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Career profile Boat Mechanic

Also known as Boat Mechanic, Boat Motor Mechanic, Boat Rigger, Marine Mechanic, Marine Propulsion Technician, Marine Technician, Mechanic, Outboard Motor Mechanic, Outboard Technician, Service Technician

Boat Mechanic

Also known as Boat Mechanic, Boat Motor Mechanic, Boat Rigger

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$27,110 - $66,230 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Repairing
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Computers and Electronics
Core tasks
  • Start motors and monitor performance for signs of malfunctioning, such as smoke, excessive vibration, or misfiring.
  • Document inspection and test results and work performed or to be performed.
  • Mount motors to boats, and operate boats at various speeds on waterways to conduct operational tests.
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What does a Boat Mechanic do?

Boat Mechanics repair and adjust electrical and mechanical equipment of inboard or inboard-outboard boat engines.

What kind of tasks does a Boat Mechanic perform regularly?

Boat Mechanics are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Start motors and monitor performance for signs of malfunctioning, such as smoke, excessive vibration, or misfiring.
  • Document inspection and test results and work performed or to be performed.
  • Mount motors to boats, and operate boats at various speeds on waterways to conduct operational tests.
  • Replace parts, such as gears, magneto points, piston rings, or spark plugs, and reassemble engines.
  • Repair engine mechanical equipment, such as power tilts, bilge pumps, or power take-offs.
  • Perform routine engine maintenance on motorboats, such as changing oil and filters.
  • Idle motors and observe thermometers to determine the effectiveness of cooling systems.
  • Inspect and repair or adjust propellers or propeller shafts.
  • Adjust carburetor mixtures, electrical point settings, or timing while motors are running in water-filled test tanks.
  • Set starter locks and align and repair steering or throttle controls, using gauges, screwdrivers, or wrenches.
  • Disassemble and inspect motors to locate defective parts, using mechanic's hand tools and gauges.
  • Adjust generators and replace faulty wiring, using hand tools and soldering irons.
  • Repair or rework parts, using machine tools such as lathes, mills, drills, or grinders.

The above responsibilities are specific to Boat Mechanics. More generally, Boat Mechanics are involved in several broader types of activities:

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

What is a Boat Mechanic salary?

The median salary for a Boat Mechanic is $43,320, and the average salary is $45,490. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Boat Mechanic salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Boat Mechanics earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Boat Mechanics earn less than $27,110 per year, 25% earn less than $33,450, 75% earn less than $55,540, and 90% earn less than $66,230.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Boat Mechanics is expected to change by 13.4%, and there should be roughly 2,800 open positions for Boat Mechanics every year.

Median annual salary
$43,320
Typical salary range
$27,110 - $66,230
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
13.4%

What personality traits are common among Boat Mechanics?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Boat Mechanic are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Boat Mechanics typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Boat Mechanic tend to value Support, Independence, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Boat Mechanics strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Boat Mechanics moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Boat Mechanics moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Boat Mechanics must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and initiative.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Boat Mechanics, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Boat Mechanics need?

Boat Mechanics often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Boat Mechanics usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Boat Mechanics

  • 13.6% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 44.2% completed high school or secondary school
  • 27.0% completed some college coursework
  • 9.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 3.9% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.6% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.0% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Boat Mechanics

Boat Mechanics may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, customer and personal service, or computers and electronics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Boat Mechanics might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Important Abilities needed by Boat Mechanics

Boat Mechanics must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Boat Mechanics need abilities such as problem sensitivity, manual dexterity, and deductive reasoning in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Boat Mechanics, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

Critical Skills needed by Boat Mechanics

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Boat Mechanics frequently use skills like repairing, equipment maintenance, and troubleshooting to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Boat Mechanics, ranked by their relative importance.

Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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