Ever since there have been boats and other water vessels, it has been necessary to have people who can repair and maintain them. In colonial times in the United States, those who took care of vessels were not called technicians, but they did many of the same routine tasks performed today, with less developed tools and equipment. Marine services technicians have had to keep up with developments in vessel design and material, from wood and iron to fiberglass.
In the past, those who repaired water vessels found work mainly with merchant boats and ships and with military vessels. As the standard of living in the United States has increased, more people have been able to afford pleasure boats, from small motorcraft to luxury yachts. Marine services technicians rely on the pleasure boat industry today for much of their work.