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Motorboat mechanics, also known as marine mechanics, are responsible for repairing and adjusting the electrical and mechanical equipment of both inboard and outboard boats. They usually work in close proximity to the water where boats in need of maintenance and repair can quickly be brought in and then easily transported back out to the water once the repairs have been made. While most small engine repairs are done close to the water, larger boats in need of maintenance or upgrade may need to be taken further inland for more significant work or overhauls.

Marine mechanics can gain the skills needed to work on a variety of boats through on-the-job training or by going to school and completing a postsecondary educational program. Students can learn about the various dynamics of inboard and outboard motors as well as how to repair other aspects of a watercraft, such as boat equipment, steering systems and propellers.

Responsibilities of Marine Mechanics

Because the technology on motorboats is becoming ever more complex, individuals need to know how to work with both newer and older boats. In general, they should be able to:

  • Use a variety of techniques to determine the source of a problem and the extent of needed repairs
  • Diagnose mechanical and electrical problems and make repairs to bring the motorboat back to operation
  • Use computerized diagnostic testing equipment
  • Make needed repairs or replace unfixable parts
  • Refer to service manuals from the manufacturer for instructions and specifications
  • Do periodic maintenance checks on electrical systems, fuel injection systems, spark plugs, and other parts

Marine Mechanic Job Characteristics

While marine mechanics often work in a noisy shop that is located near or next to the water, they also need to be able to work well independently. They may work full 40-hour weeks or have less job demand depending on the time of year. Here are some things to expect on the job:

  • They may be busiest during the summer months and directly preceding and following this time
  • They may need to put in more than 40 hours a week, including evenings and weekends during the warm season
  • In warmer locations or at places closer to the equator, they could be busier year-round
  • They need to be able to operate boats and watercraft to ensure completion of repairs

The following skills could be beneficial to marine mechanics mechanics and motorboat repair workers:

  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work in confined spaces
  • Aptitude for following instructions and diagrams in manufacturers manuals
  • Interest in learning new technologies to meet changing boat engine manufacturer guidelines
  • Time management skills to insure repairs are completed according to estimates

Marine Mechanic Salary and Career Info

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the following information about motorboat mechanics and service technicians nationwide:

  • Total Employed: 20,210 in 2014
  • Job Growth: 5% growth, from 2012 to 2022
  • Average Salary: $38,600, in 2014

Marine mechanics can work on other types of small engines during the cold months to keep up their income. This includes fixing and repairing snowmobiles, snowblowers and all-terrain vehicles. Individuals working in Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington and Massachusetts had the highest mean annual wages, all above $44,000, in 2014.

Education, Certification and Licensing

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically needed to enter the motorboat mechanics field, although there are programs available at mechanics and vocational schools to help individuals gain career skills. In these programs, students should learn how to:

  • Maintain and repair outboard and inboard engines, propellers, and steering systems
  • Adjust sails, hulls, and other parts
  • Fix the electronic components that control the boat engines' performance and instrument displays
  • Winterize boats and other watercraft

Certification is not necessary to become a motorboat mechanic, although it can demonstrate knowledge in the field and result in more pay, according to the BLS. Motorboat mechanics seeking certification can do so through an organization like the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), which offers certifications in diesel engines and support systems, marine systems, marine corrosion, and other areas.

There are no licensing requirements to become a motorboat or marine mechanic.

Major Employers

  • Boat dealers
  • Boat rental companies
  • Marinas
  • Manufacturers and manufacturer facilities
  • Federal, state and local government agencies

Resources

  • Marine Retailers Association of America
  • American Boating Association
  • American Boat and Yacht Council
  • American Boat Builders and Repairers Association
  • Association of Marine Technicians

Sources:

  1. Certifications and Classes, American Boat and Yacht Council, no date. https://www.abycinc.org/educationprograms/certification_program.pdf
  2. Motorboat Mechanics and Service Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493051.htm
  3. Small Engine Mechanics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/small-engine-mechanics.htm

