If you love to work on boats, and love being around the water, then you may be interested in becoming a marine mechanic. Marine mechanics are the men and women who work on boat engines as well as other components to keep them moving smoothly out across the water. There are many different levels of marine mechanics, from small, single outboard engine repair to large tankers. Depending on what you’re interested in working on, you could find the challenges to overcome short and simple or long and tough.
Some marine mechanics are also or more commonly labeled small engine technicians. These are the individuals who will generally work at marinas and repair small to mid-size watercraft engines that are either in dry dock storage or actually out on the water. They may also work on small fishing boats, yachts, and even some transport style vessels.
In order to work on a number of boats, the marine mechanic would need certain certifications, as there are warranty specifications that manufacturers uphold and therefore demand that the mechanics working on their boats understand how to repair them properly. In order to become a certified marine mechanic, you should choose the right mechanic school that specializes in watercrafts.
In order to become a qualified mechanic, you should have the right mechanic training in:
- Small outboard style motors
- Larger inboard engines
- Diagnosing and repairing problems
- Be able to work on land or out on the water
- Provide tune ups
- Work year ‘round, with summers being the busiest time of the year
Training and Certification
Depending on where you hope to work, you may not be required to have any type of formal training. However, many marinas today sell specific types of new boats and those manufacturers require that any marine mechanic that will be working on them have a special certification, which they may provide through a special training program at their location.
Marine Mechanic Salary
During 2011, the average salary for a marine mechanic was $37,590. This works out to about $17 per hour, though mechanics who work in the larger ship marinas or even in the boat building industry tended to earn more than that. Within this level of the industry, the average salary was slightly more than $40,000.
The job outlook for those men and women who are interested in becoming a marine mechanic are actually quite strong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of growth within the marine mechanics industry is expected to continue at about 21 percent between 2010 and 2020. This is actually quite a bit more than the national average of 14 percent for the economy, which means that there will likely be a greater demand for marine mechanics in the coming years. This will also tend to drive up salaries slightly as when demand increases and there are not enough people to fill the positions, the wages increase. There may have never been a better time than now to become a marine mechanic.
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