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What Does a Marine Technician Do?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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A marine technician is responsible for the correct diagnosis, repair and maintenance of the inboard/outboard boat engine. From a simple oil change to the removal and replacement of an out drive unit, the marine technician is trained to complete nearly any type of repair. In most repair shops, the marine technician is responsible for ordering any replacement parts as well as installing the parts when they arrive at the repair facility.

One of the most important and often most difficult components in the work of a marine technician is diagnosing a problem. The technician must usually run the boat in open water to discover all the traits the vessel is displaying. When the marine technician has narrowed the problem down to a small area of the engine or vessel, he or she will return the vessel to the repair facility and continue to fine-tune the diagnosis. This is usually done by running the boat motor in a water tank to maintain the engine temperature while the technician examines the running motor. Upon satisfaction that he or she has correctly diagnosed the trouble, the owner will commonly be notified of the problem and repair cost, and asked for permission to continue on with the repair.

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People skills are often the part of a marine technician career that proves to separate the good from the average. Communication skills are needed to explain the nature of the diagnosis as well as the importance of completing the repair. The typical career path for a technician is a high school diploma followed by the completion of a marine mechanic school or course. The desire to work on boats and a mechanical aptitude are also a large component of the career choice. While the complete tear down and repair of an engine is often required of some mechanics, the typical job of the marine technician is preventative maintenance in the form of tune-ups and oil changes.

Employment opportunities for the marine technician range from home-operated repair facilities to working at a marina or boat dealership. Some of the most beneficial educational opportunities are provided by new boat dealerships. Factory training classes are routinely offered to keep the service technicians equipped with the latest information. Some technicians also choose to work with race teams and tour a racing circuit with a boat and crew, working hands-on with state-of-the-art performance enhancements in both engine and drive line technology.

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