gap gauge — Spark plug gauges
  • Spark plug tester — Adjustable gap spark testers; Ignition testers; Inline spark testers
  • Spark plug wrench — Spark plug wrenches
  • Specialty wrenches — Bearing drivers; Breaker bars; Starter clutch wrenches
  • Stripping tools — Wire strippers
  • Tachometers — Digital tachometers; Wireless tachometers
  • Tape measures — Measuring tapes
  • Taps — Spark plug hole taps
  • Telescoping gauge — Cylinder bore telescoping gauges
  • Tongs — Mechanical fingers
  • Torque wrenches — Torque adapters
  • Valve refacer — Valve refacing tools
  • Valve seat cutter — Valve seat cutting tools
  • Valve spring compressor — Valve spring compressors
  • Voltage or current meters — Charging system testers
  • Wire brushes — Battery terminal cleaners
  • Wire cutters
  • Wrench accessories and supplies — Camshaft bearing drivers

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Knowledge

  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • 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.
  • Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Skills

  • Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operation 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.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • 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.
  • Equipment Selection — Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Abilities

  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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.
  • 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 there is a problem.
  • 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).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.

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Work Activities

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • 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.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • 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 of materials.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Maintain work equipment or machinery.
  • Repair defective engines or engine components.
  • Adjust vehicle components according to specifications.
  • Reassemble equipment after repair.
  • Maintain repair or maintenance records.
  • 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.
  • Confer with customers or users to assess problems.
  • Estimate costs for labor or materials.
  • Inspect mechanical components of vehicles to identify problems.
  • Replace worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
  • Repair worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
  • Test mechanical equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Train customers in the use of products.
  • Disassemble equipment to inspect for deficiencies.
  • Bolt objects into place.
  • Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
  • Grind parts to required dimensions.
  • Position equipment using hand tools, power tools, or heavy equipment.

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Work Context

  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 79% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 65% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 46% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 41% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 50% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Time Pressure — 34% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 43% responded “Important.”
  • Contact With Others — 37% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 48% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 61% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 54% responded “40 hours.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 37% responded “About half the time.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 28% responded “Very important results.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 42% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Work Schedules — 43% responded “Seasonal (only during certain times of the year).”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 29% responded “Every day.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 45% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 41% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 29% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”

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Job Zone

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, forest firefighters, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
57   High school diploma or equivalent Help
22   Post-secondary certificate Help
10   Less than high school diploma

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: RC

  • 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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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • 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.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • 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.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

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Work Values

  • 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 (2016) $16.22 hourly, $33,730 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 32,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Average (5% to 8%) Average (5% to 8%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 8,100
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "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.

  • Small engine mechanics external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.

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