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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 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Foley 50 $41,140
Fairhope 50 $41,140
Daphne 50 $41,140
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 40 $36,140
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 100 $32,660
Mesa 100 $32,660
Phoenix 100 $32,660
Kingman 70 $46,540
Lake Havasu City 70 $46,540
Flagstaff 50 $38,430
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 350 $40,660
Los Angeles 350 $40,660
Long Beach 350 $40,660
Oakland 160 $42,460
San Francisco 160 $42,460
Hayward 160 $42,460
Stockton 40 $42,200
Lodi 40 $42,200
Carlsbad N/A $20,220
San Diego N/A $20,220
San Bernardino N/A $35,710
Riverside N/A $35,710
Ontario N/A $35,710
Roseville N/A $36,510
Arden N/A $36,510
Arcade N/A $36,510
Sacramento N/A $36,510
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Norwalk 170 $52,750
Stamford 170 $52,750
Bridgeport 170 $52,750
New Haven 60 $48,490
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 1190 $37,530
Fort Lauderdale 1190 $37,530
West Palm Beach 1190 $37,530
St. Petersburg 290 $33,670
Clearwater 290 $33,670
Tampa 290 $33,670
Sarasota 220 $37,120
North Port 220 $37,120
Bradenton 220 $37,120
Port St. Lucie 200 $34,040
Jacksonville 190 $43,190
Marco Island 110 $37,270
Naples 110 $37,270
Immokalee 110 $37,270
Fort Myers 80 $40,020
Cape Coral 80 $40,020
Crestview 60 $39,150
Fort Walton Beach 60 $39,150
Destin 60 $39,150
Ormond Beach 50 $45,560
Deltona 50 $45,560
Daytona Beach 50 $45,560
Punta Gorda 40 $28,340
Titusville 30 $31,400
Melbourne 30 $31,400
Palm Bay 30 $31,400
Orlando N/A $39,570
Sanford N/A $39,570
Kissimmee N/A $39,570
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 80 N/A
Sandy Springs 80 N/A
Atlanta 80 N/A
Gainesville 40 N/A
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis N/A $30,010
Anderson N/A $30,010
Carmel N/A $30,010
La Porte N/A $34,560
Michigan City N/A $34,560
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Thibodaux 30 $23,990
Houma 30 $23,990
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 80 $36,090
Portland 80 $36,090
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 550 $44,130
Columbia 550 $44,130
Baltimore 550 $44,130
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 240 $42,670
New Bedford 70 $50,930
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 370 $53,350
Warren 370 $53,350
Detroit 370 $53,350
Grand Rapids 180 $37,990
Wyoming 180 $37,990
Muskegon 50 $40,020
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester N/A $42,980
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pascagoula 50 $31,640
Biloxi 50 $31,640
Gulfport 50 $31,640
Jackson 30 $28,530
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Atlantic City 90 $47,570
Hammonton 90 $47,570
Ocean City 40 $39,270
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Drum 80 $40,720
Watertown 80 $40,720
Niagara Falls 80 $41,450
Buffalo 80 $41,450
Cheektowaga 80 $41,450
Glens Falls 60 $36,040
Rochester N/A $27,400
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Bern 150 $37,470
Wilmington 80 $38,340
High Point 50 $32,630
Greensboro 50 $32,630
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck N/A $42,760
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elyria N/A $31,230
Cleveland N/A $31,230
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 40 $25,770
Carolina 40 $25,770
San Juan 40 $25,770
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 160 $35,810
North Charleston 160 $35,810
Greenville N/A $34,370
Mauldin N/A $34,370
Anderson N/A $34,370
Hilton Head Island N/A $42,940
Bluffton N/A $42,940
Beaufort N/A $42,940
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Knoxville N/A $29,240
Franklin N/A $44,630
Murfreesboro N/A $44,630
Davidson N/A $44,630
Nashville N/A $44,630
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dallas 490 $44,060
Fort Worth 490 $44,060
Arlington 490 $44,060
Houston 490 $47,350
Sugar Land 490 $47,350
The Woodlands 490 $47,350
Corpus Christi 50 N/A
Port Arthur 50 $36,610
Beaumont 50 $36,610
New Braunfels N/A $40,080
San Antonio N/A $40,080
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City N/A $35,970
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 60 $37,200
Burlington 60 $37,200
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 340 $51,070
Bellevue 340 $51,070
Tacoma 340 $51,070
Bellingham 50 $43,600
Anacortes 40 $39,410
Mount Vernon 40 $39,410
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eau Claire 40 $35,260

Most Popular Industries for :
Marine Mechanics

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

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

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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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

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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