How to Become a Boat Mechanic

A Boat Mechanic’s job can be compared to that of an Auto Mechanic.

Both provide maintenance and repair work to malfunctioning parts of a transportation vehicle.

An experienced Boat Mechanic knows the inner workings of marine modes of transportation providing services in order for boats to run smoothly and functionally on the sea.

Their work is important in order to prevent unexpected problems that can leave boat owners stranded out at sea.

Boat Mechanics can perform maintenance and repair on several types of vessels.

Some boat Mechanics can work for private firms or for a Military entity, such as the Navy.

Boat Mechanics need to have through knowledge on a boat’s parts and what their functions are in order to provide maintenance and repair.

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Someone who wants to become a Boat Mechanic will learn all the necessary skills and engine components by completing a training program or apprenticeship.

Professional Boat Mechanics are adept at working with their hands and use that skill to fix boat engines and provide maintenance.

Another helpful trait to have is proficiency with swimming and having a scuba certification in case a propeller needs repair.

Education Requirements to Become a Boat Mechanic

In order to become a Boat Mechanic, candidates must receive formal training either by attending a certification program or fulfilling an apprenticeship.

Some programs even offer an Associate’s Degree that requires more schooling and time to complete but that can provide a strong educational background for candidates.

In order to attend an education institution that offers a certificate or Associate’s Degree, people who want to become a Boat Mechanic must have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Most vocational schools or junior colleges offer certification or an Associate’s Degree in boat mechanics.

During a Boat Mechanic certification program, students will learn the basics about boat engines and their components.

Components that students will throughout a program include:

  • Boat fuel systems
  • Boat electrical systems
  • Ignition systems
  • Drive systems
  • Propellers

Students not only learn the different components that make a boat run, they will learn how to service them and how to troubleshoot any problems an engine may have.

A Boat Mechanic needs to be knowledgeable with the different kinds of engines.

There are two types of engines a Boat Mechanic should be familiar with: inboard engines which are fixed onto a boat and are not normally removed for repairs.

Outboard engines are removable and can get serviced in another location such as a shop.

Some additional differences a boat mechanic should know include the different kinds of fuel the engines use.

Outboard engines and motors run on gasoline while inboard motors are found in cabin cruisers or large fishing boats.

Certification makes a candidate seem more reliable and knowledgeable about boat maintenance.

An organization that grants certification in order to become a Boat Mechanic is the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), a nonprofit organization that sets standards for the industry.

For more information regarding earning certification from the American Boat and Yacht Council go to: ABYC

Boat Mechanic Job Description

Boat Mechanic Specialists are responsible for the preventive maintenance and repair of motorized boats.

An experienced Boat Mechanic is able to troubleshoot and repair inboard or outboard engines using the skills they learned with either on the job experience or by attending a training program.

Job Duties include:

  • Perform maintenance or repair work on various types of engines such as gasoline, outboard motors and marine engines
  • Performs tests on engines and other equipment to determine whether they need repairs or fine-tuning
  • Use a variety of tools in order to repair and provide maintenance work
  • Buys necessary supplies and parts and make equipment suggestions

Boat Mechanic Salary and Career Path

The outlook for Boat Mechanic positions is expected to have average growth throughout the next decade.

There are more job openings in the motor vehicle retail industry although with lower pay than government jobs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median wage for boat mechanics is approximately $15.00 per hour.

The salary range for this position is typically $17.00 to $30.00 per hour.

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