Marine Mechanic School and College Options

Marine mechanics work on inboard and outboard marine engines, servicing and repairing problems. Formal training comes through certificate, diploma and associate's degree programs.

Schools with programs in marine mechanics teach students how to repair both mechanical and electrical parts of small and large engines over the course of two-year associate's degree programs that include general education coursework or shorter-term diplomas and certificates that focus solely on technical instruction.

Schools with Marine Mechanics Programs

The following table includes some of the schools offering certificate, diploma and degree programs to aspiring marine mechanics:

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
CUNY Kingsborough Community College Brooklyn, NY 2-year, Public Certificate $5,202 in-state, $8,082 out-of-state
Cape Fear Community College Wilmington, NC 2-year, Public Diploma $2,654 in-state, $8,798 out-of-state
Olympic College Bremerton, WA 4-year, primarily associate's, Public Associate's degree $3,837
Minnesota State Community and Technical College Detroit Lakes, MN 2-year, Public Certificate, Diploma, Associate's Degree $5,303
Hennepin Technical College Brooklyn Park, MN 2-year, Public Certificate, Diploma, Associate's Degree $5,159
Skagit Valley College Mount Vernon, WA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's degree $4,200 in-state, $4,700 out-of-state
Honolulu Community College Honolulu, HI 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's degree $2,910 in-state, $7,902 out-of-state

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

School and College Selection Criteria

In order to get the most out of their marine mechanic program, students might want to research the following characteristics when choosing a school:

  • Because many marine mechanics specialize in a specific brand, such as Yamaha, Mercury, Volvo or Honda, students should consider whether faculty members are company-certified to teach one or more brands of interest.
  • Decide whether the coursework included in a certificate or associate's degree program better fits your career and academic goals.
  • Find a school that teaches inboard and outboard motor repair for both gasoline and diesel engines. Other courses a school should offer include fiberglass repair, hydraulic systems, electrical systems and computer concepts.
  • Since work in the northern United States is seasonal, students may also want to seek training in small engine repair in order to find work in the offseason repairing non-marine engines.

Certificate and Diploma Programs

Certificate and diploma programs for marine mechanics vary widely, depending on the school. Some take a full year to complete, while others consist of fewer courses and can be completed in less than a year. There are programs that include general education courses, as well as programs focus specifically on marine mechanical training.

Associate's Degree Programs

Associate's degree programs for aspiring marine mechanics generally award either an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or Associate in Technical Arts (ATA) degree. Over the course of the two-year program, students learn to maintain, repair and rebuild marine engines as well as their electrical systems. They also develop professional skills and take general education classes. Some programs include internships or apprenticeships with professional marine mechanics.

Aspiring marine mechanics have the option of choosing between an undergraduate certificate, diploma or associate's degree program, with some schools offering multiple program levels. Take a look at program coursework, faculty credentials and specialization options to see which programs will best meet your education needs.

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