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Marine Maintenance/Fitter and Ship Repair Technology/Technician

Program Description

Just the Facts

Marine Maintenance/Fitter and Ship Repair Technology/Technician. A program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair outboard and inboard engines; test, maintain, and repair steering devices and electrical systems; repair metal, wood, and fiberglass hulls and vessel components; fabricate and maintain sails; and repair and balance propellers and drive shafts.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Related Careers

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Related Programs

Often similar programs have different names. Be sure to explore all your options.

Additional Information

If you like getting your hands dirty and your feet wet, a marine mechanics program may be right for you.

Most programs combine classroom study with on-the-job training. Typically 10 months to two years long, these programs provide students with the skills and knowledge required to install, repair and maintain mechanical components of boats and other watercraft.

Graduates also have the skills to find work in related fields such as heavy equipment repair, aircraft maintenance, motorcycle and lawn and garden equipment service.

To get into a marine mechanics program, a high school diploma is recommended. But a Grade 10 education and successful completion of a high school equivalency program or entrance exam may be acceptable at some schools.

Unlike automotive mechanics, marine mechanics do not need to complete an apprenticeship and become licensed.

Employers will often send mechanics and trainees to special training courses offered by manufacturers or distributors. These courses, which are usually a week to two weeks long, upgrade skills and provide information on repairing new models. They are usually required for those who perform warranty work for manufacturers or insurance companies.

Marine mechanics can find themselves working on land or water. Most small boats have portable outboard engines, which are usually gasoline powered and can be removed and taken into the repair shop.

Larger crafts, such as cabin cruisers and commercial fishing boats, use diesel or gasoline. Their large inboard or inboard/outboard engines are only removed for major overhaul. Most of the repair work is done on the boat.

It's a good idea to research programs to determine which one is best suited to your interests. For example, if you want a job in a land-based shop and wish to work on outboard motors and personal watercraft, then a marine and small engine mechanics program is perhaps the best option.

Those interested in working on large sea-going vessels should look into a marine diesel mechanics program that prepares students for a career in the operation and maintenance of diesel engines and auxiliary equipment found on marine vessels and offshore drilling rigs.

Take high school math and a basic computer course, says Neil McIntyre, instructor of the inboard/outboard marine and small engine technician program at a community college.

"A high school mechanics course might help you understand and put a name to basic engine components and develop some skills," he adds.

Besides tuition and books, you may have to spend money on safety shoes, gloves and tools.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Small Engine Mechanics

Marine Career Opportunities
Check out the opportunities with the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers

How Do Boats Float?
Learn more about displacement from the folks at HowStuffWorks.com


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