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Marine Mechanics

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Marine Mechanics jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Foley 100 $29,220
Fairhope 100 $29,220
Daphne 100 $29,220
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 50 $50,630
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Flagstaff 50 $39,440
Phoenix N/A $36,610
Scottsdale N/A $36,610
Mesa N/A $36,610
Kingman N/A $45,390
Lake Havasu City N/A $45,390
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hot Springs 40 $33,670
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 320 $37,920
Los Angeles 320 $37,920
Long Beach 320 $37,920
San Francisco 170 $50,850
Oakland 170 $50,850
Hayward 170 $50,850
Carlsbad 120 $51,210
San Diego 120 $51,210
Arcade 70 $52,650
Arden 70 $52,650
Sacramento 70 $52,650
Roseville 70 $52,650
Ventura 50 $48,780
Thousand Oaks 50 $48,780
Oxnard 50 $48,780
Redding 40 $27,420
Riverside N/A $34,190
San Bernardino N/A $34,190
Ontario N/A $34,190
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 150 $40,170
Aurora 150 $40,170
Denver 150 $40,170
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Haven 90 $47,210
Danbury N/A $30,300
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 1390 $40,300
West Palm Beach 1390 $40,300
Fort Lauderdale 1390 $40,300
Tampa 310 $32,380
Clearwater 310 $32,380
St. Petersburg 310 $32,380
Jacksonville 250 $41,690
Port St. Lucie 180 $34,120
North Port 160 $30,870
Sarasota 160 $30,870
Bradenton 160 $30,870
Fort Myers 140 $50,900
Cape Coral 140 $50,900
Marco Island 130 $37,690
Immokalee 130 $37,690
Naples 130 $37,690
Destin 80 $37,840
Crestview 80 $37,840
Fort Walton Beach 80 $37,840
Punta Gorda 40 $26,570
Tallahassee 30 $32,010
Deltona N/A $36,890
Ormond Beach N/A $36,890
Daytona Beach N/A $36,890
Titusville N/A $44,890
Palm Bay N/A $44,890
Melbourne N/A $44,890
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Gainesville 30 $29,780
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 30 $61,170
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bloomington N/A $22,660
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bloomington N/A $22,540
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 50 $42,720
Portland 50 $42,720
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 390 $48,050
Columbia 390 $48,050
Baltimore 390 $48,050
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 210 $42,880
New Bedford 150 $42,990
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Detroit 370 $55,110
Dearborn 370 $55,110
Warren 370 $55,110
Grand Rapids 100 N/A
Wyoming 100 N/A
Flint N/A $25,250
Benton Harbor N/A $37,060
Niles N/A $37,060
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pascagoula N/A $30,850
Biloxi N/A $30,850
Gulfport N/A $30,850
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise N/A $40,040
Henderson N/A $40,040
Las Vegas N/A $40,040
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hammonton 90 $40,180
Atlantic City 90 $40,180
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 180 $36,100
Watertown 90 $34,300
Fort Drum 90 $34,300
Glens Falls 90 $37,480
Cheektowaga 80 $40,890
Niagara Falls 80 $40,890
Buffalo 80 $40,890
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Bern 150 $38,070
Wilmington 110 $37,810
Greensboro 40 $34,850
High Point 40 $34,850
Raleigh N/A $24,690
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 180 $36,940
North Charleston 180 $36,940
Mauldin N/A $33,700
Anderson N/A $33,700
Greenville N/A $33,700
Beaufort N/A $38,890
Hilton Head Island N/A $38,890
Bluffton N/A $38,890
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Knoxville N/A $28,630
Franklin N/A $44,960
Murfreesboro N/A $44,960
Davidson N/A $44,960
Nashville N/A $44,960
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Worth 340 $36,710
Dallas 340 $36,710
Arlington 340 $36,710
Sugar Land 340 $54,780
The Woodlands 340 $54,780
Houston 340 $54,780
Corpus Christi 80 $55,930
New Braunfels 70 $35,610
San Antonio 70 $35,610
Round Rock N/A $49,730
Austin N/A $49,730
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 120 $56,000
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 70 $37,560
Burlington 70 $37,560
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 30 $37,980
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 510 $48,150
Tacoma 510 $48,150
Bellevue 510 $48,150
Tumwater 50 $40,760
Olympia 50 $40,760
Bellingham 40 $39,200
Mount Vernon 40 $41,100
Anacortes 40 $41,100
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 90 $33,820
Waukesha 90 $33,820
Milwaukee 90 $33,820
Eau Claire 40 $36,150

Most Popular Industries for :
Marine Mechanics

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Auto And Auto Parts Dealers 10,180 52% $34,270
Amusement Gambling And Recreation 3,880 19% $34,410
Maintenance And Repair 3,630 18% $34,410
Automotive And Vehicle Manufacturing 640 3% $36,130
Durable Goods Wholesale 340 1% $38,220
Transportation Support Services 310 1% $35,250
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Results:  4
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Sacramento
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  • Automotive Technician (11-Month Diploma Program)
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Bakersfield
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  • Degree - Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
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Fresno
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  • Aviation Maintenance Technician
  • Designated as a 2017 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • Offers several aviation maintenance programs, including engineering, electronics, helicopter, and avionics technology.
  • Tutoring and advising services are available to students at no additional cost.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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Oakland
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Marine Mechanics.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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