Outboard Motor Repair Training and Career Information

Sep 21, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an outboard motor repair specialist. Get a quick view of the schooling requirements as well as details about certificate programs, job duties and career outlook information to find out if this is the career for you.

Outboard motor repairers work on boat engines. They require little education, but many employers prefer some coursework. Outboard motor repairers have a median annual salary of around $38,000.

Essential Information

Outboard motors are a type of small engine used to propel boats. Some vocational schools and community colleges offer classes and certificate programs may that include instruction in outboard motor repair. Experienced workers may move into supervisory roles, work for manufacturers as sales representatives or open their own businesses. Employers generally prefer to hire candidates who have completed education in small engine repair or marine technology.

Career Outboard Motor Repairer
Required Education A postsecondary certificate in marine technology or small engine repair
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 6% for motorboat mechanics & service technicians
Median Annual Salary (2018)* $40,180 for motorboat mechanics & service technicians

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Training for Outboard Motor Repair

Some high schools offer vocational course--such as those for small engine repair and automobile mechanics--to help prepare students for entry-level technician positions. Candidates typically begin as mechanic trainees and perform simple tasks while supervised by experienced mechanics. Training may be as short as a few months to as long as several years.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), due to the growing technological complexities of motor repair, employers are increasingly favoring mechanics who have attended a formal training program. Community colleges offer marine technology technician programs that typically last 9-10 months and prepare students for entry-level technician positions. Course topics include motor functions and components as well as operation, maintenance, diagnosis and repair. Some programs may prepare students for manufacturer certification.

Certificate Programs

Some colleges offer small engine repair certificate programs in which students may elect to specialize in outboard motor repair. Courses include electrical systems and service principles. Students acquire hands-on, practical training with regard to inspecting, maintaining, troubleshooting, disassembling and rebuilding engines.

Career Information for Outboard Motor Repair

Entry-level employees learn routine service tasks, such as periodic maintenance to keep engines operational. As new hires gain proficiency, they may take on increasingly complicated work, like diagnosing the source and extent of a motor issue. Other duties include replacing parts, disassembling the engine and keeping records of service. Additionally, advanced mechanics may be responsible for more complex tasks, such as using the aid of computer technology to analyze components.

Career Outlook

According to the BLS, motorboat mechanic job opportunities were expected to increase by 6% between 2018 and 2028 ( The same source states that median wages were $19.32 an hour as of May 2018, with job prospects best for those with formal training. Outboard motor repair technicians may use their work experience to gain entry into more complex service and repair jobs--such as automobile or heavy industry machines--or they may advance to become store supervisors or manufacturer sales representatives.

Outboard motor repairers require only a high school diploma, though many employers prefer those with formal training. Outboard motor repairers can pursue opportunities such as running their own business, working as sales reps for manufacturers or moving into supervisory roles with experience. The job outlook for these positions is slower than other jobs.

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