Marine Motor Repair Technician: Job Description and Career Info

Mar 16, 2019

Marine motor repair technicians service the engines of watercrafts. See what the education and training requirements are and learn about career prospects and earning potential to determine if this job is right for you.

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Career Definition for a Marine Motor Repair Technician

Marine motor repair technicians use computer diagnostic equipment and hand tools to troubleshoot the engines built for motorized watercraft. A marine company that owns a fleet of industrial boats may hire marine motor repair technicians to tune up power heads or rebuild engine gear cases, while the owner of a speed boat may need a technician to do routine maintenance on the boat's engine drive shafts, lubrication system, and electrical components. During the winter, a marine motor technician may also find work repairing snowmobiles and other cold weather recreation vehicles.

Education High school diploma or equivalent, certificate from a technical school preferred
Job Skills Mechanical aptitude, good communication and customer service
Median Annual Salary (2017)* $38,960 (all motorboat mechanics and service technicians)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* -1% (all motorboat mechanics and service technicians)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Graduating from high school and experience working on small engines may be enough to start a career as a marine motor repair technician. But employers prefer to hire techs who have earned a certificate of completion from a two-year technical school or vocational program. Students who enroll in these programs generally get classroom and hands-on training. Skills gained include refurbishing and testing engines, as well as learning how to work with the most commonly used tools for repairing a watercraft.

Skills Required

Excellent mechanical skills are required for working on a variety of watercraft. A marine motor repair technician also needs to be able to communicate well with customers.

Economic and Career Outlook

A slight decline in jobs is expected in the field of marine motor repair. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), ( reported the median annual income for those working as motorboat mechanics and service technicians was $38,960 in May 2017. Job growth for motorboat mechanics and service technicians was projected to be -1% during the 2016-2026 decade, according to the BLS.

Alternate Career Options

Below are some careers that are similar to a marine motor repair technician:

Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technician

In this on-site job, mechanics service and repair farm equipment, construction vehicles, rail cars, and related engines. Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians use diagnostic instruments, manuals, and specialized tools. Education requirements range from a high school diploma to postsecondary education. These mechanics also complete on-the-job training. Manufacturer-issued certifications are available. The BLS reports that these jobs are expected to increase 8% from 2016-2026, and that heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians earned a median annual salary of $49,440 in 2017.

Diesel Service Technician

Diesel service technicians have received special training to work on trucks, buses, and other vehicles with diesel engines. These workers use hydraulic jacks, pneumatic wrenches, and hand and other tools to identify problems and make repairs, as well as to perform maintenance tasks. Postsecondary training, such as through a certificate or associate's degree program, is a common path to employment. Once these mechanics are employed, they can still expect to participate in on-going, on-the-job training; also, professional certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is available. Mechanics may also need to have a commercial driver's license. Jobs in this field are expected to increase 9% from 2016-2026. They offered a median annual salary of $46,360 in 2017, per the BLS.

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