MARINE TECHNICIANS MAINTAIN AND REPAIR THE ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT of inboard and outboard boat engines as well as the sophisticated systems that power today's large craft. They may perform service on propellers, steering mechanisms, plumbing and other equipment. Marine technicians work on small pleasure boats, commercial fishing boats, cabin cruisers, yachts, or even superyachts.
Marine technicians should enjoy being on the water because that is where much of their work will take place; however, portable outboard engines on smaller boats may be removed and taken into a shop to be repaired.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook notes that due to the increasing complexity of today's boats, employers prefer to hire technicians who have graduated from formal training programs such as those offered by some technical and community colleges. The employers recognize that this provides technicians with more advanced knowledge than they would have acquired through just on-the-job training.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, median earnings of marine technicians in May 2006 were $15.96 per hour, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $24.40 per hour; however, those with a degree or certificate in marine engineering or technology had greater opportunities for advancement into marine engineering management positions and the opportunity for increased earnings.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook projects that job prospects should be excellent for marine technicians who have completed formal training programs. Not only are retiring baby boomers expected to increase the number of people living in waterfront areas, but the experienced technicians leaving the workforce will add to the need for more skilled employees in the field.
To learn more about a career as a ma technician and the training and education it requires, here are some places to turn.
The American Boat and Yacht Council
The Marine Council
National Marine Manufacturers Association
Marine Industries Association of South Florida
U.S. Superyacht Association
U.S. Coast Guard