Conrad Marine Sales & Service Ltd.'s Terry Conrad is Nova Scotia's first Certified Marine Service Technician. Although six other service technicians also achieved certification, Conrad's was the first certificate issued.
Certified Marine Service Technicians are qualified to service and repair, refit and upgrade marine vessels power and sail, including structural, cosmetic, electrical and mechanical work.
"Marine service technicians have had no recognition or credential for their training besides certificates supplied by OEMs such as MerCruiser and Yamaha,' says Conrad. "Becoming a Certified Marine Service Technician encompasses the entire vessel and its components. OEM certificates apply to their items. For instance, a Cummins Diesel certificate might be for their Zeus or engine but not for putting a thru-hull in. Certification ties all of these tasks together and builds continuity in our industry. Moving forward, all certified marine technicians will have the same skill sets. We've waited for so long to have this happen.'
Conrad's certification comes of the heels of the recent three-year partnership formed between Quadrant Marine Institute, Sidney, BC, and the Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association (NSBA). Quadrant agreed to supply training materials so that NSBA could administer the Marine Service Technician apprenticeship program in Nova Scotia.
The Apprenticeship Training Division of the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education is responsible for providing apprenticeship training and certification systems to meets Nova Scotia's needs for skilled trades professionals. Currently there are 66 designated trades in Nova Scotia, with Marine Service Technician as one of the newest additions.
To qualify for the certification, a marine technician must have substantial experience working in the occupation. Before the certification exam can be taken, a technician must prove that they have at least 12,000 hours of experience on the job. To pass the exam, participants must score 70 percent or higher. "Someone with less than 20 years of experience on the job wouldn't have much of a chance to pass,' says Conrad of the test's difficulty.
In Conrad's case, he has worked as a marine technician since 1981 and he started his own marine company Conrad Sales & Service Ltd. in 1995. He has kept his marine technician qualifications current and is a Mercury Marine Master Technician and an American Boat and Yacht Council Master Technician. As a marine technician his career started at ABCO Industries in Lunenburg. Conrad started overhauling large diesels and turbo chargers for commercial shipping and moved on to work as a service manager for Volvo Penta engines through Bell Diesel, servicing the inshore fishing fleet in Atlantic Canada. He established a dealer network for the SeaDoo Division of Bell Ltd. and then moved to Bombardier Recreational Products of Quebec where he worked with SeaDoo products and Celebrity Recreational Power Boats. His own company, Conrad Marine Sales & Service Ltd., servicing Dartmouth, Halifax and the South Shore of Nova Scotia, focuses on recreational boats thirty feet and upwards.
Conrad is also the current Secretary Treasurer of the Atlantic Marine Trades Association.
For more information about the Marine Service Technician Trade and Certification visit http://nsapprenticeship.ca