Marine Engineer Salary: Responsibilities, Skills and Career Scope

Marine Engineer salary


In the United States, a marine engineer’s average annual salary is roughly $92,400. Salary typically range from $65,440 to $147,710 per year. 

A marine engineer is a professional who has studied marine engineering (also known as maritime engineering) and is in charge of all significant mechanical and engineered equipment onboard a ship’s operation, maintenance, and repair. 

Propulsion mechanics, electrical and power production systems, lubrication, fuel systems, water distillation, lighting and air conditioning systems, and so on are all mechanical systems that aid in the operation of any vessel. 

A marine engineer’s technical responsibilities encompass all of these things.

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Marine Engineers’ Responsibilities 

The following are some of the significant responsibilities that professionals who have studied marine engineering (maritime engineering) have: 

Mechanical system monitoring and maintenance – Engineers of all ranks on board ship are assigned specific machinery and systems to maintain and monitor. 

All engineers share machinery systems, and it is each engineer’s responsibility to guarantee that his or her machinery is operational at all times. Marine engineers are also responsible for the maintenance of the deck machinery. 

Proper record-keeping and maintenance planning – The engine room department works as a team to ensure that all machinery systems are maintained in accordance with the maintenance plan. For formal documentation and reporting, precise record-keeping of numerous aspects is carried out. 

Marine engineers are also in charge of transferring fuel oil from a bunker station or barge to the ship. The 4th engineer is normally in charge of this, as well as taking periodical soundings of the fuel oil tanks and reporting them to the chief engineer for bunkering operations planning. 

Emergency breakdown and repair – Learning how to deal with severe maintenance and breakdowns of mechanical systems at sea is part of the marine engineering curriculum. Though marine engineers are capable of doing so, there are situations when specialists are required. In such situations, marine engineers must collaborate with professionals to repair and resolve the problem. 

Aside from the responsibilities listed above, a marine engineer on a ship is obliged to follow the chief engineer’s, or the ship’s engine room department’s, directions. 

Engineers execute a number of maritime activities, such as underwater vehicle development, cable laying operations, and renewable energy production in marine environments, among others. 

Marine engines for propulsion appeared in the later half of the nineteenth century, revolutionizing seagoing vessels. Around this period, the marine engineer began to assert his authority over the work program and transitioned from a’stoker’ to an engineer. 

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Many new innovations in marine technology have been introduced in recent years, such as fuel cells and magneto hydrodynamics, which have improved the machines and services. 

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More research and development is being done, and more details are being revealed on a regular basis. As a result, it is safe to say that marine engineering is an extremely dynamic area. 

This topic of research has recently piqued the interest of many people all around the world. Students from numerous countries expressed interest, as evidenced by the responses received by the pertinent departments in institutions. 

The growing number of job prospects in this industry has increased the appeal of a career as a marine engineer. For students interested in this subject, both the merchant navy and the armed navy provide several prospects. 

Furthermore, several manufacturing firms and units that manufacture shipping equipment and machines hire these people to work in their factories. 

In some nations, a marine engineer can convert to the armed navy (after passing physical and medical fitness testing) because the technical requirements for a seagoing engineer have already been met. 

Also accessible are field employment as trainers and teachers at various institutions, and qualified applicants are in high demand. Based on current trends and public interest, it is reasonable to expect that this field of research will continue to leave an indelible impression on the world.

After Marine Engineering, what jobs and career paths are available? 

A candidate becomes eligible to work on ships after completing a four-year marine engineering degree program (after pursuing required supplementary courses). A recent marine engineering graduate will serve as a trainee or junior engineer on a ship for six months. 

After completing the training and gaining the required sea experience, a fifth engineer is eligible to sit for the class IV tests, after which he or she will be authorized to join the ship as a fourth engineer. 

A corporation will promote the third engineer after getting a significant amount of experience and on the basis of performance. One can take Class II tests to become a second engineer after completing the required sea time as a third engineer. 

A second engineer can also take the Class I exam to advance to chief engineer after completing the required sea time and having sufficient experience. 

Even if the marine engineer has the necessary experience and certification, the company’s decision on promotion will be final.

What are the steps to become a marine engineer? 

If the responsibilities of a marine engineer pique your interest, learn how to become one by following these steps: 

Undergraduate marine engineering programs should be researched. 

Gather information about several marine engineering degrees to begin your career as a marine engineer. You might browse for marine engineering majors at colleges and universities or apply to a maritime institution that specializes in engineering. Some marine engineers have a general engineering degree, but they should make sure to take courses that are specifically related to the field of marine engineering. Check for accreditation from the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology before applying to a program to assure you’ll get a good education. 

