By getting your training at one of the top notch marine mechanic schools, you will be setting a course for a career that you never imagined. A career where your work is something you love to do and probably won’t complain too much when you have to work hard. This career can be your’s if you decide to make the jump and enroll in one of the boat mechanic training programs found around the country.
On this page you will find information about marine mechanic schools including how to find the best programs and the type of subjects you will learn. Our group of experts and instructors have compiled a list of the top questions frequently asked by those who are looking for training. You will find our information is up-to-date and should answer all of the questions you may have.
If we missed something or if you have your own questions, please just drop us an email and we will gladly help out the best we can.
Why Should I Go to Marine Mechanic Schools?
Even though it isn’t mandatory for you to go to one of the marine mechanic schools to find work in this field, it is pretty darned important. A growing number of employers are looking to hire people who’ve had some formal boat repair training. This means you would have a slight advantage over another job seeker who hasn’t gone to one of the marine mechanic schools.
If that isn’t enough, then consider the Pew Research study that found that those with some post-secondary schooling on average make more money for the same career than people with just high school diplomas. Combine this with studies that show you may have better job opportunities and job promotions because of your formal training.
So the question is why you should go to marine mechanic schools. The answer seems pretty plain that by going you may give yourself a big advantage in finding a better job with more pay than without it.
Things You Should Know Before Enrolling in Marine Technician Schools
- You should have a genuine interest working on boats and engines
- Learn what a marine mechanic job is like
- If still in high school, we recommend that you take some of the vo-tech classes like auto and metal shop as well as electronics
- Other classes in high school that can come in handy are computers, science and math
- Choose between certificate training (12 months) and aim higher by enrolling in an associate degree program (24 months)
- Associate degrees are sometimes seen as the ticket to promotions or opening your own business
- If possible, become familiar with tools and the types of jobs usually performed by marine mechanics
- Most schools require you to have a decent set of tools before classes start
- Most marine mechanic schools use both the classroom and a garage to train you both on the theory and design (classroom) and the practical hands-on work (garage)
What Are the Admission Requirements for Boat Mechanic Schools?
Admission requirements for marine mechanic schools vary by the school or region. Usually the school sets up their own requirements that must be met for admittance. We have seen, however, that there are common requirements shared by some schools around the country including:
- Must be 17 years old or older
- Have a high school diploma or have earned a GED certificate
- Be able to communicate in English both verbally and in writing
- Take and score at least the minimum score on the entrance exam
- Show proof that you have taken high school level math, science and computing
- Provide letters of recommendation
- Some schools require you to provide your own tools
Top Tips for Finding the Best Marine Mechanic Training Programs
When you start your search through all the marine mechanic schools, you should look for certain things to help ensure a quality education. Let’s face it, you don’t want to waste time and money by picking the wrong school or training program. Some of the top tips we have compiled include:
- Accredited Program: Accreditation means that the school or program has met the basic set of quality standards from a national organization such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
- Curriculum Offered: Sit down and compare the curriculum or course offerings by each of the marine mechanic schools you are interested in to make sure you are getting the training you need
- Condition of Campus and Equipment: A good sign of a quality school is the condition of the buildings and the training equipment
- Practical Training Offered: You should always ask if you will get some hands-on training instead of just book learning
- Student to Instructor Ratio: The smaller the classes the better the education, or so it seems since you can have more interaction and personal attention from the instructor in smaller classes
- Graduation Rate: The opposite of class size since the higher the percentage of student graduating shows that these marine mechanic schools are worth going to
- Employability: See if the admissions office will give you a percentage of former students who are currently employed in the industry
- Job Placement: This may be more important than you know so ask if the school has any job placement opportunities for graduates
- Instructors: We also believe that having instructors with real-industry related experience is better than an instructor who only knows how to teach
- Certification Rate: Ask the admissions office what is the percentage of former students who have earned one or more of the industry wide certifications from a group like the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC)
- Trust Your Gut: Take some time and visit the campus, talk to the students and instructors and see if it feels legit and comfortable
- Online Reviews: In today’s world of the internet it is easy to find reviews of almost anything, including marine mechanic schools
- Second Opinions: Call around to ship yards and boat shops for their opinions on which of the marine mechanic schools are considered the best
Questions To Ask Yourself before Enrolling in Marine Mechanic Schools
Before you even start picking which of the marine mechanic schools are right for you, you will need to set up some boundaries. These boundaries or priorities are what you are expected to sacrifice in order to get a solid education. Below we’ve created a list of priorities we considered when looking at marine mechanic schools and this may help you narrow the list a bit.
- Commute: How far are you willing to travel to school each day?
- Relocation: Are you willing to move away from home to be closer to marine mechanic schools?
