Marine engineers are responsible for designing, building and maintaining ships. It is a great career choice for anyone who had experience in engineering or experience maintaining ships during their military service. Along with being a high paying job, marine engineers are expected to see their job market grow in the coming years.
What Marine Engineers Do
Marine engineers, also known as marine design engineers or marine mechanical engineer, are responsible for the internal systems of a ship, such as the propulsion, electrical, refrigeration, and steering systems. They can sometimes be confused with marine architects, who are responsible for the ship design, including the form, structure, and stability of hulls.
- Prepare system layouts and detailed drawings and schematics
- Inspect marine equipment and machinery, and draw up work requests and job specifications
- Conduct environmental, operational, or performance tests on marine machinery and equipment
- Design and oversee the testing, installation, and repair of marine equipment
- Investigate and test machinery and equipment to ensure compliance with standards
- Coordinate activities with regulatory bodies to ensure that repairs and alterations are done safely and at minimal cost
- Prepare technical reports for use by engineers, managers, or sales personnel
- Prepare cost estimates, contract specifications, and design and construction schedules
- Maintain contact with contractors to make sure that the work is being done correctly, on schedule, and within budget
Like other engineers, marine engineers must be well educated in a number of different engineering disciplines. Marine engineers don’t necessarily only focus on water vessels, they may work on offshore oil rigs and offshore alternative energy projects.
There are more job opportunities than you may realize in the marine engineering market. For example, if an engineer works for a shipbuilding firms may design large passenger liners or cargo ships, or they may design smaller crafts inflatable rafts. Engineers who work for the government may be involved in the building of aircraft carriers or ships used by the military.
While the majority of their work occurs in an office setting where they have access to special technology needed to do their job, marine engineers will occasionally need to work on the site of a ship build or test. If they are involved in an offshore project, they will most likely work on site.
How to Become a Marine Engineer
To become a marine engineer you will need a degree in, shockingly, marine engineering! You can also become a marine engineer with a degree in a related field, such as mechanical or electrical engineering. Typically, classes in marine engineering will focus on calculus, physics, computer-aided design, fluid mechanics, ship hull strength, and mechanics of materials.
The state maritime academies offer programs in marine engineering, where students will spend time at sea in order to gain valuable experience. Along with earning a bachelor’s degree, students at the maritime academies take exams for licensure through the U.S. Coast Guard.
Once you have completed your degree, you have the option to acquire your Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows you to take on more positions of leadership in your field. Professional engineers often supervise other engineers and lead engineering projects.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for marine engineering jobs, as of May 2017, was $90,970. The great news for veterans interested in becoming marine engineers is that the job market expected to increase 12% by 2026, which is much faster than the average occupation is expected to grow over the same time period.
The main reasons marine engineering jobs are expected to see growth is due to the need to fix, repair and maintain ships and boats currently in operation. They will also be in high demand as oil and gas companies continue to operate and build offshore oil rigs.
Companies Hiring Marine Engineers
AECOM: AECOM is built to deliver a better world. We design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations in more than 150 countries.
CACI: At CACI, you will have the opportunity to make an immediate impact by providing information solutions and services in support of national security missions and government transformation for Intelligence, Defense, and Federal Civilian customers.
Cummins, Inc.: Cummins Inc. is worldwide, and with 54,000 employees is a place big enough to coach and develop a global workforce and create the world’s leading clean, engine technology.
*Companies appearing in this article are paying advertisers