Boat Mechanic

Starting a Career as a Boat Mechanic
Boat Mechanic Job Description
Skills and Aptitudes for Boat Mechanics
Average Boat Mechanic Salary
Influential Boat Mechanic Professionals
Professional Organizations for Boat Mechanics
Best Locations for Boat Mechanics
Other Careers of Interest

How can I become a Boat Mechanic?

To become a boat mechanic, formal education is less important than applicable experience and skills. While there is no minimum education required to become a boat mechanic, many employers do prefer that their employees have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Like many mechanics, a boat mechanic is likely to learn the trade in a technical school, on the job, or in an apprenticeship program.

While first starting out as a boat mechanic, the new employee will perform tasks under the supervision of a more experienced mechanic who can instruct and mentor the new mechanic. As a mechanic gains experience and confidence, he or she may move up to supervising other employees.

Boat mechanics, and indeed, all mechanics, often attend courses for continuing education. These courses may be on specific problems or tasks that need to be done, or general refresher courses. Most of the time, these courses are paid for or provided by the mechanic's employer.

What are the duties and responsibilities of a Boat Mechanic?

Boat mechanics, like many other small engine mechanics, service, repair, and install power motors and other equipment. If a boat's engine has a problem, a marine mechanic must first diagnose the problem, usually fairly quickly, and determine the course of the repairs needed. While many jobs only require one piece of equipment to be repaired or replaced, other problems require the entire engine to be taken apart and repaired.

A boat mechanic also performs maintenance on the engines of a particular boat. Some parts, such as spark plugs, pistons, valves, and bearings, may need to be replaced on a regular basis as they become worn. Depending upon the mechanic and the boat that he or she is working on, computers may also be used to diagnose problems as well as determine when maintenance should take place.

Many hand tools are used by boat mechanics, such as pliers, screwdrivers, and wrenches. Computerized testing equipment is usually provided by the shop, unless a boat mechanic is self-employed. Many shops and individual mechanics offer service on a regular basis in order to minimize the possibility of a major break-down.

Depending upon the type of boat, a mechanic may perform repairs on the boat or in a shop. For small outboard motors, the boat owner usually removes the motor and brings it into the shop. For larger boats, such as tugboats, yachts, as well as very large boats such as container ships, the mechanic much make the repairs onboard the boat or ship.

What skills are necessary to become a Boat Mechanic

Boat mechanics, just like any other type of mechanic, should have mechanical aptitude and a basic knowledge of electronics. Many skills and qualifications that are good for boat mechanics are highly transferable to fields such as diesel mechanics and auto mechanics. The ability to work with people is also an important one for mechanics, as they frequently need to deal with the public in their line of work.

How much can a Boat Mechanic earn?

Boat mechanics typically make about the same amount as other small engine mechanics. Those who work on motorboats earned a median hourly wage of $15.96 in May of 2006, with the middle fifty percent of all motorboat mechanics earning between $12.66 and $20.01 per hour. Mechanics who work in large shops generally receive better benefits - such as health insurance - than do those employed in smaller shops.

Who are some notable professionals in the field of Boat Mechanics?

Although not a boat mechanic, James Watt, the inventor of the steam engine, was an important figure in maritime history, as his steam engine made it possible for steamships to be built, eventually leading to the modern boats that are run by engines.

Are there any professional organizations for Boat Mechanics?

The United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point (USMMA), trains sailors to be both leaders in the field of transportation as well as shipboard officers. The academy trains midshipmen in navigation, marine engineering, maritime law, international law, and many other courses that will help them in running large ships. The Merchant Marine Academy can also bestow the prestigious Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal on members of the United States Merchant Marine.

The Marine Engineers Beneficial Association (MEBA) is the foremost labor union in the United States for officers in the Merchant Marine. MEBA encourages technological advances in the maritime field, and has historically fought for safety regulations on ships.

Where are the top cities for Boat Mechanics?

Because boat mechanic is such a broad term, applying to any sort of boat, it is difficult to determine the best cities for boat mechanic jobs. However, for boat mechanics in general, Miami, Florida is the best American city to find jobs. Broussard, Texas comes in second, with Seattle, Washington in third place for boat mechanic jobs in the United States. Tugboat mechanics must work near bays, sounds, rivers, and coastal areas, while mechanics that work mainly on outboard motorboats can also live near lakes and other bodies of water.

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