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Outdoor Power Equipment and Other Small Engine Mechanics
SOC Code: 49-3053.00

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


  • 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.

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

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


  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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 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.


  • 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.

Work Context

  • 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.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
48%High school diploma or equivalent
27%Some college, no degree
12%Less than high school diploma

Work Styles

  • 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.

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.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $16.53 hourly, $34,370 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 38,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Faster than average (10% to 14%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 4,400

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