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Marine Craftsman Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Marine Craftsman. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Marine Craftsman
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Marine Craftsman Work Information


  • Finding Suitable Work

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    Working Duties Expected

    Marine craftspeople can be found in the shipbuilding, ship repair and conversion, and boat building, repair and restoration sectors. The work can range from building hulls and super-structures to installing the fixtures and fittings inside a vessel. Depending on the job, various craft skills are used - electrical, carpentry, plumbing and painting, as well as traditional maritime crafts such as rigging and sailmaking.

    Those involved in shipbuilding deal with the construction of larger ships, tankers, and oil and gas platforms for offshore sites. Ship repair workers are normally based at a dockyard working on all sizes and types of vessel. Boat builders and restoration craftspeople are usually found in smaller yards, marinas and workshops, often working on leisure or traditional craft such as narrow boats.

    Craftpeople work with a variety of materials including steel plate, fibreglass, reinforced plastics, composites and wood. They assemble vessels from designs and the process can involve:

    • marking out materials using templates
    • welding, cutting and shaping materials
    • assembling sections and pipework
    • installing engines.

    Once the major construction/repair work has been carried out, craftspeople move on to 'fitting out' the vessel with furnishings, navigation equipment, internal heating and lighting and, if appropriate, rigging.

    Hours and Environment
    Marine craftspeople normally work a 37-hour week. Urgent repair work may mean working weekends and shifts, including nights.

    Some shipbuilding and boat-building is done in large indoor sheds, but much of the work will be outside in all weathers. Working conditions may be cramped and dirty, with strenuous lifting and carrying and working at heights involved.

    Protective clothing may be required when working with certain tools and materials.

    Skills and Interests
    As a marine carftsperson, you should be:

    • a good team worker
    • good at finding practical solutions to problems
    • computer literate and have some knowledge of computer aided design (CAD)
    • numerate
    • able to understand technical plans and drawings
    • able to communicate clearly and precisely
    • physically fit.

    Most young people enter via an apprenticeship scheme. For entry you usually need GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) in English, maths and a science subject. Subjects such as design and technology would also be useful.

    A general BTEC certificate or diploma in an engineering discipline can be used as entry into the sector.

    City & Guilds offer a Yacht and Boat Building and Ship Joinery Craft Studies (2450) award, that can be studied at Part 1 with progression onto Parts 2 and 3; they also offer Marine Craft Fitting (2440).

    There is a BTEC National Certificate Manufacturing Engineering (Marine) and National Diploma in Engineering (Marine). At a higher level, BTEC HNCs/HNDs and degrees are available at colleges around the country in subjects including marine engineering, boat design and production, and marine technology.

    For an HNC/HND you will need four GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) and one A level/two H grades, or equivalent qualifications such as a vocational A level/GSVQ III. For a degree, you will need five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) plus two A levels or equivalent.

    For details of qualification equivalents see:

    Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
    Scottish Qualifications Authority
    An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

    There is no upper age limit, and those with an engineering or boat-building background are welcome. Several universities offer a one-year foundation course which can lead onto an engineering degree course for those without standard entry requirements.

    Training is usually done on the job, with part-time study for qualifications. The skills covered include interpreting drawings, selecting materials, using hand tools, teamworking and using information technology.

    Relevant qualifications include: NVQ/SVQ Level 3 in Boat Building and Maintenance; Marine Engineering; Engineering Maintenance; Engineering Production; Engineering Installation and Commissioning; and Marine Engineering Operations at levels 3 and 4.

    The British Marine Federation has information on relevant courses and qualifications; it also has details of short-course training providers throughout the country covering areas such as laminates and composites, LPG, electrics, plumbing, rope/wire splicing, and paint spraying and finishing.

    The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology holds details of higher education courses and, for employees within the industry, professional development training.

    Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24.
    For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).

    Shipbuilding and ship repair is done at large shipyards located in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England. Boat-building and repair is done on a much smaller scale in areas all round the coast of the UK, especially in southern England.

    There is the possibility of work overseas.

    Annual Income

    The annual income section is intended as a guideline only.

    An trainee apprentice can expect to earn about £14,000.
    With increased experience, a qualified craftsperson will earn about £20,000.
    Senior craftsmen and women can earn up to £25,000.

    Further information
    British Marine Federation
    Marine House
    Thorpe Lea Road
    TW20 8BF
    Tel: 01784 473377

    The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology
    80 Coleman Street
    EC2R 5BJ
    Tel: 020 7382 2600

    SEMTA (Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance) *
    14 Upton Road
    WD18 0JT
    Tel: 0808 100 3682

    National Training Organisations (NTOs) ceased to be recognised by the government on 31 March 2002. However, some are continuing to operate in their respective fields. Please contact individual NTOs with queries regarding their current status.

    The Secretary of State for Education and Skills is licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website:

  • Other Useful Marine Craftsman Work Information

    We have a section available at this site on Marine Craftsman job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

    Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
    Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

    Details of other Marine Craftsman Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
    Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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