How to Become A Boat Mechanic In 2023| Programs, Cost, Salary


Those sophisticated engines that run on the waterways also break down. And it is the job of the boat or marine mechanic to ensure they are always in good shape.

Turn that love for boats and engines into a lucrative career that may even allow you to travel the world while working.



Did you know that boat mechanics also design engines? This may be your chance to bring improvements to existing engines in the waterways since you will be working with them firsthand.

But first, you have to become a marine mechanic. Let’s show you how to go about it.

The table of content is right below.

Who Is A Boat Mechanic?

A boat mechanic is a technician who maintains and repairs inboard and outboard boat engines.

Boat mechanics also maintain and repair motorboats, engines, propellers, pumps, and other parts of underwater vehicles. He diagnoses problems, lubricates parts, makes mechanical adjustments, and replaces worn or damaged parts.

A boat mechanic can also be called a motorboat mechanic, boat mechanic, marine mechanic, or small motor mechanic. We will be using these terms interchangeably in this post.

Duties Of A Marine Mechanic

The duties of boat mechanics include disassembling and inspecting motors, replacing defective parts, and adjusting timing or fuel-air mix. Other duties may include testing and evaluating motor performance at various speeds.

They also inspect, adjust, or replace propellers, power tilts, and bilge pumps and keep records of inspections and repairs.

In addition, you may be repairing both outboard and inboard engines, boat steering systems, testing engines, and all kinds of routine maintenance.

  • Repair plumbing
  • Assemble steering devices
  • Cleaning machines
  • Hydraulic monitoring
  • Maintained and repaired air conditioning units as well as electrical boxes.
  • Maintain and repair engines and fuel systems
  • Replace propellers
  • Understand steering gears and accessories
  • Install and evaluate sanitation

What is the Salary and Job outlook of Boat Mechanics?

According to BLS, around 22,940 people worked as boat mechanics in 2019. They also project an employment increase of 6% between 2018 and 2028 for motorboat mechanics and service technicians.

The median salary of boat/marine mechanics is $43,440 yearly and a $20.89 median hourly pay.

2022 Ranking

Florida and California had the highest number of employment for motorboat mechanics and service technicians. Their annual median salaries are $47,690 and $46,450, respectively.

How to Become a Certified Boat Mechanic

The following steps are paramount if you wish to become a boat mechanic.

1: Attend High School

Attending high school is important if you wish to become a marine mechanic because you require math and communication skills.

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You may also consider taking shop courses if your high school has them. Shop courses provide direct experience with small hand tools and problem-solving.

While in high school, pay rapt attention to English, Math, and Electronics courses. English will help with written and oral communication, while Electronics will give an understanding of technical specifications

2: Become an Apprentice

Learning on the job through an apprenticeship program is one way to obtain the necessary training. Boat manufacturers and labor unions may offer some apprenticeships, while others are affiliated with local community colleges or technical schools. This may last up to four years.

3: Attend College

Many employers love marine mechanics with formal education.

You may obtain this experience in a certificate or associate’s degree program. Some schools offer marine mechanic courses that teach the fundamentals of engine management. A certificate may be earned in a year, and an associate’s in two years.

Take courses, and attend a vocational or trade school. Have technical education asides from what you learned from the apprenticeship.

4: Certification

Certifications are important for marine mechanics that want to advance in the field.

The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) offers various marine mechanics certification courses. For example, mechanics can become certified in marine systems, diesel engines and support systems, gasoline engines, and support systems, etc.

Boat mechanics can also earn manufacturer-specific certifications, such as the Certified Technician in Mercury Marine product lines available through Mercury University.

ABYC Certification is valid for five years, after which they are renewed.

Lastly, become a master technician. This happens if you complete a minimum of three certifications through ABYC.

5: Get Employment

You can apply for positions in repair shops, docks, and marinas or start your own business. However, you can choose to become self-employed.

ABYC also employs some technicians.

How many years does it take to become a Boat Mechanic?

After high school, it takes a year to get a certificate degree and two years to get associates’.

The apprenticeship can last up to four years, depending on the terms of the agreement.

So, it can take around four years to become a marine mechanic.

How Much Does a Marine Mechanic Degree Cost?

The cost of marine mechanic programs varies depending on the school and the kind of degree to be earned. You either earn an associate degree or a certificate or diploma.

The most popular options average between $20,000 and $30,000.

Best Boat Mechanic Programs

In this section, we have some of the boat mechanic programs you can enroll in to get a degree, whether a certificate or an associate’s. Some of them are listed below.

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1. Marine Mechanics Institute – Marine Technician Specialist Training

There are many courses at UTI for marine mechanics and technicians.

