Motorboat mechanics maintain and repair boat motors.
Motorboat mechanics visually inspect a motor for signs of a mechanical problem. During a maintenance check, they test the motor for mechanical, fuel, or electrical problems.
Below the statewide median
$17.25 / hour Read more about wages
Above statewide average Read more about outlook
Education & Training:
|Long-term on-the-job training (more than 12 months) is common.|
On the Job:
Assess your skills
Job Title Examples:
Marine Propropulsion Technician,
Outboard Motor Mechanic
See more job title examples
Wages & Outlook
Wages vary by employer and area of the country. In the northern areas of the country, people can use their motorboats only a few months of the year. However, in the southern areas, people can use their boats year round. Thus, mechanics who live in the South are likely to have more work during the year and earn higher wages. The mechanic's level of responsibility and skill also affect wages.
Benefits vary by employer. Motorboat mechanics who work full time often receive benefits. Typical benefits include sick leave, paid vacation, and health insurance. However, smaller repair shops may not provide all these benefits. Motorboat mechanics who are self-employed must provide their own insurance.
View the Regional Wage Comparison Chart for:
In Minnesota, about 643 motorboat mechanics work in this small occupation.
About 19 percent of motorboat mechanics are self-employed.
- Boat dealers
- Boat rental companies
- Boat repair shops
Over the next decade, more people will be entering the 40-and-older age group. This group makes the most water craft purchases. These buyers will help expand the market for motorboats, while maintaining the demand for qualified mechanics.
Most job openings are expected to be from mechanics transferring to other jobs or retiring. Job opportunities will be good for those who complete mechanic training programs.
|Seven County Mpls-St Paul, MN||194||227||33||17%|
On the Job
Motorboat mechanics maintain and repair boat motors.
Every year, communities across the U.S. sponsor a time-honored tradition: cardboard boat races. Kids and adults alike build boats out of cardboard boxes, sheets, tubes, and a roll of duct tape. The goal is to build a boat that will carry two people and float - that is, until the cardboard gets too wet and the boat falls apart. Usually, the top winners manage to stay afloat about twenty seconds. In some cases, people are able to make it around a race "track" in the water before the boat gives way.
Regular motorboats are built to last a bit longer, but even they do break down from time to time. While cardboard boat enthusiasts expect their boats to literally break down in a matter of seconds, it can be quite frustrating to a boat lover to find that their boat won't start. This is where motorboat mechanics come in.Motorboat mechanics visually inspect a motor for signs of a mechanical problem. They start the motor to listen for problems. During a maintenance check, they test the motor for mechanical, fuel, or electrical problems. Sometimes they use computerized testing equipment. Motorboat mechanics adjust the carburetor mixture and timing while the motor is running.
After locating a problem, motorboat mechanics make repairs. Some repairs are as simple as replacing a spark plug. Other repairs require taking the engine apart using hand tools. The mechanic may need to replace a worn valve or bearing. Sometimes they repair or rework parts before putting them back in engines. Mechanics use lathes, drills, and grinders to repair parts. After they replace or repair all parts, they reassemble the engine. For difficult repairs, mechanics may refer to service manuals for information.
Motorboat mechanics make adjustments to generators. They test the cooling system by idling the motor and watching a thermometer. They examine propellers and propeller shafts. Mechanics set starter locks and align steering and throttle controls. Outboard motors are remounted to the boat after all repairs and adjustments have been completed. Mechanics operate boats at various speeds to make sure they are running smoothly.
When finished working on a motor, mechanics write a report. This report lists the work performed on the engine and its general condition.
Motorboat mechanics service and maintain portable outboard motors in the repair shop. They work on inboard motors at the dock or marina. Inboard motors are removed from the boat only when a major overhaul is required.
The following list of occupational tasks is specific to this career.
- Start motor to listen for problems.
- Refer to service manual for details on servicing and making repairs.
- Test motor for mechanical, fuel, or electrical problems.
- Take motor apart to inspect it for defective parts. Use hand tools and gauges.
- Repair or rework parts. Use machine tools such as lathes, drills, and grinders.
- Replace parts such as gears, piston rings, and spark plugs.
- Adjust generator and replace faulty wiring.
- Reassemble engine.
- Idle motor to test cooling system. Use a thermometer.
- Set starter lock and align steering and throttle controls.
- Adjust carburetor mixture and timing while motor is running.
- Inspect and repair propeller and propeller shaft.
