What is the job of a Marine Engineer?

Marine Engineer

A marine engineer researches, designs, and manufactures various types of marine equipment. They usually work in offices or laboratories to study different existing marine equipment and determine the need for new technologies.


A marine engineer is a specialist engaged in the design of cargo and transport ships, making calculations regarding the interaction of transport ships and loading machines. However, they also take part in the process of drawing up schemes for the rational implementation of transportation. Such a specialist is indispensable at the stage of ship restoration and during repair work. Engineers specializing in shipbuilding develop protective systems for ships, as well as weapons and navigation systems. The list of responsibilities also includes the improvement and maintenance of ship equipment.

Marine Engineer Majors

  • Shipbuilding
  • Ship equipment
  • Ship power plants
  • Underwater technology
  • Marine acoustics and hydro physics
  • Automatic control systems for marine equipment
  • Marine information systems and equipment
  • Ship automated complexes and information and control systems. (Marine engineers of these specialties are engaged in ship armament. They develop complexes for protecting ships from physical fields, trawling armament, navigation and control systems, software, etc. They are responsible for the operation and repair of these systems)
  • Hydrography and navigation support.
  • Systems Engineering of Marine Infrastructure Objects
  • Electric power and ship automation systems.
Marine engineers at work


The first step to becoming a marine engineer is to earn a degree in one of the specializations of marine engineering. Marine engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree, but employers may require candidates to have a master’s degree. A variety of programs are available to students who want to become marine engineers, including associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees, for instance. However, the exact degree you need will depend on your desired specialization. For example, if you want to work on commercial ships, the type of education necessary will vary from the requirements of working on oil rigs or other types of ships. The courses for this program include physics, computer-aided design, calculus, mechanics of materials, ship hull strength, and fluid mechanics. However, most programs also make opportunities for students to gain experience on a vessel.

License and certifications

A marine engineer is a professional in their field who conducts productive activities. Basically, they cannot do without knowledge of design technologies and performing technical and economic calculations, the methodology for the functioning of technical equipment, and methods of its installation. In addition, it is necessary to know the features of the materials used in the work, as well as the current standards.

Important Qualities

The qualities a Marine Engineer needs include;

1. technical mindset;
2. responsible approach to the performance of duties;
3. concentration;
4. speed of reaction;
5. good eyesight and developing fine motor skills;
6. punctuality;
7. ability to analyze;
8. sociability;
9. working capacity;
10. love of technology;
11. emotional stability.

Skills and knowledge

What’s more, marine engineers get licensed after obtaining a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Coast Guard. Engineers who wish to gain the highest level of licensure by passing the Fundamentals of Engineering exam bachelor’s professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers and sign off on projects. However, they may also provide services.


The job market for marine engineers will grow at a much slower pace over the next decade. Around 500 new marine engineers are needed each year as workers are replaced by new ones. However, only 4% of new jobs will be added. In the ship and boat building industry, many of the jobs are with military ship orders. Interestingly, since federal budgetary constraints may limit employment growth, technological developments have made offshore wind energy projects more feasible. As a result, more marine engineers may be needed to help plan and implement these projects. Employment in the marine industry is sensitive to fluctuations in the economy, especially world trade.


Finally, the average annual salary of a Marine engineer is $95,440. The range is between $62,610, and $148,580: Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020. So, marine engineers onshore will work regular hours in an office or a shipyard. Engineers specializing in design but spend some time working on ships or at shipyards will have somewhat regular schedules. However, those who work full time and spend most of their time working at sea will have a schedule tied to the operations of their particular ship.

Read More: The first step towards getting a job

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