The Institute of Marine Technology is partnering with Warner University in Florida to start a marine technology program on the university’s campus in Lake Wales, Fla.
The institute said the intent of the program is to prepare people for entry-level technician opportunities in the watercraft industry.
Students will be able to pursue two courses of action in the program at Warner University. A certificate program and an associate of applied science degree in marine technology will be offered.
With access to a 4,274-acre lake for testing purposes and the university behind it, the new program seeks to change the way technicians enter the work force.
Students will not only learn how to work on watercraft and gather hands-on experience, but they also will work in a real-life marina environment and understand the inner workings of marinas and boat dealerships around the world. Industry-leading experts have already made guest appearances and been signed to the program’s advisory council.
The institute said the National Marine Manufacturers Association reports that boat sales are strong for the $35.9 billion U.S. recreational boating industry. An estimated 238,000 new powerboats were sold in 2015, an increase of 8.5 percent from 2014. The institute said the NMMA anticipates that sales of new powerboats will increase as much as 7 percent in 2017.
The federal Department of Labor reports that there will be more than 1.2 million jobs in the diesel, automotive, motorcycle and marine industries in the United States by the year 2024.
To reach that total the transportation industry will have to fill more than 37,000 technician job openings, on average, every year.