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Macomb Community College introduces new marine technician program

– Wednesday, February 26, 2020 9:00AM

Fast-track training ensures graduates have the skills to help address shortage of qualified technicians 

Working with the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, and the Michigan Boating Industries Association and their industry partners, Macomb Community College has developed a comprehensive marine technician program that will launch on April 6. The five-week, fast-track program focuses on developing the skills sets critical to helping the marine industry address its shortage of qualified personnel and providing individuals with entry into a dynamic field that offers year-round work with competitive salaries and benefits.

Michigan ranks third in the nation in boat registrations, with nearly 1 million, second only to Florida and Minnesota. Nearly 190,000 of Michigan boat registrations are in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

“Michigan is the third largest marine market in the country, and, with nearly one million registered boats on file in our Great Lakes State, we estimate nearly 50 percent of our citizens take to the water each year to boat and fish,” said Nicki Polan, executive director, Michigan Boating Industries Association. “We are honored to join in the support of Macomb Community College to bring marine tech educational opportunities to Michigan. Our industry has a $7.8 billion impact on the state’s economy each year, and we need qualified marine technicians to keep it going and growing.”

On completion of Macomb’s new program, graduates are prepared for jobs as marine service technicians, which encompasses a range of duties including interacting with boat owners about engine concerns, maintaining working engines, trouble-shooting engines, replacing worn or damaged parts, assembling and disassembling engines, as well as keeping records on inspections and repairs. Qualified technicians are in great demand in the region, with entry level jobs offering salaries averaging $35,000 - $45,000 and including benefits.

Those who complete Macomb’s marine technician program will have earned six certifications/ certificates: American Boat and Yacht Council – Marine Service Technician; National Occupation Competency Testing Institute; Occupation Safety and Health Administration – OSHA 10 - Maritime; First Aid; CPR; and Macomb Community College – Certificate of Marine Technician.  

"Once again, our business development team continues to develop impactful partnerships with strategic employers to create community driven solutions," said County Executive Mark. A. Hackel. "We are pleased to partner with the college and our marinas to introduce this first of its kind program in Michigan. Not only will this training help our marinas hire qualified employees, but it will open the door to an interesting and well-paying career for graduates of the program."  

Macomb’s inaugural session of the marine technician program will have space for 20 students and will start on April 6, continuing through May 8. The five-week program will run Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Those considering the program should appreciate the water, boating and the outdoors, be mechanically inclined and enjoy hands-on work. To be eligible for the training program, prospective students must pass the Tests of Adult Basic Education and Wide Range Achievement Test 4, which will be administered by Macomb. The cost of the training is $5,000 plus approximately $500 in materials.

Macomb is also working in partnership with the Macomb Intermediate School District to pilot this fall a dual enrollment marine technician program for high school seniors pursuing career and technical education pathways. The program will run two to three afternoons a week for approximately 28 to 30 weeks. There will be 15 to 20 spots available.

“We are always looking for new opportunities for community members to pursue meaningful career pathways, and for supporting talent development that sustains and grows local business and industry,” said James O. Sawyer IV, Macomb Community College president. “Our new marine technician program not only addresses bolstering Macomb County’s Blue Economy but also fosters an often-overlooked career pathway that translates into good jobs with strong futures.”

Macomb Community College’s marine technician program will be conducted in a dedicated space at the college’s Michigan Technical Education Center (M-TEC), which is located in Warren. Students will learn in both the classroom and in technical training labs, working on a variety of engines to learn about and conduct routine maintenance as well as to identify and troubleshoot engine problems. Technical components of the program include blueprint reading, electrical wiring, engines/propulsion systems, plumbing, hydraulics, rigging and carpentry. Students will also learn customer service skills, as well as developing a resume, conducting a job search and interviewing.

Macomb Community College will be holding an information session regarding the new marine technician program on March 3, 10 a.m. at Macomb’s M-TEC. For more information about the session and the marine technician program, call 586.498.4100 or email

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College ( is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 38,000 students annually. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is among the largest grantors of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Contact: Sean M. Patrick, 586.445.7271,