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Marine Mechanic Training Frequently Asked Questions

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Ever thought about becoming a marine mechanic? The marine industry is full of exciting opportunities for those who have a passion for boats and dream of a life on the water. Skilled technicians are in demand, and now is a great time to start training for a career you love.

If you’re considering a career as a marine technician, you’ve come to the right place. Here are answers to 5 commonly asked questions about the industry:

How do you become a marine mechanic?

Becoming a marine mechanic requires a specific training process. If you’ve always dreamed about a life on the water, you will most likely need to advance your education to get there.

After receiving your high school diploma or GED, consider enrolling in a specialized program such as Marine Mechanics Institute’s (MMI) 51-week Marine Technician Specialist training program.

Through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on experience, MMI students learn everything from basic engine theory to more technical aspects of marine product service, troubleshooting and repair.

In addition to the core curriculum, MMI’s program includes 3-week, manufacturer-specific courses designed to provide you with technical and hands-on training specific to leading brands. You will learn the design and operation unique to five manufacturers, including:

As a student, you’ll graduate with a diploma and the opportunity to earn additional certifications. MMI grads have the knowledge, skills and hands-on experience that today’s manufacturers need!1

What does a marine mechanic do?

Boats cruise the waterways of the United States every day. Just like cars on the road require service, boats need service and repair, too. This requires the help of a marine mechanic—a professional trained to work on watercraft of all shapes and sizes.

Marine mechanics are experts in the maintenance and repair of the important systems that keep boats running.

Whether it’s a stuck fuel rack or an overheating problem, marine mechanics have the ability to figure out what the problem is, how to solve it and execute the repair. From old fishing boats to shiny new yachts, it’s the job of a marine mechanic to keep boats afloat.

Some day-to-day responsibilities of a marine mechanic include:

  • Performing routine maintenance
  • Keeping customers in the loop by communicating what needs to be done to get their boat up and running properly
  • Observing and testing equipment on the boat
  • Replacing and repairing worn, damaged, and defective pieces and parts
  • Documenting repairs for the client

How long does it take to become a marine mechanic?

At Marine Mechanics Institute, you can prepare to become a marine technician in less than a year. MMI’s 51-week program emphasizes the real-world skills needed by marine dealerships and independent repair shops nationwide, so you can graduate quickly with the skills you need for a career doing what you love.

Through a combination of classroom instruction, demonstrations and hands-on work in the lab, you’ll have the opportunity to work with leading marine brands and current technology.

Along with the core marine training, students gain specialized training on Honda Marine, Mercury Marine and Suzuki Marine, and complete online training credentials from Volvo Penta and Yamaha Marine. In addition, MMI is the only school that offers the opportunity to earn Provisional Mercury Outboard Certification while you train.

Each manufacturer-specific course is designed to provide the knowledge and experience required to work in marinas, boatyards, marine dealers or wherever your life on the water may take you.

What are some marine diesel mechanic career opportunities?

Marine diesel mechanics have a wide variety of career paths to choose from. Whether you want to spend your days working on the dock or repairing vessels, your knowledge and skills can be applied in many different environments.

In MMI’s Marine Technician program, you’ll receive 9 weeks of diesel specific training, which includes Diesel 1 & 2 classes as well as Volvo Penta training. Some of the most common industries marine diesel mechanics go into include:

  • Ship building
  • Amusement and recreation
  • Water transportation support activities

In addition to being able to work in different types of environments, marine mechanics can take on a variety of different roles in the workplace, depending on their skill set.

For example, mechanics with leadership skills may excel as a team lead or supervisor, and those with an entrepreneurial spirit may even open their own sales and service yards. Other roles for marine technicians may include:

  • Installation technician
  • Maintenance technician
  • Mechanics supervisor
  • Service manager

What is the average salary for a marine mechanic?

Salary is an important factor to consider when choosing a profession. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for motorboat mechanics and service technicians was $40,180 in May 2018.31

When it comes to advancing in the field, employers look for those with passion, drive and hands-on experience. Having specialized training such as an education at MMI can help give you a competitive advantage and open the door to exciting new opportunities.

As the complexity of boat design increases, so will the need for technicians trained on the latest tools and technology. If you’re debating when you should start your training, there’s no better time than now!

Want to learn more about training for a career at Marine Mechanics Institute? Check out our Marine Technician Specialist training program page and request more information today. Our team is here to help!

Want to Learn More About the Marine Technology Program?

If you're interested in learning how you can register for the Marine Technology program Just click the link below or call (800) 834-7308 to speak with one of our friendly Admissions Representatives.