Marine technicians work on mechanical and electrical equipment found on boats and other small aquatic vehicles. Aspiring marine technicians must go through on-the-job training as well as hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Marine technicians, or motorboat mechanics, maintain and repair the mechanical and electrical equipment found on recreational boats and small commercial vehicles. Some techs may also maintain a boat's body and perform maintenance tasks like painting, fiberglass repair and rigging installation. Information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that these professionals typically receive training while on the job, so applicants may only need the equivalent of high school diplomas to find work. Nevertheless, there are many vocational certificate and associate's degree programs available that are related to engine mechanics.
|Required Education||High school diploma or GED at minimum; postsecondary programs available|
|Other Requirements||On-the-job training|
|Recommended Skills||Possess understanding of mechanical devices, tools and marine technology|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||3% for all motorboat mechanics and service technicians*|
|Average Salary (2015)||$39,500 for all motorboat mechanics and service technicians*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Training Requirements for Marine Technicians
Although there are no mandatory training requirements for marine technicians, many employers prefer applicants that have either formal training in marine technology or mechanical aptitude combined with experience in small engine repair. Marine technicians with an educational background in the field require less on-the-job training and may have greater career advancement opportunities.
Most educational programs recommend students complete high school classes in advanced math, electronics and small engine repair. Although many training programs require students to have a high school diploma or GED, there are some that will accept students who haven't graduated from a secondary school, but who possess basic skills in reading, math and writing.
Coursework in these programs often includes classes in diesel engines, outboard engines, marine electronics, marine systems installation and boat repair. Many programs provide some type of onboard training so students can get hands-on experience in boat maintenance.
Job Outlook and Salary Statistics
The BLS predicts that available positions for motorboat technicians and other related service technicians will increase by 3% between 2014 and 2024. Although the rate of growth is slow, the BLS noted that as motorboat engines become more technologically advanced, consumers will require the services of trained technicians on a more regular basis. In 2015, the BLS indicated that the average annual salary for motorboat technicians and other related service technicians was $39,500. Motorboat technicians who earned the highest average annual salaries during that year, per the BLS, worked in the following states: Connecticut, Washington, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
Marine technicians need extensive knowledge of the mechanical and electrical ins and outs of various marine vehicles. If you're interested in these vessels, their technology, and enjoy working with your hands then this might be the career for you.