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Marine Technician
Job Opportunities & Outlook

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MMI student working on a steering wheel in a boat outside
Marine Technician
Job Opportunities & Outlook
Put Your Training to Work

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.

Full of Potential Benefits

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.1

24,000 openings Number of marine technician job openings by 202613
$43,320 Median annual income for marine technicians31

*Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience.

What Is a Marine Technician?

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.

Marine Mechanic Job Duties

  • Performing routine maintenance
  • Keeping customers in the loop by communicating what needs to be done to get their boat up and running properly
  • Observing and testing equipment on the boat
  • Replacing and repairing worn, damaged, and defective pieces and parts
  • Documenting repairs for the client

The Types of Boats Marine Technicians Repair

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:

  • Sport-Fishing Boats:
  • Designed for open water fishing, sport-fishing boats are power boats with large decks. Many fishermen travel far offshore to fish, which means these boats can easily become exhausted due to the large amount of engine power required. A technician’s job is to keep these boats running by performing routine maintenance such as inspecting the battery, upgrading the propeller, replacing key switches, rigging tubes and more.
  • Motorboats:
  • These boats come in various shapes and sizes, and serve many different purposes. Some motorboats are designed for quick, easy travel while others are created with luxury in mind. The role of a technician is to keep these boats in tip-top shape, which often involves removing and reinstalling the propeller to clear debris.
  • Sailboats:
  • Sailboats are made up of many moving parts. Marine technicians who service sailboats are able to detect any rust, deformation, corrosion or rust on the chainplate, which can all poorly affect the boat’s performance. At times, the technician has to install a new chainplate to keep the boat performing at its best.

Marine Technician Jobs

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:

Dealership Technician

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.

Marine Parts Associate

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.

Boat Rigger

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.

Marine Electrician

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.

Marine Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician

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.

Marina Service Manager

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.

Rig Shop Manager

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

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Where You Can Work as a Marine Mechanic

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:

  • Boat dealerships
  • Independent repair shops
  • Marinas
  • Boatyards
  • Docks
  • Outdoor department stores
  • Yacht centers
  • Cruise lines

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.

How Much Do Marine Mechanics Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median wage for motorboat mechanics and service technicians was $43,320 in May 2020.31 This means half of marine technicians earned more and half earned less. Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience, employer, demand and cost of living in the area.

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.

Marine Technician Job Outlook

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 marine technician jobs and locations.

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.

How Do You Become a Marine Mechanic?

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 and afternoon classes to accommodate your schedule. Request more information today!