Marine Service Technology Diploma

Prepare for a career in recreational equipment repair in our dual-track Boat and Watercraft Technician program. Through classroom and lab experience, you’ll develop competence in repairing the most modern recreational equipment. Master the skills needed to pursue a career in marine engine technology.

Receive diverse training that prepares you to repair snowmobiles, personal watercraft, inboard engines, outboard engines and stern drive engines. Learn about theory, proper procedures and safety when repairing equipment, and get hands-on instruction with the newest recreational equipment available. You’ll also have the opportunity to receive industry certifications in Arctic Cat, Evinrude, Mercury, Mercruiser, Volvo Penta, and Yamaha. Our program also offers an on-the-job training segment, which is supported by leading industry brands such as Arctic Cat, BRP, Mercury, Polaris, Yamaha and Volvo Penta.

Whether you choose to work in a marina, snowmobile dealership or own your own business, you’ll build a strong foundation of skills and understanding of recreational equipment repair right here at Iowa Lakes. Prepare to thrive as a Boat and Watercraft Technician with plenty of hands-on experience to back you up.

Faculty Contact

Rick Brichta
Assistant Professor | Boat & Watercraft Technician
712-852-5202 |

Program Details


DEGREE: Diploma (41 credits)

CAMPUS: Emmetsburg


Did You Know?

Average Salary: $34,470

Projected Employment Growth: 9%


Term 1

Credits: 2

This course provides knowledge of the fundamentals of electricity along with electrical testing procedures and equipment for the transportation and maintenance industry.

Corequisites: AGM 332 – Fund. of Electricity Lab Farm Equipment, AUT 332 – Fund. of Electricity Lab Automotive, MOT 332 – Fund. of Electricity Lab Powersports or MSE 332 – Fund. of Electricity Lab Marine

Credits: 4

This course will cover the basic rigging of boats, personal watercraft, and trailer setup procedures.

Credits: 4

This course will cover the fundamentals of engine repair and operation of the internal combustion engine, including two-stroke and four-stroke operations. Also covered will be the lubrication, cooling, and exhaust systems as well as the differences between outboard and sterndrive systems.

Credits: 1

Safe shop practices and procedures, including safe equipment operation, proper tool usage, importance of personal protective gear and how to handle emergency situations.

Credits: 3

Marine fuel systems including carburetion, fuel injection and oil injection are studied. Troubleshooting, testing, adjustments, assembly and disassembly are practiced. Proper service procedures discussed and demonstrated. Lecture and laboratory.

Prerequisites: First two semesters of program

Credits: 3

Theory and hands-on lab for all systems in personal watercraft including jet pumps, engines and steering systems. Repair, troubleshooting and service procedures are covered. Lecture and laboratory.

Prerequisites: First two semesters of program

Credits: 1

This course provides application of the fundamentals of electricity along with electrical testing procedures and equipment in the marine technology industry.

Corequisite: ELE 332 – Fundamentals of Electricity

Term 2

Credits: 3

Developing skills in reading, writing and listening as they apply to students’ vocational needs.

Credits: 3

Snowmobile systems including clutches, suspensions, engines, tracks and other components are studied. Proper service tech­niques, troubleshooting, assembly and disassembly are covered along with a unit on performance work. Lecture and laboratory.

Prerequisites: MSE 151 or MOT 151 – Shop Safety and Procedures

Credits: 2

This course will cover recommended service intervals of outboard and sterndrive engines and industry operations related to service.

Credits: 3

This course covers operation and construction of Marine Stern­drives, Inboard Drive Systems and Outboard Gear Cases. Also covered will be disassembly, assembly, inspection, troubleshoot­ing, failure analysis, identification, rebuilding drives, adjustments procedures, advance theory and repair procedures as well as performance testing and propeller theory.

Credits: 3

This course will expand upon basic knowledge of electrical and fuel systems. Integration of emerging technologies with emphasis on maintenance of developing electronic control displays and aftermarket systems. The course will cover traditional fuel and electrical technology.

Credits: 3

This course will cover the principles of operation and construction of various components in the electrical systems of outboard and sterndrive watercraft.  The electrical systems common to the snowmobile industry will also be covered.

Term 3

Credits: 6

On-the-job experience at a marine or small engine repair facility as a technician, part and service person, or salesperson. The student is evaluated by the job supervisor and the instructor.

Prerequisites: Completion of first year of program

Credits: 2

Principles and applications of gas and MIG welding theory, safety and shop practices are covered. Lecture and laboratory.

† indicates a course that fulfills the diversity requirement. This course may also fulfill another general AA requirement.