Outboard Mechanics Schools: How to Choose

Dec 12, 2019

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies outboard motor repairers as part of a wider group of technicians known as small engine mechanics (www.bls.gov). Community, technical and vocational schools across the country offer certificate and associate's degree programs in areas like maritime technology, maritime services, and marine and small engine mechanics.

10 Schools with Outboard Mechanic Programs

The following schools offer outboard mechanic programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2018-2019)*
Coastal Carolina Community College Jacksonville, North Carolina 2-year, Public Continuing Education Course $2,462 In-state
$8,606 Out-of-state
Tidewater Community College Norfolk, Virginia 2-year, Public Associate's $5,561 In-state
$11,489 Out-of-state
Skagit Valley College Mount Vernon, Washington 2-year, Public Certificate
$4,200 In-state
$4,700 Out-of-state
Massasoit Community College Brockton, Massachusetts 2-year, Public Certificate $4,824 In-state
$9,768 Out-of-state
Kingsborough Community College Brooklyn, New York 2-year, Public Associate's $5,252 In-state
$8,132 Out-of-state
Broward College Fort Lauderdale, Florida 2-year, Public Associate's $2,830 In-state
$8,952 Out-of-state
Carteret Community College Morehead City, North Carolina 2-year, Public Certificate $2,696 In-state
$9,224 Out-of-state
Minnesota State Community and Technical College Fergus Falls, Minnesota 2-year, Public Diploma
Chattanooga State Community College Chattanooga, Tennessee 2-year, Public Diploma $5,685**

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **School Website

School Selection Criteria

These programs often include the repair of other types of vehicles, such as snowmobiles, motorcycles and ATVs, along with 2-cycle engines, which are used in lawn and garden equipment. Considerations for students include:

  • Faculty members should have basic engineering expertise, familiarity with manufacturing and work experience in small engine design and repair.
  • Facilities should have spacious, clean laboratories for hands-on student work with modern tools and diagnostic equipment.
  • Student-teacher ratios should be low with sufficient faculty office hours.

Certificate in Maritime and Small Engine Repair

Admission to career certificate programs usually requires a high school diploma or GED. Certificate programs usually require students to take classes in technical math, reading and writing, in addition to engine repair courses.

Associate's Degree in Maritime and Small Engine Repair

Associate's degree programs usually have more robust general education requirements than career certificates. Students take courses in the electrical, fuel and drive systems of small engines, along with power trains and diagnostics. These are applied to both 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines, including marine craft engines, motorcycles and ATVs, as well as lawn and garden equipment.

Outboard mechanics training programs are available at the certificate and associate's degree levels. These programs typically emphasize topics such as electrical systems, fuel systems, power trains and troubleshooting.

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