ATC Blog

Just Add Water: Preparing for a Marine Service Center Career

It’s no secret that the automotive industry is a huge market, but few people know about the abundant opportunities available in the marine service industry. Plus, demand for these positions are growing like a swelling wave.

If you enjoy fixing up boats and consider yourself engine-savvy, you may be a better fit for a role at a marine service center than an automotive repair shop. Check out these tips for how you can prepare for a career at a marine service center.

Learn the Ins and Outs of Inboard and Outboard Engines

Engines designed for the water are either located outside the hull of the boat (known as an outboard engine) or underneath the boat in the center of the vessel (known as an inboard engine).

Marine service center technicians will work on a wide variety of these engine types. Outboard engines are typically removed from the boat and brought in for repairs, while inboard motors, which are larger in size, require an onboard evaluation.

Don’t miss this resource on the top five ways to ensure peak performance for your outboard engine!

Give Up Your Land Legs  

Okay, so you won’t be confined to a life at sea as a marine service technician, but you will need to occasionally service boats while on the water, like troubleshooting an issue with an inboard motor on an anchored vessel. You’ll also have the bonus of working close to the water, if not on it—a definite perk for a marine vessel motorhead!

Explore Different Types of Boats and the Care They Require

If you think working as a marine service technician is exclusively about the engine, then you’re mistaken. Yes, powerboats make up a good chunk of the vessels you’ll get to work on, but wind- or oar-driven vessels like sailboats also require professional, routine upkeep.

Get Ready for a Varied Workload

Depending on the size of the marine service center you work for, you may assume the role of an area specialist, a parts manager, or a technician with a wide variety of duties inside and outside of the vessel.

For example, some marine technicians may exclusively handle gelcoat and fiberglass work, or refrigeration and air conditioning systems, while another may serve boat owners in both areas as well as offering general maintenance and repairs. This keeps a marine service center technician’s job fast-paced and interesting.

Enroll at a Two-Year Post-Secondary Training School

Much like today’s automotive service centers, marine service employers are searching the seven seas for skilled technicians that have already completed two-year post-secondary training for Marine Service Technology.

Attending a marine service training school with certified instructors and accredited programs is the best way to float your name to the top of the list. You can learn more about Automotive Training Center’s Marine Service Technology program and the various positions available to you upon graduation here!

For program disclosure information, please go to

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