Marine Engine Repair Training Programs and Requirements

Marine mechanics are responsible for installing, diagnosing and repairing inboard and outboard engines on boats. Mechanics typically work for boat dealerships, repair shops or boat rental companies. Marine mechanics usually acquire knowledge through an associate's degree in marine and small engine repair, as well as industry certification.

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Marine Engine Repair Training Requirements and Recommendations

Marine mechanics should have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Most employers require or prefer postsecondary training, which can be completed with an associate's degree in marine and small engine repair. Certification, while not always required, is available for qualified marine mechanics.

Marine mechanics should have their own tools and extensive knowledge of marine engine processes. They should be able to work on electrical, fuel and mechanical systems on boats, yachts and other watercraft. Marine mechanics who work directly with the public should have good customer service and communication skills. They should also be comfortable with word processing and inventory computer programs.

Formal Education

An associate's degree program in marine and small engine repair is tailored for those who want to work as marine technicians and mechanics. Students learn how to identify engine components and use tools to repair engine malfunctions.

Associate of Applied Science

In a marine and small engine repair associate's degree program, students gain hands-on experience with inboard, outboard and small engines. Students learn how these engines operate and perform various maintenance and troubleshooting procedures. Most programs require two years of study and may include courses on:

  • Small engine mechanics
  • Inboard-outboard engines
  • Mechanical systems
  • Electrical engine systems
  • Small engine heating and cooling
  • Marine mechanics and repair
  • Marine fuel systems

Job Experience

Employers typically hire marine technicians and mechanics with 2-5 years of experience. Marine mechanics should have experience with inboard and outboard engines as well as electrical systems in boats. Entry-level opportunities may be available for beginning marine mechanics; on-the-job training programs may also be offered.

Licenses and Certifications

Marine mechanics are not required to be licensed. Some employers prefer or require mechanics to have certification, which is available from the American Boat and Yacht Counsel (ABYC). The organization offers certification courses in boat building, diesel engine repair, marine corrosion maintenance, marine engine systems and electrical processes. Marine mechanics must pass three or more certification courses and relevant exams to be awarded certified master technician (CMT) credentials. With this certification, marine mechanics demonstrate proficiency in all areas of mechanical engine repair.

Workshops and Seminars

Employers and vocational schools may offer marine engine repair workshops as part of a training program or degree program. These workshops are typically held at marinas, dealerships or areas where marine mechanics can acquire experience with inboard and outboard engines. Some workshops may focus on specific brand of engine or boat, such as Yamaha, Honda, Mercury or Mercruiser.

The ABYC also holds seminars and workshops for marine mechanics. The organization offers singular courses or group training sessions that can be held on-site for an employer or school. These events are held weekly throughout the year.

Additional Professional Development

Professional development resources are available from ABYC. Members of the organization have access to numerous online resources, career information and continuing education opportunities. The organization maintains an online store with books, study guides, standard operational guidebooks and other resources for marine mechanics. Mechanics can also find a number of surveys and research studies conducted to provide greater industry information to marine engine professionals.

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    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at New England Institute of Technology include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
        • Autobody Repair
        • Automotive Mechanics
        • Marine Watercraft Repair and Maintenance
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    • Alaska (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Alaska include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
        • Automotive Mechanics
        • Diesel Mechanics
        • Marine Watercraft Repair and Maintenance
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    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
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    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Math
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    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
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      • Geological Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
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  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Engineering Physics
      • Math
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    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
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    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Design and Applied Arts
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