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What does a Marine Engineer do?

Learn all about Marine Engineer duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Marine Engineer.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A Marine Engineer is responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of a ship's engine and other mechanical equipment. They may also be responsible for the electrical systems of a ship.

Marine Engineer job duties include:

  • Design, develop and oversee the construction of marine vessels and systems
  • Conduct research into the feasibility, design, operation and performance of marine vessels and systems
  • Identify potential improvements to marine vessels and systems and develop plans to implement these improvements
  • Prepare reports and presentations on the findings of research projects and engineering investigations
  • Liaise with other engineers, naval architects, shipbuilders, suppliers and customers as required
  • Manage projects from concept through to completion, within budget and to schedule
  • Provide engineering support during the construction, commissioning and operation of marine vessels and systems
  • Investigate incidents and accidents involving marine vessels and systems and prepare reports on findings
  • Keep up to date with developments in maritime technology

Marine Engineer Job Requirements

A Marine Engineer is responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of ships and other marine vessels. They must have a strong understanding of naval architecture and be able to apply that knowledge to create vessels that are safe, efficient, and seaworthy. Marine Engineers must have a bachelor's degree in naval architecture or marine engineering, and many employers require professional certification from the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME). Several years of experience working in the maritime industry are also typically required.

Marine Engineer Skills

  • Operating systems
  • Control systems
  • Thermodynamics
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Pipefitting
  • Welding
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical wiring
  • Diesel engines
  • Gasoline engines
  • HVAC systems

Related: Top Marine Engineer Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Marine Engineer

There are many different types of engineers, but marine engineers are responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of ships, boats and other marine vessels. Marine engineering is a challenging and rewarding career that offers a unique opportunity to work on some of the world’s most interesting and complex machines.

If you’re interested in becoming a marine engineer, you will need to have strong math and science skills. You should also be able to think creatively and solve problems. A bachelor’s degree in marine engineering is the best way to prepare for this career. During your studies, you will take classes in physics, chemistry, calculus and other advanced math courses. You will also learn about ship design, construction and maintenance.

After you graduate from college, you will need to get a job with a shipyard or other maritime company. You will start out as a junior engineer, working under the supervision of more experienced engineers. As you gain experience, you will be given more responsibility and may eventually become a project manager or head engineer.

If you want to become a marine engineer, you need to be prepared for a challenging but rewarding career. With hard work and dedication, you can become one of the world’s leading experts on ships and other maritime vessels.

Related: Marine Engineer Resume Example

Related: Marine Engineer Interview Questions (With Example Answers)