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Career and Education Opportunities for Boat Mechanics in Charleston, West Virginia

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for boat mechanics in the Charleston, West Virginia area. The national trend for boat mechanics sees this job pool growing by about 5.6% over the next eight years. Boat mechanics generally repairs and adjusts electrical and mechanical equipment of gasoline or diesel powered inboard or inboard-outboard boat engines.

Boat mechanics earn about $16 hourly or $33,300 annually on average in West Virginia and about $16 hourly or $34,520 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Specialized Equipment, people working as boat mechanics in West Virginia earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Specialized Equipment nationally.

The Charleston area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree as a boat mechanic. Boat mechanics usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so you can expect to spend a short time training to become a boat mechanic if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Boat Mechanic

Boat Mechanic video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, boat mechanics repairs and adjusts electrical and mechanical equipment of gasoline or diesel powered inboard or inboard-outboard boat engines.

Boat mechanics disassemble and inspect motors to identify faulty parts, using mechanic's hand tools and gauges. They also examine and repair or adjust propellers and propeller shafts. Equally important, boat mechanics have to idle motors and observe thermometers to establish the effectiveness of cooling systems. They are often called upon to document inspection and test results, and work performed or to be performed. They are expected to mount motors to boats and operate boats at various speeds on waterways to conduct operational tests. Finally, boat mechanics repair or rework parts, using machine tools such as lathes and grinders.

Every day, boat mechanics are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to control objects and devices with precise control. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for boat mechanics to adjust generators and remove faulty wiring, using hand tools and soldering irons. Somewhat less frequently, boat mechanics are also expected to start motors, and monitor performance for signs of malfunctioning such as smoke and misfiring.

And finally, they sometimes have to disassemble and inspect motors to identify faulty parts, using mechanic's hand tools and gauges.

Like many other jobs, boat mechanics must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charleston include:

  • Bus or Truck Garage Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul trucks, buses, and all types of diesel engines. Includes mechanics working primarily with automobile diesel engines.
  • Heating Equipment Installer. Install, service, and repair heating and air conditioning systems in residences and commercial establishments.
  • Household Appliance Repairer. Repair, adjust, or install all types of electric or gas household appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, and ovens.
  • Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul mobile mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic equipment, such as cranes, bulldozers, and conveyors, used in construction, logging, and surface mining.
  • Outdoor Power Equipment Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul small engines used to power lawn mowers, chain saws, and related equipment.
  • Refrigeration Mechanic. Install and repair industrial and commercial refrigerating systems.
  • Signal and Track Switch Repairer. Install, inspect, or repair electric gate crossings, signals, or intercommunications systems within a railroad system.
  • Vending Machine Mechanic. Install, service, or repair coin, vending, or amusement machines including video games, juke boxes, or slot machines.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Boat Mechanic Training

Putnam Career and Technical Center - Eleanor, WV

Putnam Career and Technical Center, 101 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, WV 25070-0640. Putnam Career and Technical Center is a small school located in Eleanor, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 110 students. Putnam Career and Technical Center has a one to two year program in Small Engine Mechanics and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated two students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.