Marine mechanics should have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Most employers require or prefer postsecondary training, which can be completed with an associate's degree in marine and small engine repair. Certification, while not always required, is available for qualified marine mechanics. Marine mechanics should have their own tools and extensive knowledge of marine engine processes. They should be able to work on electrical, fuel and mechanical systems on boats, yachts, and other watercraft. Marine mechanics who work directly with the public should have good customer service and communication skills. They should also be comfortable with word processing and inventory computer programs.
Associate's in Marine and Small Engine Repair
In a marine and small engine repair associate's degree program, students gain hands-on experience with inboard, outboard, and small engines. Students learn how these engines operate and perform various maintenance and troubleshooting procedures. Most programs require two years of study and may include courses on:
- Small engine mechanics
- Inboard-outboard engines
- Mechanical systems
- Electrical engine systems
- Small engine heating and cooling
- Marine mechanics and repair
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
From 2014-2024, the employment for marine engineers is expected to grow 9%, according to the BLS. These engineers, as of May 2015, make a mean annual wage of $100,090.
Marine mechanics are not required to be licensed. Some employers prefer or require mechanics to have certification, which is available from the American Boat and Yacht Counsel (ABYC). The organization offers certification courses in boat building, diesel engine repair, marine corrosion maintenance, marine engine systems and electrical processes. Marine mechanics must pass three or more certification courses and relevant exams to be awarded certified master technician (CMT) credentials. With this certification, marine mechanics demonstrate proficiency in all areas of mechanical engine repair.
Employers and vocational schools may offer marine engine repair workshops as part of a training program or degree program. These workshops are typically held at marinas, dealerships or areas where marine mechanics can acquire experience with inboard and outboard engines. Some workshops may focus on specific brand of engine or boat, such as Yamaha, Honda, Mercury or Mercruiser. The ABYC also holds seminars and workshops for marine mechanics. The organization offers singular courses or group training sessions that can be held on-site for an employer or school. These events are held weekly throughout the year.
Professional development resources are available from ABYC. Members of the organization have access to numerous online resources, career information, and continuing education opportunities. The organization maintains an online store with books, study guides, standard operational guidebooks and other resources for marine mechanics. Mechanics can also find a number of surveys and research studies conducted to provide greater industry information to marine engine professionals.
Marine engine repair training programs allow aspiring marine mechanics to develop the skills they need to work in marine engine repair.