Outboard Motor Repair Training and Career Information
Outboard motors are a type of small engine used to propel boats. Some high school vocational or community college classes may offer outboard motor repair training. Experienced workers may move into supervisory roles, work for manufacturers as sales representatives or open their own business.
Training for Outboard Motor Repair
Some high schools offer vocational course--such as those for small engine repair and automobile mechanics--to help prepare students for entry-level technician positions. Candidates typically begin as mechanic trainees and perform simple tasks while supervised by experienced mechanics. Training may be as short as a few months to as long as several years.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), due to the growing technological complexities of motor repair, employers are increasingly favoring mechanics who have attended a formal training program. Community colleges offer marine technology technician programs that typically last 9-10 months and prepare students for entry-level technician positions. Course topics include motor functions and components as well as operation, maintenance, diagnosis and repair. Some programs may prepare students for manufacturer certification.
Some colleges offer small engine repair certificate programs in which students may elect to specialize in outboard motor repair. Courses include electrical systems and service principles. Students acquire hands-on, practical training with regard to inspecting, maintaining, troubleshooting, disassembling and rebuilding engines.
Career Information for Outboard Motor Repair
Entry-level employees learn routine service tasks, such as periodic maintenance to keep engines operational. As new hires gain proficiency, they may take on increasingly complicated work, like diagnosing the source and extent of a motor issue. Other duties include replacing parts, disassembling the engine and keeping records of service. Additionally, advanced mechanics may be responsible for more complex tasks, such as using the aid of computer technology to analyze components.
According to the BLS, motorboat mechanic job opportunities were expected to increase by 21% between 2010 and 2020 (www.bls.gov). The same source states that median wages were $17.08 an hour as of May 2012, with job prospects best for those with formal training. Outboard motor repair technicians may use their work experience to gain entry into more complex service and repair jobs--such as automobile or heavy industry machines--or they may advance to become store supervisors or manufacturer sales representatives.
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