Any company or business that owns or operates marine vessels will need to hire a marine diesel mechanic at some point. And there are several industries that need boats or other marine technology to run their business – so there is a constant need for marine diesel mechanics. Vacation cruise lines, governmental departments, military organizations, adventure tours companies, and fishing companies are only a few examples of companies and organizations that will need the services of a marine diesel mechanic to keep their operations running smoothly.
Diesel engines have been used in marine vessels and settings for years. Diesel engines are the preferred type of engine, for various reasons. For one, diesel engines have internal combustion systems that use high pressure air for fuel ignition. In contrast, the high voltage electrical systems necessary to ignite fuel in petrol engines don’t perform so well in wet and damp marine conditions. Another reason that most marine vessels use diesel engines is because boats and ships rely heavily on radio frequencies to communicate and navigate. Gasoline engines have many wires and coils that can interfere with these frequencies, whereas diesel engines do not.
A good diesel mechanic will know all of these intricacies of the use of diesel engines in marine settings, and more. They will understand how all the standard mechanical and electrical equipment works on small and large marine vessels, how to maintain it, and how to repair it when it breaks down. Because of the nature of marine equipment, oftentimes a marine diesel mechanic will need to work on-site, rather than in a repair shop. This means that successful marine diesel mechanics know how to carry out their work on-board the boats and ships, using only mobile tools. Some have to work outdoors a lot, at times in very hot, very cold, and/or really wet conditions. It isn’t the easiest work, which is why top marine diesel mechanics can earn excellent salaries.
There are some marine diesel mechanics that do work mainly indoors, in shops, more like general auto mechanics. These marine mechanics mostly cater to people who own recreational boats and marine equipment or to businesses that have smaller fishing fleets. These types of boats are small enough to be brought into the repair shops for maintenance and repair.
If you like living on the coast or being out on the water and have mechanical inclinations, then becoming a marine diesel mechanic might be the perfect career path for you. Taking a professional training course or obtaining a degree in mechanics is the best place to start. If you have trouble finding a specific ‘marine diesel mechanic’ course near you, then take general courses in mechanics or, even better, take courses in diesel mechanics. Either option will still provide you with the basic education and training you’ll need for your future career in marine diesel repair.
After completing your diesel technician education and training, finding an apprenticeship at a marine diesel repair shop or marine mechanic service company will be the best next move. As you gain hands-on experience, don’t forget to take advantage of any additional training courses or conferences specifically about marine diesel repair. Marine diesel technology is constantly evolving, so the more you know about the latest marine equipment and vessels, the more employable you will be. Keep in mind that being a marine diesel mechanic is tough work and you will need to be in good physical shape in order to perform your day to day responsibilities. However, for those who love being able to work on large navy aircrafts or tune-up luxurious yachts for a living, the sometimes demanding nature of being a marine diesel mechanic is definitely worth it.