Commercial Boat Mechanic: Job Duties and Information

Mar 15, 2019

Career Definition for a Commercial Boat Mechanic

Commercial boat mechanics maintain and repair the engines of commercial boats. They work on both inboard and outboard engines that run on either gasoline or diesel fuel. Commercial boat mechanics work in either repair shops or aboard large vessels, depending on the size and scope of each repair or maintenance assignment. Commercial boat mechanic positions are usually available near large bodies of water that feature recreational or commercial marine use.

Education None required, but associate's degrees are useful for advancement
Job Skills Mechanical operations, complex machinery operation, independent problem solving, adverse weather tolerance
Median Salary (2017)* $38,960 for motorboat mechanics, $46,360 for diesel engine mechanics
Job Growth (2016-2026)* -1% for motorboat mechanics, 9% for diesel engine mechanics

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

While many employers provide training, job applicants with a 2-year associate's degree from a community college or vocational school will have an advantage over less educated or experienced candidates. People interested in careers as commercial boat mechanics should take courses such as small engine repair, marine mechanics, and general electronics.

Skills Required

Commercial boat mechanics need to be able to complete delicate mechanical operations with their hands and should have the ability to operate complex machinery. They will also have to solve problems independently and must be able to work outside in adverse conditions.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for motorboat mechanics are expected to decline 1% from 2016-2026; workers in this occupation earned median pay of $38,960 in 2017. Those that work on diesel engines in boats are projected to see a 9% increase in employment that decade and median wages of $46,360 in 2017. Job growth is expected to be particularly strong for candidates with an associate's degree in a related field.

Alternate Career Options

You can also check out these other careers in vehicle maintenance:

Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technician

These mobile mechanics usually work on-site to maintain and service the engines and other component parts (like fuel lines, transmissions or brakes) of farm, mining, construction, and transportation equipment. Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service techs generally specialize in working on one kind of vehicle. Most of these mechanics have a high school diploma and may have completed some postsecondary courses; on-the-job training is also common, and some mechanics hold manufacturer-issued certification. Jobs in this field are expected to increase 8% from 2016-2026, per the BLS; the agency also reports that these workers earned median pay of $49,440 in 2017.

Automotive Service Technician and Mechanic

Workers in this occupation take care of the maintenance and repair tasks required to keep cars and light trucks in good working order. Auto mechanics identify mechanical or electronic issues, and then repair, modify or replace parts. It's possible to get a job with a high school diploma, although some employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed postsecondary training, up to an associate's degree, some of which are industry-sponsored. Employers may also require auto mechanics to obtain professional certification. For mechanics who work with refrigerants, special U.S. Environmental Protection Agency licensing applies. The BLS reports that jobs in this field are expected to increase 6% from 2016-2026. The BLS also reports that these jobs paid a median salary of $39,550 in 2017.

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