Marine Engineer Careers

What is a Marine Engineer?

Marine Engineers are responsible for the design and connstruction of seagoing vessels and structures, focusing primarily on their internal systems. Simply put, they design the onboard electrical, environmental and propulsion systems aboard everything from oil platforms to cruise ships.

No environment on Earth is as demanding as the sea. Designing and building vessels and structures that can withstand the wind, waves and salt exposure requires special education and experience. The modern world’s global commerce is largely enabled by the ocean-going technological marvels created by Marine Engineers.

Today’s oceans are plied by oil and cargo ships that are amazingly huge and complex. The largest ship ever built, once named Seawise Giant, was over 1500 feet long. Royal Caribbean International recently launched 2 Oasis class cruise ships, floating paradises that routinely carry over 5000 happy cruisers on vacation. The Marine Engineering involved in assuring the safety of the crews and passengers of these behemoths is challenging and exacting. Marine engineers routinely break records and create new technology as a normal course of doing business.

Becoming a Marine Engineer

The normal path to becoming a Marine Engineer is to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university. Many public and private colleges offer undergraduate degrees in Marine Engineering, but there are some schools that specialize in this arena. Marine Engineers are highly involved in the design and operation of shipboard electrical and environmental systems as well as power plants, so you’ll take courses in electrical engineering, fluid dynamics and power production.

Moving on to a Master’s Degree in Marine Engineering will often encompass a broader area of study including Naval Architecture. Naval Architecture involves the overall structural design of ships and other vessels.

At the pinnacle of Marine Engineering are professionals who have earned their Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) in the field. With the complexity involved in many of these large-scale systems, the sky is the limit.

Marine Engineer Schools

A Day in the Life of a Marine Engineer

Based on the performance specifications of the vessel, marine engineers design the propulsion system to deliver the power required. They also design the steering system, heating, cooling and ventilation systems and hydraulics for the ship. If the job is a retrofit, the marine engineer studies the current plans before designing the new systems.

Once marine engineers know what equipment is to be installed and where each duct, machine and power source is to be located, they prepare detailed plans. They create layouts and schematics, determine the work schedule and prepare a cost estimate for approval by management.

As the work progresses, marine engineers may conduct periodic inspections or tests to catch any issues as soon as possible. They ensure that design specifications are being followed, monitor the project budget and prepare status reports for clients or managers.

Although most of a marine engineer's work can be performed in an office, there are times when sea trials are part of the job. Marine engineers may spend time aboard ship to test how the vessel performs or to gather information for maintenance or an upcoming retrofit. Engineers who specialize in offshore drilling may spend some time on the oil rig to supervise maintenance or repair efforts involving the rig's mechanical systems.

Marine Engineer Employment Outlook and Salary

According to the US Government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Marine Engineers and Naval Architects earn an average annual salary of $84,850. However, the top 10% of the career field pulls in a healthy $145,790 annually.

Demand for Marine Engineers is expected to continue growing about as fast as the national average for all careers. New fields like alternative energy from wind and tides combine with traditional ship design and oil platform work to generate a healthy demand for professional Marine Engineers.

The demand is expected to be fueled by a combination of factors. First, many existing vessels may need to be retrofitted to comply with new regulations involving pollution and emissions standards. As oil companies continue to move offshore to drill, marine engineers will also be needed to design and service these rigs. Marine engineers will be needed to work on offshore energy sources, such as wind turbines. However, as marine engineering is a relatively small field, the numerical change is only expected to be about 1,000 new jobs.

Career advancement usually follows with experience in the field. You’ll normally start off focusing on specific systems, and move on to more complex applications as you increase your experience and education. There are many opportunities operating systems in their native maritime environment, but if life at sea isn’t for you, there are many office-based jobs where skills like Computer Aided Design (CAD) come into play.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Marine engineers can advance into supervisory or management positions with experience. Typically, the USCG licenses can help marine engineers move up; as the level of license increases, responsibilities normally increase. Some marine engineers move into sales, using their technical knowledge to help clients plan and execute projects.

Is Marine Engineering the right career for you?

Like any engineering field, Marine Engineering requires a strong background in math and science. Pursuing and engineering degree is a serious commitment and is not to be taken lightly.

Along with math and science skills, you’ll probably do well if you’re fascinated by the ocean and the engineering involved with in harnessing the power of the sea. Not all Marine Engineers work safely behind a desk designing systems. If you don’t think you ever want to spend time on a ship or other off-shore structure, you might think about a different career choice. However, if ships and the sea call to you, this is a rewarding profession worthy of consideration.

Marine Engineering Associations

Compared to some other engineering fields, Marine Engineering is a small and highly focused profession. However, there are opportunities for robust professional development and camaraderie.

Probably the largest international group in this field is the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers . With membership around 8500, this organization is focused on their stated mission “to advance the art, science, and practice of naval architecture, shipbuilding and marine engineering.”