- Mount motor to boat and operate at various speeds to test it.
- Write test report to indicate the condition of the engine.
People in this career perform the following list of tasks, but the tasks are common to many occupations.
- Identify objects, actions, and events.
- Inspect equipment, structures, or materials.
- Get information needed to do the job.
- Make decisions and solve problems.
- Repair and maintain mechanical equipment.
- Monitor events, materials, and surroundings.
- Handle and move objects.
- Update and use job-related knowledge.
- Communicate with supervisors, peers, or subordinates.
- Operate vehicles or mechanized equipment.
- Perform activities that use the whole body.
- Evaluate information against standards.
- Control machines and processes.
- Judge the value of objects, services, or people.
- Analyze data or information.
- Process information.
- Organize, plan, and prioritize work.
- Estimate sizes, quantities, time, cost, or materials needed.
- Establish and maintain relationships.
- Communicate with people from outside the organization.
In a typical work setting, people in this career:
- Have a medium level of social interaction.
- Communicate primarily by telephone and face-to-face discussions.
- May work as part of a team.
- Are occasionally placed in conflict situations in which others may be rude or angry.
- Are responsible for the health and safety of others.
- Are somewhat responsible for the work done by assistants and other mechanics.
- Work indoors in repair shops. Sometimes work outdoors at boat docks.
- Wear protective or safety attire such as gloves.
- Are often exposed to hazardous equipment, situations, and conditions that may produce minor cuts and burns.
- Are exposed to loud and distracting noise levels and sounds on a daily basis.
- Often have to get into awkward positions to reach cramped work places.
- Sometimes must work in very bright or very dim lighting.
- May be exposed to very hot or cold temperatures.
- Are exposed to contaminants on a daily basis.
- May work physically near others.
- Must be accurate and fully complete all work. Errors could damage engines.
- Make decisions that affect their employer's or personal reputation. Customers often refer businesses by word-of-mouth.
- Make decisions that affect customers on a daily basis. Mechanics often make decisions without talking to a supervisor, but may seek advice from time to time.
- Set some of their daily tasks and goals independently, but usually receive direction from someone else.
- Must meet strict weekly deadlines.
- Repeat the same physical and mental activities.
- Usually work 40 hours a week. They often work fewer hours in the winter.
- May travel to docks and marinas.
Physical Work Conditions
In a typical work setting, people in this career:
- Use hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools, or controls.
- Stand or walk when testing and making repairs.
- Bend or twist their body.
- Repeat the same movements.
- Hold the arm and hand in one position or hold the hand steady while moving the arm.
- Make quick, precise adjustments to machine controls.
- Use hands or fingers to grasp, move, or assemble objects.
- Move two or more limbs together (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while remaining in place.
- Hear sounds and recognize the difference between them.
- See details of objects that are less than a few feet away.
- Determine the distance between objects.
- Understand the speech of another person.
- Use stomach and lower back muscles to support the body for long periods without getting tired.
- Bend, stretch, twist, or reach out.
- Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
- See differences between colors, shades, and brightness.
- Use muscles to lift, push, pull, or carry heavy objects.
- Focus on one source of sound and ignore others.
- See details of objects that are more than a few feet away.
- React quickly using hands, fingers, or feet.
- Adjust body movements or equipment controls to keep pace with speed changes of moving objects.
- Be physically active for long periods without getting tired or out of breath.
- Make fast, repeated movements of fingers, hands, and wrists.
- Choose quickly and correctly among various movements when responding to different signals.
- Move arms and legs quickly.
- Determine from which direction a sound came.
- See objects in very bright or glaring light.
People in this career frequently:
It is important for people in this career to be able to:
It is not as important, but still necessary, for people in this career to be able to:
Source: Minnesota Department of Education.
Education & Training
To work as a motorboat mechanic, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or GED; and
- complete long-term on-the-job training.
Education after high school
Some motorboat mechanics complete a formal training program. Boat maintenance and repair programs are available at some professional-technical schools and two-year colleges. Most programs offer a combination of class instruction and hands-on practice. Programs last from one to two years. Two-year programs usually grant an associate degree. Shorter programs grant a certificate.
Many motorboat mechanics learn their skills on the job from an experienced mechanic. You begin by working as a helper. As a helper, you perform routine services and make minor repairs. As you get more experience, you work on more complex tasks. During training, you learn to:
- replace parts;
- service electrical systems; and
- overhaul engines.
