Casey Coughlin teaches bicycle repair at Minneapolis College in Minnesota, one of only two colleges to offer a certificate program in the subject. While applying to graduate school she worked as a bike repair tech and later as a manager at Erik’s Bikes in Rochester.
We ask Casey:
- What are some of the ways professional bike mechanics learn the trade? What’s the most common path to getting a job in a bike shop?
- Why do you think the demand for bike mechanics is projected to increase over the next few years? Is this related to the Covid bike boom?
- When learning to become a bike mechanic, what is the first repair you start with? Why?
- Is problem solving something you can teach bike mechanics?
- What does your prospective student look like?
- Is there any sort of continuing education for bike mechanics?
- Do today’s bike mechanics need additional skill sets to deal with more complicated systems like e-bikes?
- Beyond being able to work on bikes, what sorts of skills do shop employees and future managers need to develop?
- Are there certain repairs that are more fun, or satisfying than others? Are there jobs no one wants to do in the shop?
- What makes working in a bike shop, or in the bike industry, a good career?
Learn more about the Bicycle Assembly and Repair Technician Certificate at the Minneapolis College website.
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