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Marine Maintenance/Fitter and Ship Repair Technology/Technician


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What to Expect

While marine mechanics students focus on marine equipment, they also graduate with the skills to work with heavy equipment, aircraft and motorcycles.

Jamie Devos never imagined herself as a marine mechanic, so finding herself enrolled in the outboard technician program at the Marine Mechanics Institute in Orlando came as a surprise.

"My father-in-law owns a marina in Missouri and both my husband and I like the industry and want to run a marina of our own some day. It makes sense for us to learn the mechanical aspects," she says.

They signed up for the program as a couple, and Devos discovered a hidden aptitude for the trade. "I actually really enjoy it. There's something so satisfying about taking things apart and being able to put them back together again," she says.

Jeremy Fleming had been out of high school for almost seven years when he decided to enroll in a marine diesel mechanics vocational program. He says he was fed up with the cycle of dead-end jobs and unemployment in the coastal region where he lived, and wanted to pursue a career with a solid future.

"I have a big interest in mechanics and the marine industry seems to be picking up and is really in need of workers," he says.

The prospect of going back to school full time was a little intimidating, but the fact that Fleming would be employable after just 10 months made it worth the effort. He says he liked the fact that the program was very hands-on and included two work placements that enabled him to put what he has learned to use.

But he cautions students not to be fooled by the practical nature of marine mechanics programs. "There is a lot of homework, a lot of reading, especially at the beginning. I spent a couple hours a night just reading," he says.

How to Prepare

Fleming recommends students focus on math in high school and perhaps take a mechanics course. "That way they can see if they're mechanically inclined. It would help a lot," he advises.


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