How to Choose a Marine Engine Mechanics and Repair School

Students who want to become marine engine mechanics can consider degrees and training programs in marine technology. These are offered by 2-year technical and vocational colleges and by industry organizations. Various programs result in a certificate, diploma or degree; some incorporate certifications in popular engine models.

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Marine mechanics maintain and repair boat engines in shops and on-site in marinas or docks. Community colleges and technical schools commonly offer training for this career through certificate, diploma and associate's degree programs in marine technology, though power technology, diesel engine or small engine repair programs might also be available.

10 Schools for Marine Mechanics Programs

These institutions offer marine mechanics programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
Cape Fear Community College Wilmington, NC 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $2,654; Out-of-state $8,798
George Stone Technical Center Pensacola, FL 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $3,901; Out-of-state $15,700
Central Lakes College - Brainerd Brainerd, MN 2-year, Public Diploma, Associate's $5,384
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Shell Lake, WI 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $4,545; Out-of-state $6,598
University of Alaska Southeast Juneau, AK 4-year, Public Certificate; Associate's In-state $6,132; Out-of-state $17,306
The Landing School Arundel, ME 2-year, Private Certificate $21,694
Fort Myers Technical College Fort Myers, FL 2-year, Public Certificate $4,150
Honolulu Community College Honolulu, HI 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $2,910; Out-of-state $7,902
New England Institute of Technology East Greenwich, RI 4-year, Private Associate's $23,031
Northeast Technology Center-Afton Afton, OK 2-year, Public Certificate In-district $1,800; Out-of-district $3,600

*Sources: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), School websites

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School Selection Criteria

There are several points to consider when looking for a program in marine engine mechanics:

  • Students should consider programs with on-campus facilities, such as shops or laboratories, that will allow them to gain hands-on experience.
  • Students interested in working in shops connected to dealerships might want to look for schools offering certification in specific engine types or advanced certification options in engine mechanisms.
  • Internships and work experience programs, offered at select marine technology schools, offer valuable hands-on experience.
  • Students may want to find programs in locations where the weather is warm year-round. Many programs have relations with local industries, and students may have better chances of finding consistent employment in warmer climates.

Training Programs for Marine Mechanics

Students with industry experience or who are looking at advancing to management positions can consider training programs offered by independent industry organizations. These programs involve significant hands-on learning but some include classes as well. Training programs can be more specific and allow students to supplement their previous learning and experience.

Certificate Programs in Marine Technology

Certificate programs can usually be completed in one year; however, certificates of proficiency are more in-depth programs and may last longer. In addition to marine technology basics, these programs might cover engine tune-ups and overhauls as well as electrical systems.

Associate's Degree and Diploma Programs in Marine Technology

Associate's degree programs include general education classes in addition to the marine technology curriculum. Marine technology curriculum begins with basic engine systems before moving on to outboard and diagnostic systems. Some programs combine marine technology with classes in other small engine machines, such as lawnmowers and motorcycles. Lab time is extensive. Diploma programs often contain similar coursework.

Aspiring marine mechanics can prepare for this career by completing a certificate, diploma or associate's degree program in marine technology, which range from less than a year to two years in length and often include hands-on training through campus labs or via internships.

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