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If you love boats, the great outdoors and working with your hands, a career as a marine mechanic may be perfect for you. The world of marine service and repair is an exciting one. As a technician, you can apply your knowledge and skills to a variety of different environments as you pursue your passion.
Keep reading to learn all about what a marine technician does, the types of boats they repair, job opportunities, career outlook and more.
If you have the desire and passion to work near the water, Marine Mechanics Institute can help you prepare for a career in the marine industry.5
Boats cruise the waterways of the United States every day. Just like cars on the road need service, boats need service and repair, too. This requires the help of a marine technician—a professional trained to work on boats of all shapes and sizes.
Marine technicians (also known as marine mechanics) are experts in the maintenance and repair of the important systems that keep boats running. Whether it’s a stuck fuel rack or an overheating problem, marine technicians have the ability to figure out what the problem is, how to solve it and what it takes to execute any needed repairs. From an old fishing boat to a shiny new yacht, it’s the job of a marine technician to keep the boats they work on afloat.
One of the perks of being a marine technician is the ability to work on a variety of different kinds of boats. Marine technicians serve many different industries from recreation to the military. The types of boats that marine technicians work on include:
Completing a program at a marine mechanic school can prepare you for multiple career paths. Some technicians pursue careers in specialty areas like field service, engine building, or aftermarket parts development and service.
When it comes to planning for your future, don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Here are some of the many marine mechanic jobs you may be able to pursue:
If you have a passion for a specific boat manufacturer, a career as a dealership technician is a great choice. These techs work for manufacturers such as Mercury Marine,
Yamaha Marine, Honda Marine, Suzuki Marine or Volvo Penta.
Daily tasks for a Marine Parts Associate include ordering and managing inventory, and assisting customers. This is a great way to work up to a manager position in a marina, repair shop or dealership.
The role of a boat rigger is to get recreational and commercial boats ready for the water. They equip boats with important systems related to comfort, operations and, most importantly, safety. Daily tasks may include installing propulsion systems, winches, anchors, lifeboats, and steering and throttle controls.
Electricians work with blueprints and manuals, and some even draw their own system diagrams in order to install, troubleshoot, and repair marine electronic and electrical systems. They work with batteries, chargers, solar panels, navigation systems and satellite TV hardware to get the job done.
Also known as marine HVAC service technicians, marine refrigeration and air conditioning technicians rebuild and repair domestic and commercial refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. They also service hood and ventilation systems. These techs are in charge of maintenance services such as checking bearings, cycling and oil levels to ensure oats are running properly.
These technicians assess damage to a boat’s gelcoat and fiberglass then make necessary repairs. If a boat is cracked, gouged, scratched or cracked, or has structural damage, these techs are the ones who restore and maintain its appearance, safety and value.
Some service technicians work their way up to marina service manager. In this role, the manager oversees and guides the service team and yard crew responsible for refueling and moorage services. Day-to-day responsibilities may include scheduling, creating work orders, managing inventory and billing customers.
Some boat riggers move ahead to become rig shop managers. This position oversees training, scheduling and customer service, as well as creating and assigning work orders. On any given day, the manager likely would work with rigging diagrams and measurements, and may assist in the shop or in the field with installations and repairs.
In addition to these boat mechanic jobs, some experienced technicians become business owners and open their own sales and service yards. For those who have an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for the marine industry, this is a great career option to consider. Having a background as a marine technician can be a great advantage to those who pursue new business ventures.
"MMI was a good way to get your foot into the door. I hand no mechanical background whatsoever. I wanted to give it a try and they were able to teach me the basics."
- Marissa Andrews, MMI Graduate
The marine service and repair industry has many perks, one of them being the environment in which you work.
Many marine technicians work in ideal climates with the ability to work outside and on the water frequently. Rather than sitting at a desk all day, these technicians are constantly on their feet and are always working on new projects. Typical work environments may include:
In addition to the physical work conditions, marine technicians also have a medium level of social interaction. They are responsible for communicating with customers on the phone and face-to-face to keep them in the loop throughout the repair process.
At times, they have to deal with customers who might be frustrated or confused, which requires great communication skills and a commitment to providing exceptional customer service.
Many marine technicians work as part of a team or may even lead teams in manager roles. Successful technicians have a positive attitude, a great work ethic and are able to collaborate with their peers to get the job done.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median wage for motorboat mechanics and service technicians was $41,330 in May 2019.31
When it comes to advancing in the field, employers look for those with passion, drive and hands-on experience. Having specialized training, such as the education you can earn from Marine Mechanics Institute, can give you a competitive advantage and open the door to exciting new opportunities.
As long as there are boats on the water, the need for qualified marine technicians will remain. Those who have the required training and certifications, and a passion for the industry can seek employment in a variety of locations and industries.
When it comes to advancing in the field, employers look for those with passion, drive and hands-on experience. Having specialized training such as the education you can earn from Marine Mechanics Institute can help give you a competitive advantage and
open the door to exciting new opportunities.1
Becoming a marine technician requires specific training. If you’ve always dreamed about a life on the water, you will most likely need to advance your education by attending a marine mechanic school.
After receiving your high school diploma or GED, consider enrolling in a specialized program such as Marine Mechanics Institute’s (MMI) 51-week Marine Technician Specialist training program.
Through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on experience, MMI students dive into a wide variety of topics from basic engine theory to more technical aspects of marine product service, troubleshooting and repair.
In addition to the core curriculum, MMI’s program includes 3-week, manufacturer-specific courses designed to provide you with technical and hands-on training specific to leading
brands. You will learn the design and operation unique to five manufacturers:
MMI is dedicated to providing you with a foundation to increase your knowledge, skills and experience working with marine technology. As a graduate, you’ll possess the skills and hands-on experience today’s manufacturers need!
The Marine Technician Specialist program begins every six weeks, with morning, afternoon and evening classes to accommodate your schedule. Request more information today!
1) MMI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.
13) Based on data compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections (2016-2026), www.bls.gov, viewed October 24, 2017.
31) Estimated annual median salary for Motorboat Mechanics and Service Technicians in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2019.
MMI programs prepare graduates for careers in industries using the provided training, primarily as marine technicians. Some MMI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as a technician, such as equipment maintenance,
inspector and parts associate. Salary information for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: The average annual entry-level salary range for persons employed as Motorboat Mechanics and Service Technicians (49-3051) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
is $31,280 to $43,390 (Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development, May 2018 data, viewed September 10, 2020).
North Carolina salary information: The U.S. Department of Labor estimate of hourly earnings of the middle 50% for skilled marine technician in North Carolina, published May 2019, is $18.56. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish entry-level
salary data. However, the 25th and 10th percentile of hourly earnings in North Carolina are $14.92 and $10.82, respectively. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2019. Motorboat Mechanics and
Service Technicians, viewed September 2, 2020.) MMI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
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