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Boat builder

Alternative titles for this job include Marine craftsperson, shipwright

Boat builders build, repair and refit marine craft from small sailing boats to large sea-going vessels.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter

to

£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

45 to 47 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays as customers demand

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a boat builder

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

College

You could take a college course in marine crafts, like the Level 2 or Level 3 Diploma in Marine Construction. Some colleges offer introductory courses so you can see if it's the right choice for you.

The following T Levels may also be useful for this role:

  • T Level in Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control
  • T level in Maintenance, Installation and Repair

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

More Information

Apprenticeship

You could get into this job by doing a boatbuilder advanced apprenticeship.

This will usually take 4 years to complete. You'll do on-the-job training and spend time with a college or training provider.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You can apply directly if you've got relevant experience. Qualifications or experience in joinery, furniture making, engineering, welding, restoration or plumbing can help. It may also help if you've worked with boats or at sea before.

More Information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology for professional development training.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a boat builder from The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and British Marine.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of physics
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to read English
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Depending on the job, you’ll:

  • plan your work in line with design instructions
  • use tools to cut and shape boat parts and sections
  • join sections together using welding equipment or resins
  • service and repair engines
  • refit vessels, for example with new electrics or plumbing
  • install navigation and communications equipment
  • apply finishes using varnishes and paints
  • carry out safety and quality checks

Working environment

You could work in a workshop, at a marina or at a shipyard.

Your working environment may be physically demanding, at height and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience and qualifications, you could become a marine engineer.

You could also move into boat design, work as an assistant to a naval architect or specialise in maritime equipment sales and support.

You could use your skills to transfer to other branches of engineering or into construction.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a boat builder right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Marine Engineering - Advanced Certificate

  • Provider: BLACKPOOL AND THE FYLDE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 25 April 2023
  • Location: Fleetwood

Engineering - Diploma in Marine Engineering (Advanced)

  • Provider: ISLE OF WIGHT COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 September 2022
  • Location: Newport

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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