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Apply for internships in the field of marine engineering

Apply for internships while completing your undergraduate degree to get a taste of what it’s like to work as a marine engineer. You can apply for internships in areas such as naval architecture or undersea vessels based on your interests. Energy corporations, design firms, shipbuilding companies, the military, and recreational water travel enterprises like cruise lines or yacht developers are all good places to look for marine engineering internships. 

Obtain a bachelor’s degree. 

Earning great marks during your undergraduate studies and getting your bachelor’s degree in marine engineering will demonstrate your capacity to succeed as a marine engineer. You’ll mostly take math and science classes as a marine engineering student, which will teach you the principles of naval construction and engineering in general. 

Make an effort to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. 

Sign up for the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying’s Fundamentals of Engineering exam (FE) once you graduate (NCEES). This general engineering exam verifies your ability to apply engineering basics in a real-world setting. Passing the FE is a requirement for becoming a licensed engineer in the future. 

Apply for entry-level positions in maritime engineering. 

Begin applying for entry-level marine engineer positions where you may obtain hands-on experience. Your initial job as a marine engineer will most likely be as a junior engineer, where you will be trained by a licensed senior engineer who will delegate and supervise your engineering work. When looking for your first job as a marine engineer, seek for positions that allow you to progress in your field of interest. 

Become a professional engineer with a license. 

You can apply to the NCEES to become a licensed professional engineer after four years of experience working in maritime engineering. You must pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam in naval architecture and marine disciplines to obtain your license. 

Obtain further certificates 

While the PE certification is the most common type of license for marine engineers, there are a variety of other certifications you can obtain to demonstrate your expertise in various elements of the field. You can receive a variety of certifications, including: 

Certificate in Naval Engineering 

Transportation Worker Identification Credential Merchant Shipping Builder’s Certificate Standard of Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers

Marine Engineering programs are available at the following universities. 

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) 

The Department of Maritime Technology (IMT) is a global pioneer in engineering systems education, research, and innovation in the marine environment. 

They primarily focus on methods and strategies that aid in the evaluation, development, and long-term operation of Norway’s most important export sectors. Offshore oil and gas exploitation, ship technology with industry correspondents, fishing technology, and aquaculture technology are just a few examples. 

Shanghai Jiao Tong University is a university in Shanghai, China. 

The Department of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering (NAOE) was China’s first school of higher education and scientific study in this discipline, having opened its doors in 1943. 

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It is also ranked first in the world for academic topics according to the Shanghai 2017 rating. The department is well-organized, with a faculty of more than 160 highly qualified individuals. Five national centers, as well as a number of additional industrial centers and laboratories, have lent their support. 

It also encompasses design and production, fluid mechanics, structural mechanics, naval characteristics, and specific equipment in the field of ocean engineering. Ocean engineering, undersea engineering, acoustic engineering, marine engine engineering, coastal engineering, ocean science, and other related fields 

The University of Strathclyde is located in Glasgow, Scotland. 

The University of Strathclyde, which is located in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, accepts students from over 100 nations. Their courses are primarily geared to assist you in developing important engineering skills for the marine environment. Also, through design projects that you will complete individually and in groups, you will be able to apply them to real-world issues. 

Above all, the Department of Naval Architecture, Oceanic and Marine Engineering (NAOME) is a prestigious Scottish institution. Above all, they provide superb naval architectural, maritime, and marine engineering teaching and research facilities. This broadens your employment options in the naval, marine architecture, and offshore oil and gas industries. 

On behalf of the United Kingdom Engineering Council, the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) and the Marine Engineering, Science and Technology Institute (IMarEST) have accredited this course. 

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a public research university 

MIT has had a graduate program in shipbuilding and marine engineering since 1901, in close collaboration with the US Navy. Essentially, the Navy, the Coast Guard, foreign naval officers, and other graduate students are prepared for jobs in ship design and building through this school. 

MIT is now a leader in ocean science and engineering, including research in fluid mechanics and hydrodynamics, acoustics, offshore mechanics, robots and marine sensors, and ocean detection and forecasting. 

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Furthermore, the shipbuilding program provides advanced higher education in ship and marine vehicle design. This school has established itself as one of the greatest maritime engineering schools in the United States. 

Newcastle University is a public university in Newcastle, England 

Newcastle University is a public research university in Newcastle upon Tyne, England’s northeast. The university may be traced back to a medical and surgical school founded in 1834, as well as the Faculty of Physical Sciences, which was established in 1871. 

Acquire a wide understanding of marine technology. As well as gaining in-depth knowledge in one of our areas of specialization. Its undergraduate and graduate marine engineering programs will also assist you in developing the abilities necessary to interact with engineers from other disciplines. 

Most importantly, top industrial employers from all around the world seek out their graduates.


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