How to Become a

Motor Boat Builder

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

Why We Love It

  • $30,760
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • -3.1%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute
  • High Job Satisfaction
    Career Attribute

Motor boat builders are concerned with building all parts of motor boats such as the rigging, spars and the masts. This role may also lead to designing motor boats first hand.

Recommended Schools

What is a Motor Boat Builder?


Duties as a motor boat builder will include the following points:

  • Using a wide range of hand and machine tools in order to form, shape, cut, clamp and weld materials to create the hull and other parts of the motor boat.
  • Restoring and repairing wooden boats, often using traditional boat building skills like sail-making.
  • Carefully adding finishing touches to the motor boat’s interiors, such as installing furnishings, using fabrics and paints as per client requirements.
  • Placing electrical wiring, plumbing and joinery where needed on the vessel before performing the paint work.
  • Adding lighting systems, heating systems, and important communication tools to the motor boat for supporting navigation.

Day In The Life

A boat builder has a busy day job, which is a combination of aspects like reading blueprints to build new motor boats and repair old ones according to specifications. Since motor boats can be made of varied materials such as metal, wood and fibreglass, you need to stay informed on how to shape and use them without damage. Some part of your time will involve supporting your team to reach production goals and providing instructional training where needed. Once the boat construction is over, you will also sand and paint it to finish the project. The last step of the day is to closely survey constructed motor boats and ensure that there are no defects or inconsistencies in the vessel.

Work Schedule

Typical work hours are in accordance with standard business hours but once in a while, you are expected to work evenings and weekends to complete construction before looming deadlines. Work is a mix of indoors and outdoors, from workshops, factories and outdoor work in settings like slipways or boat builder yards. Motor boat builders are used to a noisy and dusty work environment due to the use of power tools and shaping of different building materials. You should also be comfortable working with heights and in confined areas with regard to boat building. It is worth noting that some parts of the job is physically demanding with a high risk of on the job injuries due to chemical inhalation, falls, repetitive motions, etc.

Growth Of The Job

With increasing interest in the boat building industry and orders from buyers to build larger vessels like motor boats, this is a promising career path. Since boats are an expensive luxury product, its demand fluctuates based on market forces and the state of the economy. Many boatbuilding firms are small and family owned, so a promotion may make you supervisor or inspector. With enough years under your belt, you can take a look at alternative careers for growth such as that of a marine architect, in which case you would design and oversee the construction of boats and other vessels.

Typical Employers

In this role, you may build boats for employers ranging from marine equipment manufacturers, yacht builders, and private owners. Many looking to hire  prefer candidates with 2 to 3 years of experience in the field, especially in manufacturing, small or large boat assembly, reading blueprints and using computer software. You can find jobs with B’s Fab & Mechanical Inc., Adrenaline Powerboats International, Tradesmen International, American Cruise Lines, Alumacraft Boat Company and Bellingham Marine Industries.

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How To Become a Motor Boat Builder

Motor boat builders enter the profession as a trainee or apprentice, with a minimum qualification of a high school diploma or its equivalent. You should have a foundational knowledge of subjects such as Maths, English, workshop technology, technical drawing and science. If you already recognise the specialised qualification you want to gain, focus on apprenticeships and trainings that give you a deeper understanding of composite, allow, steel or wood.

While applied knowledge is always preferred in this line of work, you may also choose to complete educational qualifications such as a short certificate training program or an associate’s degree in related fields such as marine carpentry or boat building. With boat building programs gaining in popularity, there are several offering courses in diverse subjects from motor boat construction to boat design. This job industry is perfect for those passionate about working on new construction and repairs of motor boats as it provides great salary potential and various education programs for continued learning.

Motor Boat Builder 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

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Motor Boat Builder salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Motor Boat Builder's can make an average annual salary of $30,760, or $15 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $23,750 or $11 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #689 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Motor Boat Builders

  • 0.1%   Doctorate
  • 0.6%   Masters
  • 4.7%   Bachelors
  • 5.9%   Associates
  • 23.3%   College
  • 46.3%   High School
  • 19.1%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Motor Boat Builder job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of -600 jobs for a total of 18,600 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a -3.1% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #670 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Motor Boat Builders

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Plastics product manufacturing 6,600 -500 -1%
Ship and boat building 5,600 --- ---
Motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing 1,700 -100 ---

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