Some of them are:

  • Engines
  • Lower Units/Outdrives
  • Rigging
  • Fuel and Lubrication Systems
  • Electrical Basics
  • Electrical Systems
  • Diesel 1
  • Electrical Diagnostics
  • Diesel 2
  • Volvo Penta
  • Service Operations
  • Honda Marine
  • Yamaha Marine
  • Suzuki Marine
  • MercTech 1
  • MercTech 2
  • Capstone

Similarly, there is Specialized Marine Mechanic Training. This program provides students with training specific to brand manufacturers.

In this training, you’ll learn everything from 2-stroke and 4-stroke theory and fuel systems to electrical diagnostics and troubleshooting.

The Marine Technician Training at Universal Technical Institute is a 51 weeks program that gives lots of hands-on tasks running engines.

Furthermore, students at UTI learn through a combination of classroom and hands-on experience. It prepares for complete career training from basic engine theory to technical aspects like service, rebuilding, troubleshooting, and repair.

Finally, this Marine mechanic training is available at our Marine Mechanics Institute (MMI) campus in Orlando, Florida.

2. Skagit Valley College

The Associate degree is in Marine Maintenance Technology.

This training will launch your career as a boat, ship repair, and maintenance technician.

Students will be trained in the following major areas: marine propulsion, marine vessel systems, and marine composites. Your coursework will include classroom study, hands-on experience, and certification preparation.

There is also the option of certificate courses in Marine Mechanical Technician and Marine Electrical Technician.


3. Alexandria Technical College

The program by this school is Marine, Motorcycle, & Power sports Technician.

This program prepares boat mechanic students to repair inboard and outboard systems, personal watercraft, ATVs, and motorcycles.

There is an internship at the end of the first year. It is a 2-year course.

High school courses in shop, mathematics, or mechanics are beneficial but not required. However, it requires precision measurements, including those using the metric system.


4. British Columbia Institute of Technology

You can get a Marine Mechanical Technician program as either a full-time or apprenticeship.

The duration for both courses is 10 weeks.

The apprenticeship program is for individuals who have an employer to sponsor them. While the full-time program is for people with extensive experience working in the occupation and wishes to challenge the certification.

5. Cape Fear Community College

The program offered in this school is Outboard systems.

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This 13-week program from Yamaha Marine University teaches core skills used by mechanics for marine outboard systems.

Students will learn the basics of boating, fuel system components, and outboard electrical systems, a fundamental understanding of the marine industry, and marine service careers.

Students will be prepared to take the Yamaha Marine Technician certification test upon completing this course.

Alternative Career Opportunities for a Marine Mechanic

A small-engines mechanic specializing in inspecting, maintaining, and repairing motorized power equipment is the most frequently chosen substitute for a marine technician.

In the US, small-engine mechanics make roughly $39,020 per year.
You can choose a profession as an automotive service technician or mechanic, where you’ll get to maintain and repair automobiles and light trucks if you enjoy working on engines but not necessarily boats.

Diesel service mechanic is an additional potential career path that entails working on large diesel-powered buses and trucks.

These alternative courses involve a comparable amount of knowledge and time as a boat mechanic and contain intense hands-on instruction.

Schools that Offer Programs in Boat Mechanic

Many schools offer degrees in boat mechanics. Some of them are listed below.

  • Marine Mechanics Institute
  • Skagit Valley College
  • Alexandria Technical College
  • British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • Cape Fear Community College
  • Kingsborough Community College
  • Hennepin Technical College
  • Georgian College
  • TAFE Queensland
  • Kagan Institute
  • Automotive Training Center
  • J-Tech Institute


A boat mechanic, otherwise known as a marine mechanic, is a technician who maintains and repairs inboard and outboard boat engines.

His salary, schools, and programs he can attend have been highlighted in the post. Read and apply to any schools to become a marine mechanic or technician. World Scholarship Forum cares!

FAQs on How to become a Marine Mechanic

Who are Boat mechanics?

Boat mechanics maintain and repair motorboats, engines, propellers, pumps, and other parts of underwater vehicles. He diagnoses problems, lubricates parts, makes mechanical adjustments, and replaces worn or damaged parts.

What are the boat mechanic schools one can attend?

Some boat mechanic schools one can attend are:

Skagit Valley College
Alexandria Technical College
British Columbia Institute of Technology
Cape Fear Community College
Kingsborough Community College
Hennepin Technical College
Georgian College
TAFE Queensland

What is the salary of a marine mechanic?

The median salary of boat/marine mechanics is $43,440 yearly and a $20.89 median hourly pay.
Step 1: Attend High School
Step 2: Become an Apprentice
Step 3: Attend College
Step 4: Certification
Step 5: Get Employment


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