Port Engineer

Perform regular maintenance and repair on large marine vessels.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$43,000 – $144,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Port Engineers do?

If you love boats of all shapes and sizes, revel in a challenge, and want a career where you can get in-depth knowledge of marine machines, then this is the career for you. As a Port Engineer, you’re charged with the maintenance and repair of marine vessels of all kinds, usually larger cargo ships.

You use your engineering skill, familiarity with machines, and keen attention to detail to keep fleets in top condition. The ocean takes its toll on a ship as it runs through its regular duties. You’re there to keep it up and running.

Like any other machine, ships have regular maintenance schedules. You get to know every vessel in your fleet, what it’s going to need, and when. You work with crews on land and at sea to coordinate regular maintenance. Ordering parts, and making sure that maintenance and repairs meet industry safety requirements are vital.

When repairs are needed, you often price out the parts and the work to be done to get the best deal for your company. A good Port Engineer is active, never passive. Properly priced, timely repairs and maintenance can save a company a lot of money over time.

If you want a nine-to-five, punch-the-clock kind of job, look elsewhere. Port Engineers live in an ever-changing world and work when needed. Sure, you have “normal” hours during the day, at the port. But you could also be called upon to travel for an undetermined period of time to coordinate or assist in repairs.

You work indoors, outdoors, in cramped mechanical access areas, and possibly high above the ground. Any mechanical job like this carries some risk of injury, but with good safety procedures, you can mitigate this. Lastly, since you’re working with boats, you should be comfortable getting on and off vessels, whether docked or in open water.


Should I be a Port Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • 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.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Naval Engineer

    How to become a Port Engineer

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Port Engineer-related education!
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