How to Become a Marine Mechanic

A marine mechanic (MM) is a technically trained person to repair and maintain marine boat's engines and motors. They are generally the highest paid mechanics, when compared to other automotive mechanics. Ferries and cargo ships are essential transportation methods because they move various types of goods, supplies and even people. Marine engine mechanics are are in charge of diagnosing problems and focus on corrective and preventive maintenance for important marine transportation systems.

Responsibilities of a Marine Mechanic

  • They are assigned to repair vessels through job cards by their supervisors.
  • They run diagnostic tests in the marine engines allotted to them and identify the sources of the problem. Based on the source and nature of the problem and the extent of the damage, they either fix the engine or replace the faulty components.
  • They might have to maintain and repair the air conditioning and refrigeration system in the vessels.
  • Monitoring the data recording equipment and stand engine room watches are part of the position's responsibilities.

Steps to Become a Marine Mechanic

  • Complete a shop course which offers training in problem solving and practical aspects of the position.
  • Heavy emphasis is placed on math, english and electronics so you should aim for proficiency with these subjects.
  • They should have a technical degree from accredited post-secondary school as they should be technically qualified in marine mechanics and the correlating vernacular.
  • You should have a sublime knowledge of engine mechanisms; electrical, transmission and fluid systems; and be able to diagnosis of computer related components.
  • Join a boat or marine yard and receive on-the-job training about boats and their engines and working systems.
  • Those who don't have the degree should have completed the marine mechanical training program from an accredited marine mechanical school. This training is provided at community colleges or vocational schools or obtained via an on-the-job apprenticeship.
  • If you want to become a marine engineer after some years as a MM then you should acquire a bachelor's and a master's degree in marine engineering or something related to this field. The master's could possibly be completed while you work.
  • Improve your technical knowledge on different boat features like steam & gas turbines, gears and propellers.
  • Having precise and accurate calculative skills is critical.
  • Improve your communication skills so you can understand the problems of ships when speaking to laymen like the owner's of the boat.
  • Possess critical thinking and decision making abilities.
  • Should have some dexterity and fine motor control.
  • Should be scuba certified since getting into the water to look at the propeller could be a job requirement.

Nature of Work

MMs can acquire employment in a marine or boat dealership; on passenger & cargo ships or they can ignite their own inferno,  which means, start their own business. MMs work for surface marine vessels in general but experienced and skilled MMs also work on submarines, firefighting and diesel support departments. There is an incessant occupational hazard in this career since they have to crawl, climb and lift heavy objects all the time.


The U.S Department of Labor Statistics states that the median income of MMs is $15.96 an hour. The average annual salary is $29,058.