On-the-job training generally lasts at least one year.
Employers may send mechanics to training courses provided by manufacturers. Some courses take up to two weeks to complete.
Some branches of the military train people to be marine engine mechanics. Training lasts nine to 24 weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job and through advanced courses.
Related Programs (Current training programs available)
- Small Engine Mechanics and Repair Technology/Technician
- Marine Maintenance/Fitter & Ship Repair Technology/Technician
Fields of Study (What to study to prepare for this career)
Click on any of the Fields of Study listed below to find out more about preparing for this career.
- Automotive Technology
- Bicycle Mechanics and Repair
- Boat Maintenance and Repair
- Diesel Technology
- Maritime Sciences
- Motorcycle Repair
- Small Engine Repair
Helpful High School Courses
You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this occupation include:
- Computer Fundamentals
- Diesel Maintenance and Repair
- Introduction to Mechanics
- Small Engine Mechanics and Repair
Many motorboat mechanics are self-employed. If you want to run your own business some day, you should consider taking these courses as well:
- Introduction to Business
The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.
You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career.
Source: Minnesota Department of Education.
People in this career need to:
- Read and understand work-related materials.
- Listen to others, understand, and ask questions.
- Express ideas clearly when speaking.
- Understand new information or materials by studying and working with them.
- Judge the costs and benefits of a possible action.
- Analyze ideas and use logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
- Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
- Identify problems and review information. Develop, review, and apply solutions.
- Combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions.
- Use reasoning to discover answers to problems.
- Develop rules or follow guidelines when arranging items in a certain order.
- Determine how a system should work. Study how changes in conditions affect outcomes.
- Concentrate and not be distracted while performing a task.
- Use math skills to solve problems.
- Manage the time of self and others.
- Check how well one is learning or doing something.
- Obtain needed equipment, facilities, and materials and oversee their use.
- Use several methods to learn or teach others how to do something.
- Look for ways to help people.
- Change behavior in relation to others' actions.
- Repair machines or systems.
- Determine the causes of technical problems and find solutions for them.
- Maintain equipment on a routine basis. Determine when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Install equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
- Determine the tools and equipment needed to do a job.
- Watch gauges, dials, and output to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Operate and control equipment.
- Test and inspect engines. Evaluate their performance.
- Imagine how something will look if it is moved around or its parts are rearranged.
- Identify a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in distracting material.
Reason and Problem Solve
Use Math and Science
Manage Oneself, People, Time and Things
Work with People
Work with Things
Perceive and Visualize
People in this career need knowledge in the following areas:
- Mechanical: Knowledge of designing, using, and repairing machines and tools.
- Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of providing special services to customers based on their needs.
- Engineering and Technology: Knowledge of how to build machines, buildings, and other things. Also includes knowledge of how to use computers, machines, and tools to do work more usefully.
- Design: Knowledge of making and using plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
People in this career are people who tend to:
- Consider support from their employer important. They like to be treated fairly and have supervisors who will back them up. They prefer jobs where they are trained well.
- Consider independence important. They like to make decisions and try out ideas on their own. They prefer jobs where they can plan their work with little supervision.
- Consider good working conditions important. They like jobs offering steady employment and good pay. They want employment that fits their individual work style. They may prefer doing a variety of tasks, working alone, or being busy all the time.
- Have realistic interests. They like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like to work with plants, animals, and physical materials such as wood, tools, and machinery. They often prefer to work outside.
- Have conventional interests. They like work activities that follow set procedures, routines, and standards. They like to work with data and detail. They prefer working where there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Source: Minnesota Department of Education.
Licensing / Certification
No certifications are found for this career.
No State of Minnesota license requirements are found for this career.
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A high school diploma or GED is usually required to become a trainee. If applicants have good reading, writing, and math skills, they may get work without a degree.
Employers also look for mechanical ability. A skill or hobby in auto repair can be helpful in getting a job as a trainee. Vocational training in auto mechanics or small engine repair is helpful.
The skills used by motorboat mechanics are easily transferable to other small engine repair occupations. Some mechanics advance to truck or heavy equipment mechanics. Mechanics with strong leadership skills may advance to shop supervisor. Experienced mechanics may open their own repair shops.
Marine Propropulsion Technician, Mechanic, Outboard Motor Mechanic, Outboard Technician, Service Technician, Marine Technician, Boat Mechanic, Boat Rigger, Marine Mechanic
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