Boat Technician Colleges and Schools with Program Overviews

Boat technicians - also referred to as boat mechanics or small engine mechanics - are responsible for repairing outboard and inboard motors as well as other operating systems on a variety of marine vessels. Aspiring boat technicians have the option of choosing a certificate program and an associate's degree in marine technology or a bachelor's degree in marine engineering technology.

Aspiring boat technicians can find undergraduate training programs in marine technology that emphasize classroom and hands-on training in boat handling and servicing, power generation, electrical systems and more.

Schools with Marine Technology Programs

The following schools offer marine technology programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*
University of Michigan Ann Arbor 4-year, Public Bachelor's
$13,856 In-state
$43,476 Out-of-state
University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, Wisconsin 4-year, Public Bachelor's
$10,415 In-state
$29,665 Out-of-state
Kingsborough Community College Brooklyn, New York 2-year, Public Associate's $5,202 In-state
$8,082 Out-of-state
Skagit Valley College Mount Vernon, Washington 2-year, Public Certificate
$4,200 In-state
$4,700 Out-of-state
Broward College Fort Lauderdale, Florida 2-year, Public Certificate
$2,753 In-state
$8,875 Out-of-state
Cape Fear Community College Wilmington, North Carolina 2-year, Public Associate's $2,654 In-state
$8,798 Out-of-state
Lakes Region Community College Laconia, New Hampshire 2-year, Public Certificate
$6,642 In-state
$14,802 Out-of-state
Seattle Central College Seattle, Washington 2-year, Public Certificate $3,891 In-state
$9,083 Out-of-state
Alpena Community College Alpena, Michigan 2-year, Public Associate's $4,140 In-district
$6,210 In-state
$6,210 Out-of-state

Source: *NCES College Navigator

How to Select a Boat Technician College or School

Marine technology programs vary from school to school, and it is important for a student to evaluate each prospective program to determine if it meets their needs. Some things to consider include:

  • Student should determine what length of time they are willing to dedicate to pursuing their degree since boat technician training programs range from 1-4 years in length.
  • Students may also want to consider the type of job that will be available to them after earning a certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree, and choose the degree option that meets their career goals.
  • A prospective student should decide which marine technology specialities they wish to learn and find a program that emphasizes those areas.
  • Look for a program that provides internships or hands-on experience in labs or marine mechanics shops.

Certificate and Associate's Degree Programs

Both a certificate program and an associate's degree in marine technology cover the major topics required of a boat technician such as inboard and outboard motor servicing, boat handling and moving, power generation theory, and electrical systems. A student enrolled in either boat technician program gains substantial hands-on experience in laboratories to supplement classroom courses.

For example, a student may take a basic engine theory class but also be required to complete a series of practical exercises that demonstrate a theoretical foundation in engine types and performance. Some common marine technology classes include electric welding and cutting, marine surveying, marine electronics installation, inboard drive theory and outboard engine troubleshooting and maintenance.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

A bachelor's degree program in marine engineering technology covers more ground than either a certificate or associate's degree program in marine technology. Courses introduce topics such as steam and diesel propulsion, naval engineering systems, materials strength, naval architecture and fluid mechanics. Many of these courses are technical in nature and require students to first complete classes in physics, computer programming and calculus. General education courses are also required for completion of the degree, which typically takes four years.

Marine technology programs are available at the associate's and bachelor's degree levels. These programs emphasize the skills needed to service, maintain and install various components on boats.

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