Arts & crafts

Boat builder

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

Annual Salary

£16,000 to £35,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

45 to 47 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; as customers demand

7%
Future employment

There will be 7% fewer Boat builder jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

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 may need to wear protective clothing.

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 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 Boatbuilding. Some colleges offer introductory courses so you can see if it’s the right choice for you.

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
For more information
Apprenticeship

You could get into this job by doing a boat builder 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
For more information
Direct application

You can apply directly if you've got relevant experience. Qualifications or experience in joinery, 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.

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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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 thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
My top 5 skills
Please sign in to compare your skills to this job. Sign in

To save or view your choices and results you must sign in or register (takes 1 minute).

Sign in Register