Ads By Google

Schools Supporting Marine Engineer Careers
School Information
• Alexandria
, MN
• Public
Community College
• Rural Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
Unknown
Associate
Marine Engineering
School Information
• Wilberforce
, OH
• Public
College
• Rural Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
55%
44%
Bachelor
Master
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
School Information
• Wilmington
, DE
• Public
Community College
• Urban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Medium
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
Unknown
Associate
Architectural Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Boca Raton
, FL
• Public
College
• Urban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
54%
45%
Associate
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Biomedical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Melbourne
, FL
• Private
College
• Urban Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Medium
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
26%
73%
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Aerospace Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Automotive Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Software Engineering
School Information
• Appleton
, WI
• Public
Community College
• Suburban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
Unknown
Associate
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Marine Engineering
School Information
• Kenosha
, WI
• Public
Community College
• Suburban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Medium
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
Unknown
Associate
Architectural Engineering
Civil Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Marine Engineering
School Information
• Helena
, MT
• Public
Community College
• Rural Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
Unknown
Associate
Marine Engineering
School Information
• Brooklyn Park
, MN
• Public
Community College
• Suburban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Medium
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
Unknown
Associate
Electrical Engineering
Marine Engineering
Nuclear Engineering
School Information
• West Palm Beach
, FL
• Private
College
• Suburban Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
32%
67%
Associate
Bachelor
Electrical Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Indianapolis
, IN
• Public
Community College
• Urban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
Unknown
Associate
Electrical Engineering
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Benton Harbor
, MI
• Public
Community College
• Rural Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
Unknown
Associate
Electrical Engineering
Marine Engineering
Nuclear Engineering
School Information
• Arundel
, ME
• Private
Community College
• Rural Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
50%
50%
Associate
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
School Information
• Baton Rouge
, LA
• Public
College
• Rural Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
53%
46%
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Agricultural Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Petroleum Engineering
School Information
• Castine
, ME
• Public
College
• Rural Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
13%
86%
Associate
Bachelor
Master
Marine Engineering
School Information
• Buzzards Bay
, MA
• Public
College
• Suburban Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
14%
86%
Bachelor
Master
Marine Engineering
School Information
• Houghton
, MI
• Public
College
• Rural Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Medium
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
24%
75%
Associate
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Petroleum Engineering
Software Engineering
School Information
• Granite Falls
, MN
• Public
Community College
• Rural Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
Unknown
Associate
Computer Engineering
Marine Engineering
School Information
• Corvallis
, OR
• Public
College
• Urban Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
47%
52%
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Agricultural Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Nuclear Engineering
School Information
• Adrian
, MI
• Private
College
• Suburban Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
40%
59%
Associate
Bachelor
Master
Automotive Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Spokane
, WA
• Public
Community College
• Urban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Medium
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
Unknown
Associate
Civil Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Hoboken
, NJ
• Private
College
• Suburban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Medium
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
30%
69%
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Automotive Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Throggs Neck
, NY
• Public
College
• Urban Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
8%
91%
Associate
Bachelor
Master
Electrical Engineering
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• College Station
, TX
• Public
College
• Urban Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
51%
48%
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Aerospace Engineering
Agricultural Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Nuclear Engineering
School Information
• Galveston
, TX
• Public
College
• Suburban Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
40%
59%
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Marine Engineering
School Information
• Baltimore
, MD
• Public
Community College
• Suburban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
Unknown
Associate
Marine Engineering
School Information
• New London
, CT
• Public
College
• Urban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
36%
64%
Bachelor
Civil Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Kings Point
, NY
• Public
College
• Suburban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
Unknown
Bachelor
Master
Marine Engineering
School Information
• Annapolis
, MD
• Public
College
• Suburban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
24%
75%
Bachelor
Aerospace Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Anchorage
, AK
• Public
College
• Urban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
Unknown
Associate
Bachelor
Master
Architectural Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Newark
, DE
• Public
College
• Suburban Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
57%
42%
Associate
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Gainesville
, FL
• Public
College
• Urban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
58%
41%
Associate
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Aerospace Engineering
Agricultural Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Honolulu
, HI
• Public
College
• Urban Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
55%
44%
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Agricultural Engineering
Civil Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Moscow
, ID
• Public
College
• Rural Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
49%
50%
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Petroleum Engineering
Nuclear Engineering
School Information
• Ann Arbor
, MI
• Public
College
• Urban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
49%
50%
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Aerospace Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Minneapolis
, MN
• Public
College
• Urban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
50%
49%
Associate
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Aerospace Engineering
Agricultural Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Reno
, NV
• Public
College
• Urban Setting
Easy
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
53%
46%
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Petroleum Engineering
School Information
• Durham
, NH
• Public
College
• Suburban Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
56%
43%
Associate
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Albuquerque
, NM
• Public
College
• Urban Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
56%
43%
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Nuclear Engineering
School Information
• New Orleans
, LA
• Public
College
• Urban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
48%
51%
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Civil Engineering
Automotive Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Kingston
, RI
• Public
College
• Suburban Setting
Easy
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
55%
44%
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
School Information
• Villanova
, PA
• Private
College
• Suburban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
51%
48%
Associate
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Marine Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Software Engineering
School Information
• Blacksburg
, VA
• Public
College
• Urban Setting
Moderate
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
44%
55%
Associate
Bachelor
Master
Doctorate
Aerospace Engineering
Agricultural Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Audio Engineering
Marine Engineering
School Information
• Ann Arbor
, MI
• Public
Community College
• Suburban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Large
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
Unknown
Associate
Marine Engineering
School Information
• Glen Cove
, NY
• Private
College
• Suburban Setting
Difficult
Admissions
Campus Size
Tuition Price
Online Courses
Small
Student Body
Degree Levels
Programs Offered
22%
77%
Bachelor
Marine Engineering