Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.

Career and Education Opportunities for Outdoor Power Equipment Mechanics in Missoula, Montana

Missoula, Montana provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for outdoor power equipment mechanics. Currently, 240 people work as outdoor power equipment mechanics in Montana. This is expected to grow by 15% to 270 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for outdoor power equipment mechanics are expected to grow by about 6.4%. Outdoor power equipment mechanics generally diagnose, adjust, or overhaul small engines used to power lawn mowers, chain saws, and related equipment.

Outdoor power equipment mechanics earn about $12 hourly or $26,630 yearly on average in Montana and about $13 per hour or $28,920 annually on average nationally. Outdoor power equipment mechanics earn less than people working in the category of Specialized Equipment generally in Montana and less than people in the Specialized Equipment category nationally.

There are two schools of higher education in the Missoula area, including one within twenty-five miles of Missoula where you can get a degree to start your career as an outdoor power equipment mechanic. Outdoor power equipment mechanics usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be an outdoor power equipment mechanic if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Outdoor Power Equipment Mechanic

Outdoor Power Equipment Mechanic video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, outdoor power equipment mechanics diagnose, adjust, or overhaul small engines used to power lawn mowers, chain saws, and related equipment.

Outdoor power equipment mechanics dismantle engines, using hand tools, and examine parts for defects. They also test and inspect engines to establish malfunctions, to identify missing and broken parts, and to confirm fixes, using diagnostic instruments. Equally important, outdoor power equipment mechanics have to repair or remove faulty parts such as magnetos and carburetors, using hand tools. They are often called upon to perform routine maintenance such as cleaning and oiling parts, honing cylinders, and tuning ignition systems. They are expected to reassemble engines after repair or maintenance work is complete. Finally, outdoor power equipment mechanics remove engines from equipment, and position and bolt engines to repair stands.

Every day, outdoor power equipment mechanics are expected to be able to control and manipulate objects at a fine level of detail. They need to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements. It is also important that they move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices.

It is important for outdoor power equipment mechanics to sell parts and equipment. Somewhat less frequently, outdoor power equipment mechanics are also expected to grind and retap parts to obtain specified clearances, using grinders, lathes, taps, reamers, boring equipment, and micrometers.

Outdoor power equipment mechanics sometimes are asked to repair and maintain gasoline engines used to power equipment such as portable saws and compressors. They also have to be able to remove engines from equipment, and position and bolt engines to repair stands and record fixes made and parts used. And finally, they sometimes have to perform routine maintenance such as cleaning and oiling parts, honing cylinders, and tuning ignition systems.

Like many other jobs, outdoor power equipment mechanics must be thorough and dependable and want to innovate to meet new challenges.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Missoula include:

  • Boat Mechanic. Repairs and adjusts electrical and mechanical equipment of gasoline or diesel powered inboard or inboard-outboard boat engines.
  • Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul mobile mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic equipment, such as cranes, bulldozers, and conveyors, used in construction, logging, and surface mining.
  • Rigger. Set up or repair rigging for construction projects, manufacturing plants, logging yards, ships and shipyards, or for the entertainment industry.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Outdoor Power Equipment Mechanic Training

The University of Montana - Missoula, MT

The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, Missoula, MT 59812. The University of Montana is a large university located in Missoula, Montana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,176 students and an admission rate of 96%. The University of Montana has a one to two year program in Small Engine Mechanics and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated six students in 2008.


Missoula, Montana
Missoula, Montana photo by Joshulove

Missoula is located in Missoula County, Montana. It has a population of over 68,202, which has grown by 19.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Missoula, 100, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Missoula cost $89,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-six new homes were constructed in Missoula, down from two hundred ninety-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Missoula are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 14 minutes. More than 38.0% of Missoula residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Missoula is 5.1%, which is less than Montana's average of 5.8%.

The percentage of Missoula residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 32.4%, is less than both the national and state average. University Congregational Church, Unity Church of Missoula and United Pentecostal Church are all churches located in Missoula. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Missoula is home to the Health Sciences Building and the KOA El-Mar Kampground as well as Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Fort Missoula Park. Shopping malls in the area include East Gate Shopping Center, Southgate Mall and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Missoula can choose from Best Western Grant Creek Inn, Comfort Inn Missoula and Sleepy Inn Motel for temporary stays in the area.