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How to Become a Marine Mechanic

an working on steam engine

Perhaps the quickest route to marine technician certification is to invest in yourself by going to a school like MMI like this woman did.

Strong growth in the Marine Industry has led to increased demand for marine engine technicians, experts at repairing outboard, sterndrive and inboard engines.

Find out how to get started as a marine mechanic.

You are already reasonably knowledgeable about marine engines and you want to become a professional marine mechanic but don't know where to begin. Should you attend one of the outboard service schools? How about junior college courses? The good news is that if you want to train to become a marine mechanic there are any number of pathways that all lead to success. But that knowledge still leaves a number of questions, such as: Exactly how to you get started? Do you attend one of the outboard service schools? How about junior college courses? And how do you get accepted into a course of study? And you've got to pay for it somehow. So find out whether or not student financial aid packages and scholarships are available.

The first step is to get a job at a dealership that sells and services the brand of motor you're most interested in working on. Change gear oil, water pump impellers and do tune-ups. At the same time, attend classes at a junior college or trade school that offers courses in marine engine repairs. Here is a golden tip: Many marine mechanics are intimidated by electronic engine control systems. But with a solid electronics background and course on electronic fuel injection, you will be in great demand. Usually, after a period of apprenticeship, you'll be sent to an introductory service school at the factory. Typically this is done at the dealership's expense. If all goes well, with couple of years under your belt you'll attend the factory brush-up course. Know that the more valuable you are to the repair shop, the more likely they'll find you a slot in any given school.

As mentioned early on, one particularly noteworthy option is MMI, Marine Mechanic's Institute with its 51-week course. The institute trains on on the latest models, trouble shooting, service and repair on four- and two-stroke outboards, stern drives, marine rigging, fuel & lube systems, electrical, and more. Gas and diesel engines.

Author Timothy Banse, factory-trained marine mechanic, has published articles in Popular Mechanics, All Chevy, Pickup Van & 4-Wheel Drive, Mecanica Popular, Motor Boating, Yachting, Mar y Vela and many other magazines and newspapers from around the world. He writes about cars, trucks and tow vehicles and marine-engine technology.