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Boat Mechanic Video: Training Requirements for Boat Mechanics

Boat Mechanic Video: Training Requirements for Boat Mechanics Transcript

Interested in a career that's challenging and in demand? Becoming a boat mechanic may be right for you. Many graduates are drawn to marine engine repair and related fields due to the growing popularity of water sports in the United States. Boat mechanics and watercraft technicians perform maintenance on boats and other vessels to ensure they're operating at a high level.

Introduction

Boat mechanics make repairs to watercraft. Their work typically entails making adjustments to a vessel's mechanical and electrical systems. These repairs may range from replacing a single part to overhaul of an entire engine. Marine engine technicians often work in shops specializing in the repair of motorboats and personal watercraft. Others mechanics work in waterfront settings where boats and other marine vehicles are docked. In addition to making repairs, these technicians also perform routine maintenance on watercraft. This may include ensuring a craft's electrical and mechanical systems are functioning at a high level.

Typical Coursework

The qualifications for boat mechanic positions can vary significantly depending upon employer. While some companies hire those without a college education, most prefer candidates who have earned a related degree from a community college or trade school. Degree programs train students to efficiently diagnose problems and make repairs to watercraft. Courses often include background theory on engine, fuel and electrical systems. While some classroom instruction may be part of these degree programs, training in large part occurs in shop settings where students learn techniques and trouble shooting measures for various water vessels. This preparation includes instruction in using specialized tools, compression gauges and other diagnostic equipment.

Job Prospects

Boat mechanics usually work at repair shops, retail outlets or marine settings where boats are stored. A fair number are also self-employed. Many of the most lucrative opportunities are available in coastal areas where marinas and boatyards are common. Other boat mechanics are employed in interior regions of the country where fishing, waterskiing and leisure boating are popular. Those who work in areas with intemperate winter weather may be employed for only half of the year and hold another job during the off-season. Technicians with a lot of experience may advance to supervisory roles or ultimately open repair shops of their own.

Higher Learning/Graduate Opportunities

Most marine craft programs available offer associate degrees. Graduates of these programs can expect to receive additional training on the job. This instruction may be in the repair of a certain aspect of a boat's construction or on the particulars of specific watercraft models. This training generally occurs under the supervision of mechanics with more experience. There is often a need for continuing education, even for those who have been in the industry for long periods of time. This is in large part due to the fact that newer vessels contain increasingly sophisticated equipment and features.

Conclusion

A career as a boat mechanic can be rewarding for those who enjoy water sports and like working with their hands. Problem-solving abilities and attention to detail are among the skills that are important for these professionals. Many graduates are drawn to marine engine repair and related fields due to the growing popularity of water sports in the nation. These professionals are expected to be in high demand for the foreseeable future.

Sources

www.bls.gov/oco

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