Marine Service Technicians



Training and Education

What's needed:

  • Long term on-the-job training of at least 12 months is common before qualifying for full-time work in marine service and mechanics.
  • A one year certification program or an associate degree in marine technology, such as marine engine technology, can improve one's chances of being hired.
  • To keep motorboat mechanics current with the latest technologies and qualified for warranty work, employees often send their motorboat mechanics to short training courses run by equipment manufacturers

What courses you'll take

Below are examples of courses that you'll likely take as a student pursuing a career as a marine or motorboat service technician.

Electricity and ElectronicsTheory and core concepts of AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current) electrical circuits; major components of marine electrical systems, including ignition and battery; computerized control of electrical systems; standards and safety precautions for electrical work.Familiarize students with the basic components of electrical systems.
Marine Electrical WorkHistory of marine electrical systems; installing and maintaining electrical systems and electronics in marine settings; the process of corrosion, and the use of cathodic protection (CP) systems to prevent it; using waterproof multi-meters to measure voltage, resistance and amperage in a circuit, and how to interpret these readings.Prepare students to pass certification exams for electrical work in marine environments.
Marina Service OperationsStructure and legal aspects of waterways; day-to-day logistics of work in a marina; ordering and maintaining a stock of parts; communicating with vessel owners and making product recommendations; performing vessel lay-ups during the off season; assisting with regular vessel maintenance.Ready students to work on a marina crew in a technical capacity.
Inboard and Outboard EnginesEngines used on marine vessels, including 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines; differences between diesel and gasoline engines, and technical concerns pertaining to each type; engine exhaust, cooling and ventilation systems; propellers; ignition and fuel system theory and principles; diagnosing and repairing engine problems; performing tune-ups on ignitions and fuel systems.Get students prepared to assess and fix problems with marine engines.
Marine Support SystemsSystems on marine vessels in addition to engines, including potable water systems, waste systems, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, gas systems for cooking and heating, and hydraulic systems; maintenance and troubleshooting techniques for all these systems.Give a technical overview of non-engine systems on marine vessels.

Part-Time Work and Self-Employment

11% of people working as employees are employed part-time. Marine service technicians work for themselves about 23% of the time.

Area Job Conditions

Jobs are relatively more common in Sandusky (Ohio), Barnstable (Massachusetts), and Ocean City (New Jersey), and less common in Phoenix (Arizona), Las Vegas (Nevada), and Chicago (Illinois).

Average income is highest in Chicago (Illinois), San Francisco (California), and Nassau (New York) and lowest in Athens (Georgia), Cincinnati (Ohio), and Green Bay (Wisconsin).

Video Overview

A quick intro into the work of marine mechanics. Created for the US Dept. of Labor.

Salaries by City

See typical salaries and ranges for this career below *. Shift click to sort by more than one column — for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.

StateCity / RegionTypical SalarySalary RangeJob Count% of All Jobs
ALDothan$38,320$31K – $58KN/AN/A
ARFayetteville – Springdale – Rogers$32,980$26K – $63KN/AN/A
ARHot Springs$23,240$21K – $36KN/AN/A
AZFlagstaff$36,980$26K – $62K500.09%
AZLake Havasu City $ Kingman$50,920$20K – $67K900.20%
AZPhoenix – Mesa – Glendale$40,600$20K – $58K1900.01%
CALos Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale (Metro Area)N/AN/A – N/A900.00%
CAOakland – Fremont – Hayward (Metro Area)$64,570$29K – $74K500.00%
CASacramento – Arden – Arcade – Roseville$35,380$31K – $55KN/AN/A
CASan Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos$48,990$19K – $68K800.01%
CASanta Ana – Anaheim – Irvine (Metro Area)$38,710$27K – $65K1400.01%
CAStockton$40,430$26K – $49K400.02%
CODenver – Aurora – Broomfield$33,520$21K – $44KN/AN/A
CTNew Haven$45,060$39K – $60K700.02%
CTNorwich – New London$44,820$31K – $58K1200.10%
DCWashington – Arlington – Alexandria (Metro Area)$44,110$23K – $72K1600.01%
DEWilmington (Metro Area)$45,220$27K – $70K800.03%
FLCape Coral – Fort Myers$35,250$25K – $48K2400.12%
FLCrestview – Fort Walton Beach – Destin$40,350$26K – $71K500.07%
FLDeltona – Daytona Beach – Ormond Beach$19,420$17K – $42KN/AN/A
FLFort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield Beach (Metro Area)$27,090$17K – $52K6300.09%
FLJacksonville$34,410$25K – $53K1300.02%
FLLakeland – Winter Haven$30,660$18K – $56KN/AN/A

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