The marine industry is on the up and up. And there are plenty of statistics that demonstrate this. According to a report published by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, between 2012 and 2017, the demand for recreational boating has grown by 8.2% annually. The growing usage of powerboats has a lot to do with this trend. The sale of new powerboats in 2016 alone grew by 6%, with 247,800 boats sold. By the end of 2017, another 6% were sold.
If you love the water and are seeking a tech-savvy profession in a desirable industry, you should consider becoming a boat-mechanicTweet This
“Economic factors, including an improving housing market, higher employment, strong consumer confidence, and growing disposable income, are creating a golden age for the country’s recreational boating industry,” Thom Dammrich, president of National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) said in a statement. “Summer is a busy selling season for our industry, and we expect steady growth to continue across most boat categories through 2017—and into 2018—to keep up with the acceleration in demand for new boats.”
With more consumers opting to take boating trips and invest in boats of their own, one might wonder, who’s taking care of all these boats? That’s where boat mechanics come in. If you love the water and are seeking a tech-savvy profession in a desirable industry, you should consider becoming a boat mechanic. Here’s what you should know:
What Does a Boat Mechanic Do?
Boat mechanics are highly sought after in the boating industry, as they’re necessary to keep all marine vessels running smoothly in the water. A boat mechanic is responsible for maintaining and repairing outboard and inboard boat engines. Think of a boat mechanic is the sea vessel equivalent of a car mechanic. While they don’t engineer the technology themselves, they understand all the nuts and bolts of how it works. When something goes wrong, or when a boat owner simply wants to ensure their boat is up to standard before a journey, they enlist the services of a boat mechanic to get the job done.
Why Boat Mechanics Are In Demand
Earlier we discussed the rising trends in the boating industry, and these explain plenty about why boat mechanics are in such strong demand. However, there are other reasons as well. One of the biggest reasons boat mechanics don’t have trouble finding work is because marine engine technology is growing in complexity. Because of this, there’s a higher demand for skilled technicians who are up-to-date on the latest machinery and trends. Well-versed boat mechanics have a deep understanding of computerized engine systems and electronics, as well as how to assess engines and other physical systems.
“Vocational schools offer job-specific training to students who are typically bound for a skilled trade which often leads to well-paying jobs. The curriculum at most vocational schools includes a wide variety of programs, from plumbers and electricians to dental hygienists and computer specialists.” – Job Specific Training
Furthermore, as the population grows, so too will the need for more yachts, powerboats, and marinas. This creates a domino effect; the more resources that are built to accommodate boats, the more that boats will fill them, and the more boats there are to fix.
How to Become a Boat Mechanic
Fortunately, if you’re a determined individual, it isn’t too difficult to become a boat mechanic, although, like most tech-based careers, you’ll need to put the time and effort in. You can learn on the job through an apprenticeship program, where you’ll learn the ins and outs of marine machinery by being under the guidance of another company or supervisor. Although a 4-year degree isn’t necessary, you should complete some type of education at a community college, and/or have the appropriate certifications. A certificate is the most common type of education level in this field.
What’s the Typical Day Like?
If you’re considering becoming a boat mechanic, then you may be wondering what the average day is like. Sometimes you’ll have long days in the sun and may even be able to work in the water, while other days are more laborious and complex. In the majority of cases, you’re working inside the boat on the motors and other machinery. This also depends on the type of training you have, as some jobs are highly complex and require a higher degree of knowledge.
According to Mechanic Schools, “On one day, for instance, you could spend your time on a Honda Marine and the TMI ignition system. On another day, you could spend the majority of your hours on the Marine Suzuki and the four-stroke outboard motor. Still yet, you might find yourself maintaining the Marine Yamaha oil-injection system.”
On the plus said, as a boat mechanic, you might run your own business, working as an independent contractor or starting a company of your own. If you have the skills and know-how, it isn’t very complicated to start your own small business. When you own your own business, you have more freedom to set unstructured hours and work in areas that you enjoy most.