Marine Engineer

Design, test, and build any machines that touch water.
picture of Marine Engineer

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$43,000 – $144,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Marine Engineers do?

As a Marine Engineer you experiment, research, design, construct, and repair all machines that touch the water. You might specialize in one area, such as propulsion, or concentrate on one type of watercraft, such as sailboats.

A career path as a Marine Engineer has innumerable possibilities. If you are working with ships or smaller boats, you might work to design more fuel efficient body designs. Or perhaps, as a Marine Engineer, you will opt to work with submarines, designing quieter engines.

Your projects can be small—retooling a small sailboat for faster racing speeds—, or very, very large. For the latter, you often work with a team of other specialized Engineers. Building a cruise ship, for example, requires expertise in large scale energy needs, electronics, buoyancy, and propulsion (to name but a few). You might also work for the military, using your specialized knowledge of defense and nuclear power to work on naval aircraft carriers or battleships.

Wherever you work, much of your time is spent in research. You experiment with different materials to create systems that produce less waste or consume fewer resources. Maybe you work to design a more effective fuel storage system for a cruise ship. Or, perhaps you create an engine that functions on hydraulic power instead of fossil fuels. You could even design a new marine vehicle all together. After all, somebody invented the first jet ski, submarine, and battleship.

Other areas of specialization include navigation or communication systems, steering, or material studies. Regardless of which vessel, system, or process you specialize in, you will use your eye for precision, communication skills, and ability to work with a team to be a success in this position.

Should I be a Marine Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Hull Outfit Supervisor, Marine Consultant, Marine Engineering Consultant, Propulsion Machinery Service Engineer

    How to become a Marine Engineer

    Most Marine Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:adb9lc&chl=|certificate+%284%25%29|associate%27s+%282%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2877%25%29|master%27s+%2814%25%29|doctorate+%283%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,77
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