Marine Systems Engineer

Handle the high-tech systems that keep large boats sailing smoothly.
picture of Marine Systems Engineer

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$43,000 – $144,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Marine Systems Engineers do?

A rowboat is a rather simple affair: It has a hull, two seats, and two oars. It may be easy to build and maintain, but very few Sailors would choose a rowboat for a long trip across the sea. Instead, they’d sail in a vessel full of high-tech equipment handled by a Marine Systems Engineer. A Marine Systems Engineer creates the heating, steering, and engine systems, and so much more.

As a Marine Systems Engineer, you can work for a manufacturing company and develop new vessels. Or, you can work for the military or some other company that owns a large number of ships. In the latter case, your job is to maintain the equipment that has already been crafted, tested, and installed.

To build new systems, you create a series of drawings that detail how each piece should work and where it all should be located on the vessel. These are more than just sketches. They’re detailed plans that Contractors can use in their work. When these drawings are done and manufacturing begins, you supervise and make sure everything is moving along according to plan.

To manage old ships, you keep detailed records of how old everything is and what types of problems they have experienced in the past. Sometimes, you hop aboard and run a series of tests. Other times, you collect reports from Captains, Sailors, and Mechanics that detail all of the onboard problems. If you spot a problem you can fix, you create a series of drawings that outline what should be done, and you supervise as Contractors do the work.

Should I be a Marine Systems Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to become a Marine Systems Engineer

    Most Marine Systems 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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