Eastern Shore College Launches Marine Service Tech Program

Chesapeake College, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is starting the first course of its new Marine Service Technician Program, in parternship with Yamaha. And the first session is already sold out.

With a donation from Wye River Marine in Chester, the college now has a Marine Technician Lab, and will offer Introduction to Outboard Engine Systems beginning February 19.

Chesapeake College says outboard engines are the fastest-growing segment in the marine industry, but they’re more complicated to fix than they used to be, because of new electronics.

The course will give students “a basic understanding of marine outboard motors, their operating principles, and the tools used to service and maintain them.” It will prepare students for entry level positions as qualified marine service technicians with dealers, marinas, and repair facilities. No prior technical experience is needed. At the end of the course, students will take the Certified Yamaha Outboard Technician Exam.

The idea for a Marine Service Tech Program came from employer demand around the Bay region.

“The local marine industry is in desperate need of quality trained technicians,” says Wye River Marine’s Rob Marsh. “This new program will help provide a crucial first step.”

After Marsh urged Chesapeake to develop a marine technician program, the college conducted a survey of local businesses in the marine industry. The survey found “a critical shortage of trained technicians” and businesses saying they’d absolutely hire students if a program was developed.

“With abundant waterways and marine industry heritage, the Eastern Shore needs technicians to support both commercial and recreational boating,” said President Cliff Coppersmith. “We’re committed to meeting the needs of area employers, and pleased that we could respond so quickly to provide marine technician training.”

The course session beginning in February is full, and the next session is scheduled to begin June 4. But Chesapeake College is considering adding an earlier session before June, because the response has been so overwhelming. To learn more or to register, click here.

-Meg Walburn Viviano