There are several different ways to become a boat mechanic, and students should thoroughly research all options. Most jobs require training and/or certification in boat mechanics, and specific courses are offered on the Internet, at vocational schools, and at some colleges. There are additional skills needed, including some scuba diving training, depending on the job, and students should research job requirements and duties thoroughly. Various positions in the field may call for other qualifications, and there are numerous mechanic related courses available.
Schools that offer a degree in boat mechanics are usually technical institutes that have an associate's degree program or preparation coursework for the certification and licensing needed to become a boat mechanic. Most of these programs last about two years, and coursework may include inboard transmissions, stern-drive systems, outboard steering, marine welding, hulls, and marine mechanical and electrical systems. Some associate degree programs will require an internship in order to graduate, which will enhance the student's knowledge of the intricacies of boat maintenance. Internships allow the students to observe and participate in the supervised hands on training that will assist him or her to become a boat mechanic.
Aside from the associate's program, there are also certification courses that take relatively less time than obtaining a degree and will provide students with the licensing required in his or her jurisdiction. Although the length of time is shorter, most of these classes involve all-day training five days a week for a certain number of months, depending on the program. Topics covered by certification courses usually include stern drives and transmissions, electrical and hydraulic systems, and lubrication and cooling systems. Students usually spend the majority of class time performing physical tasks required to become a boat mechanic. Online courses are available but offer less training and more academic work, and some students discover that he or she still require additional training.
Job markets for boat mechanics may vary depending on the location, and places with warmer climates usually have a more lucrative employment circuit. Those who would like to become a boat mechanic should apply in locations such as marinas, docks, boat shops, or other places that house, sell, or fix boats. Communication skills are also a necessity in this profession because he or she will have to interact with customers, boat owners, manufacturers, and parts distributors. There are many indoor positions with boat shops or sales, which may assist those in colder climate areas seeking employment as boat mechanics.