The Career of a Marine Mechanic: Frequently Asked Questions
The career of a marine mechanic is one of daily challenge, excitement, and reward! If you have a passion for working with your hands and being by the water, working toward a career as a marine mechanic may be a great fit for your skills and personal goals.
Here at Automotive Training Center near Warminster, PA, we truly enjoy connecting interested students with marine mechanic school training that provides them with the education and experience they need to make a splash with their futures. In the following post, we take a closer look at the career of a marine mechanic and some waterways you can take to get there.
Learn more about our Marine Service Technology Program
What Does a Marine Mechanic Do?
A marine service mechanic or technician is responsible for repairing inboard and outboard engines that power a variety of watercraft, from runabouts to large yachts.
While knowing marine engine technology inside and out is a focal point of a marine mechanic’s duties, they also need to understand and be comfortable working with a boat’s many other support systems and sub-systems. A few of these include electrical, plumbing, and air conditioning and heating systems.
Some typical jobs that a marine technician may be tasked with include performing routine maintenance, identifying and diagnosing mechanical issues, replacing boat propellers, correcting boat steering, and repairing fiberglass and gelcoat.
How Can I Tell if This is the Right Path for Me?
A unique and thrilling prospect, you may be wondering whether studying marine service technology is the right match for you. Here are a few questions that might help you find an answer:
Are you a do-it-yourself expert when it comes to your boat or car? Those who are motivated to work with their hands and solve complex problems will go a long way as an aspiring technician.
Do you love being outdoors? If your happy place is salty air and cool ocean breezes, working toward becoming a marine mechanic in a boat harbor or marina could be a perfect fit.
Are you a strong communicator? Beyond mechanical knowledge, you’ll want to be sure you can convey a technical procedure or process in a way that someone who’s not an expert can understand. Much like in an automotive shop, paying careful attention to the customer’s needs is an important part of a marine technician’s growth and success.
How Is This Different Than Working On Cars?
As you may expect from our name, Automotive Training Center does offer an Automotive Technology program. It’s easy to be drawn in by both our automotive and marine programs. Essentially, it all comes down to how you want to live out your life. If you’ve always loved spending time by the water, and don’t mind moving from marina to marina to find work, then you may be best suited for a marine technician career.
You can always pay us a visit here at our campus, take a tour, and learn more about our course offerings from the experienced marine instructors here in Warminster.
What Kinds of Career Paths May Be Available?
Upon graduating from the Marine Service Technology program at ATC, you’ll be qualified to apply for an entry-level marine mechanic job. However, there are many different potential career paths. As an air conditioning technician, you’ll ensure everyone on board a vessel will be able to stay cool even when the temperatures start to rise in the summer months.
After years of honing your trade, gaining experience in the field, you may consider a career as a technical instructor. Instructors are needed to teach the future generation of marine mechanics.
Experience can also put you in position as a service or parts manager. You’ll have the opportunity to manage your own team and pass on your knowledge and expertise.
What Will I Get Out of My Job?
As a marine mechanic, you need to be prepared for just about everything. One day, you may be working on a complete engine rebuild. The next day, you may be handling something like an oil change or adding some accessories onto a watercraft.
Every mechanic is different, but you will get great joy out of finding a problem and fixing it. There’s nothing like turning the key and hearing a motor that didn’t previously work rumble to life. Taking a boat and turning it into a smooth-running machine will give you a rush of energy.
What Is a Career as a Gelcoat Technician Like?
Gelcoat and fiberglass repair can make an old boat look like new. Complete structural repair may be required, but minor bumps and scratches can also be repaired. As a gelcoat technician, you’ll specialize in repairing transoms, floors, and gelcoat finishes. A thorough inspection will be completed to determine where the damage lies and what is repairable.
The damaged area will be removed by an experienced gelcoat technician, and then repaired. The area will be prepped and sanded down. Then, paint will be applied to give any old boat a new lease on life.
How Do I Get There?
If you want to make becoming a marine technician your career goal, there are a few boxes you’ll want to get checked off. First, get your high school diploma or GED. These foundational skills will complement your passion for marine engines and help you build fundamental ease with the technology and systems used in today’s boats. Then, you can enroll in a 2-year post-secondary career training program for Marine Service Technology.
In ATC’s Marine Mechanic School, you’ll get to work with both inboard and outboard engines by major manufacturers including Honda, Yamaha, and Mercury Marine. Interested in learning more? Find out all about it when you check out our Marine Service Technology Program page.
Learn More About Marine Technician Careers: