How to Become a

Boat or Marine Mechanic

The complete career guide to be a Boat or Marine Mechanic: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $39,500
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 2.7%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

A boat or marine mechanic inspects and repairs different kinds of boats such as sail boats, yachts and power boats. Using both hand and power tools, your role will involve servicing electrical systems.

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What is a Boat or Marine Mechanic?

In this employment sector, here is an idea of one’s main duties as a boat or marine mechanic:

  • Executes specialized overhaul of mechanics and repair work on marine engines, outboard motors and other marine equipment.
  • Designs and promotes the use of an effective and routine preventative maintenance program for marine engines and boat types.
  • Conducts tests of marine and boat engines or equipment for locating defective parts, servicing and adjustments.
  • Uses tools like screwdrivers or wrenches, set starter locks and align throttle or steering controls.
  • Adjust generators and replace defective wiring in the boat or marine equipment with soldering irons and hand tools.

Day In The Life

Your day-to-day role will vary depending on difficulty and complexity of the work. One of the tasks is to do regular maintenance inspections and repairs of varying equipment such as marine plumbing, navigation systems, steering mechanisms or propellers as assigned. Small engines of boats need frequent servicing to reduce risks of breakdown and keep them functioning at peak levels.

Using a checklist, you are likely to execute inspections and cleaning of various parts of larger and smaller crafts, from commercial fishing boats to motorboats. You will also use computerized equipment to repair and tune motorboats. In addition, you may have to adjust piston calibration and replace spark plugs, which will require complete dissembling of an engine.

Working at repair shops, you will have the opportunity to be outdoors at docks and marinas for repairing different types of watercraft. Marine mechanics have to perform tests of compression gauges, voltmeters or ammeters to assess engine performance. Further, they use a wide range of testing equipment and hand tools like wrenches, pliers and wrenches to complete their work in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Work Schedule And Typical Hours

As a boat or marine mechanic, you have to work five days per week and must be on call for mechanical emergencies. one has to work overtime in summer months and less than full-time hours in winter. Due to work stations shifting between indoor and outdoor locations, one must be comfortable with occasional travel.

Growth Of The Job

There will be a 3% increase between 2014-2024, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. With boat engines and outdoor power technology becoming more sophisticated, there is continued demand for specialized services provided by boat and marine mechanics. People are also becoming more dependent on hiring external services versus repairing or servicing their own equipment. Job opportunities will be plenty for candidates with post secondary education.

Typical Employers

In this job sector, one can find work in repair shops, with retail boat services and boat dealers, and at marinas, boatyards or boat rental companies. Some of the top employers are deep sea, coastal, inland and other water transportation and motor vehicle dealers. For instance, you can explore job opportunities with Hornblower Cruises and Events, General Dynamics Electric Boat, Harley Marine New York, Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), Spencer Ogden, DMS International, US Navy and Aramark.

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How To Become a Boat or Marine Mechanic

The most common process to becoming a boat or marine mechanic is to either get on-the-job training or work as an apprentice. However, increasing numbers of aspiring marine mechanics are pursuing formal post-secondary education. A few schools provide specialised training in boat and marine equipment repairs, vessel power transmission and engine propulsion.

Programs on watercraft repair are also available, taking two years to complete, including expert training in repairs specific to different manufacturers. Here, you would learn about general boat maintenance skills and the correct use of diagnostic equipment for servicing boat engines. While vocational training can push your chances in the market, you will require several years of experience working with boats to master the finer points of boat repair from scratch.

Other skills that will give you an advantage include high comfort level working in water and resistance to motion sickness. Superior levels of mechanical aptitude will make your job easier. You should be prepared to quickly diagnose and take care of problems with many kinds of marine equipment and/or boats. Effective oral communication skills are a must as you will often work directly with customers and teams.

Boat or Marine Mechanic Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Boat or Marine Mechanic salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Boat or Marine Mechanic's can make an average annual salary of $39,500, or $19 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $29,550 or $14 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #537 Nationally for All Careers

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Boat or Marine Mechanic. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Boat or Marine Mechanics

  • 0%   Doctorate
  • 0.4%   Masters
  • 3.1%   Bachelors
  • 8.2%   Associates
  • 26.3%   College
  • 49.1%   High School
  • 12.9%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Boat or Marine Mechanic job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 600 jobs for a total of 23,100 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 2.7% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #529 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Boat or Marine Mechanics

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Other motor vehicle dealers 9,200 100 0%
Personal and household goods repair and maintenance 4,000 --- ---
Self-employed workers 2,100 --- 0%

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