- Student Status: Do you plan on working while in school? If so, are you going to go full-time or part-time?
- Scheduling: How flexible is your schedule if you have to work or have to deal with other responsibilities while in marine mechanic training?
- Day or Night: Are you willing to take some night classes? What about weekend classes? Or do you just want to go during the day during the week?
- Online Classes: If given the opportunity, would you be willing take some of your classroom based classes online?
- Tuition: How much can you spend on tuition, books, etc. or how high of a price are you willing to pay for training?
- Financial Aid: Most students (roughly 60%) use financial aid to make ends meet. Would it be too much of a burden for you if you had to take out student loans?
What Will I Learn in Boat Mechanic Training?
- Preventative Engine Maintenance
- Fundamentals of Diesel Engines
- Engine Management Systems
- Operation and Maintenance of Outboard Motors
- Engine and Parts Troubleshooting
- Engine Inspection
- Electrical and Electronics Systems
- Maintenance and Operation of Inboard Engines
- Propulsion Systems
- Ignition Systems
- Proper Use of Tools and Equipment
- Business Communication
- Business Management (advanced)
- Math and Science
- Basic Welding and Soldering
- Fundamentals of 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines
- Supervision and Organization (advanced)
- Hydraulic Systems
- Parts Fabrication
- Performance Tuning
- Diagnostic Inspection and Repair
Where Can I Find Marine Mechanic Training?
As you can probably guess, you will have a better chance finding some marine mechanic schools around the coasts or an area with lots of water. These programs are usually held at private and public community colleges, vocational schools or career training centers. Sometimes marine mechanic training is part of another program such as small engine repair.
We have compiled a list of marine mechanic schools for your convenience. You can find this list of boat mechanic schools by the following methods:
- Zip Code: Type in your zip code in to the form in the top right hand of this page for a list of featured marine mechanic schools
- State: Look through our state pages which lists all of the marine mechanic programs
- City: You can use the search bar on our page to look for marine mechanic schools in your city or near where you live
How Long Does it Take to Complete Boat Mechanic School?
Marine mechanic schools can take a short of 6 months and as long as 2 years, depending on the level of training you are looking to get. The certificate training which takes 6 months to a year will help you understand the basics of watercraft repair. More than likely you will need to do some on-the-job training to strengthen your skills in order to be considered for promotions or better positions.
An associate degree program can be finished at most marine mechanic schools in about 2 years. This is considered advanced training. You will get more in-depth knowledge of the workings of not only engines and water craft but also the business side of the industry.
The choice between these two types of programs is mainly up to you. You will need to ask yourself if you have what it takes to go the extra few months of training to help set yourself up for a better position, possibly higher pay or even better job opportunities. To us, the decision seems simple since we do fully recommend that if you are serious about your career you should enter one of the marine mechanic schools that offers an associated degree program.
Are There Online Marine Mechanic Schools?
If you happen to not live near any of the marine mechanic schools or you have schedule that currently is too busy to go to a campus-based program, you can always consider an online education. While the classroom segment of the program is very comparable to a traditional school, the online program may not include the important hands-on practical training. This can be fixed by volunteering to work at a local small engine repair shop or watercraft/motorcycle shop.
If you want to attend one of the online marine mechanic schools you will want to make sure you are getting a good education. You can read more about online mechanic schools here. Below are some questions you should ask the online school representative to help make your decision.
- Has the program been approved by the state and received accreditation such as from Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)?
- How is the curriculum compared to the on-campus program?
- Do you offer both certificate and associate degree level classes?
- Will the online marine mechanic training ready you to take any of the certification exams?
- Does the school offer certification classes?
- Is there a hybrid online-campus based program that allows students to still get their time working a garage or shop for the practical experience?
- Is it possible to switch from online to campus classes after I have started?
How Can I Enroll in Marine Mechanic Programs?
You’ve made your mind up and found which of the marine mechanic schools interest you the most. So now comes the fun part, it is time to enroll. The following are some of the normal steps that most people have to do in order to enroll in one of the marine mechanic schools.
- It is best to start this process at least a full 6 months before you want to go to school
- Fill out the admissions application, sometimes this can be done online
- You may have to provide ample proof that you have completed any requirements
- Fill out the forms for financial aid, if you need it
- Contact your advisor to set up a meeting to make a class schedule
- Pay your tuition and start going to school when the new semester starts
What Are The Next Steps?
After you have graduated from one of the marine mechanic schools, you should go out and find a job – unless you have one already secured. This career can be everything you ever dreamed it was and more. It is a fairly stable and profitable career choice that fits in to your wheelhouse of interests and skill. Marine mechanic schools can make it happen for you, as long as you are willing to work hard and play harder.