Personal Watercraft Marine Technician Career Info

The popularity of personal watercrafts continues to create a demand for personal watercraft marine technicians. If you enjoy working with small engines, a career in marine equipment repair may be right for you. Read on to learn more details about this occupation.

Career Definition for a Personal Watercraft Marine Technician

A personal watercraft marine technician, or marine equipment mechanic, is responsible for the diagnosis, repair, and maintenance of outboard and inboard engines on personal watercraft. Marine technicians use their experience with electrical diagnostics, fuel systems, compressors, and lubrication systems to troubleshoot the small diesel engines that motor personal watercraft use. Personal watercraft marine technicians can transfer their experience with small engine repair to occupations in motorcycle and auto mechanics, as well as appliance repair.

Education Certificate programs available to start, associate and bachelor's degrees also offered
Job Skills Analytical skills, knowledge of engines and parts of engines
Median Salary (2017)* $34,370 (for outdoor power equipment mechanics)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 10% (for outdoor power equipment mechanics)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

There are junior colleges and universities that offer 2-year associate's degrees and 4-year bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering. But, many personal watercraft marine technicians start their careers with a 1-year certificate program from a junior college or technical school. Certification courses include classes on inboard and outboard motor systems, steering systems, diesel engine assembly, and propulsion mechanisms.

Skills Required

A personal watercraft marine technician needs to have good analytical skills and a thorough knowledge of diesel engines and their working parts: electrical systems, compressors, and valve systems. Many of the skills used by a marine technician can be learned as an apprentice and with on-the-job training.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the need for small engine mechanics who repair outdoor equipment will grow at a faster than average rate of 10% from 2016-2026. The BLS published the median annual salary among outdoor power equipment and other small motor mechanics, which was $34,370 in May 2017. It should be noted that work for personal watercraft marine technicians is seasonal in some parts of the country.

Alternate Career Options

Listed below are a few other choices in engine maintenance careers:

Automotive Service Technician and Mechanic

With a high school diploma or its equivalent, along with on-the-job training, these technicians and mechanics can learn to repair and maintain light trucks and cars. However, it's becoming more commonplace for aspiring automotive techs to complete some postsecondary education. During the 2016-2026 decade, the BLS projected average employment growth of 6% for these professionals. In addition, the BLS revealed their median annual wage as $39,550 in 2017.

Diesel Service Technician and Mechanic

Many diesel mechanics and techs, who work on any vehicles with diesel engines, are high school graduates who learn the required skills for this occupation on the job. Some have completed postsecondary training programs, and others may also pursue industry certifications to help them stand out from the crowd. The number of jobs in this field is expected to grow 9% from 2016-2026, and the median salary among diesel service techs was $46,360 in 2017, per the BLS.


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