Ship Mechanic School: Overview of Certificates and Diploma Programs

Training programs to become a ship mechanic range from a few months for more general education programs to two years for more specialized learning. Certificate and diploma programs in ship mechanics are offered at technical schools and community colleges.

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Essential Information

Certificate and diploma programs in marine mechanics teach techniques used to diagnose and repair mechanical, electrical and structural problems in all types of watercraft. Some programs emphasize particular aspects, like small engine repair or ship restoration. The coursework includes standard classroom instruction as well as hands-on practical experience with small engines and watercraft. Much of the material covered is also applicable to other mechanical disciplines, such as automobiles, motorcycles and aircraft.

Prerequisites for ship mechanic programs include a high school diploma or its equivalent. High school classes in physics, mathematics and woodworking, as well as machine shop, may also be required.


Certificate and Diplomas in Ship Mechanic School

Students learn the methods used to fix marine craft. While most of the coursework concerns resolving mechanical and electrical problems, some programs also cover yacht restoration and exterior ship repair. Students are usually required to take the following courses:

  • Small gasoline engine repair
  • Small diesel engine repair
  • Fuel system repair
  • Marine outboard motors
  • Marine electronic systems

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) predicted job growth of 3% between 2014 and 2024 for motorboat mechanics and service technicians. The BLS also reported that motorboat mechanics and service technicians earned $38,280 in median annual wages in May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Many people who complete certificate programs in ship mechanics go on to earn associate's degrees. These programs allow students to gain further experience working on marine equipment, learning about the electrical and mechanical components of ships.

Certificate and diploma programs in ship mechanics provide students with the knowledge they need to repair engines on watercraft, and courses also often apply to other types of transportation, such as motorcycle and aircraft mechanics. Graduates can go on to earn associate's degrees in ship mechanics, which includes training in the mechanical and electrical systems of marine vessels.

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