How to Become a

Marine Engineer

The complete career guide to be a Marine Engineer: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $100,090
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 8.4%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

Marine Engineers are responsible for designing and building the water vessels and its various different components.  They also ensure that the ship functions and is maintained properly and efficiently.

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What is a Marine Engineer?

The following responsibilities are common for Marine Engineers:

  • Design and build the basic structure of a boat or ship
  • Design and form the stability of the hulls
  • Design propulsion and steering systems
  • Operate marine machinery aboard a ship
  • Preforms maritime research to use new or modified materials and techniques

A Day In The Life

Marine Engineers are specialists that develop, build install, inspect and maintains a marine vessels propulsion systems such as, engines and pumps and all other components that make as boat function effectively.  Their daily responsibilities will vary depending largely on the area of specialty they decide to pursue.

They are involved with the design, specifications, budgeting and development of various engineering projects.  This requires research, creating computer models, meeting with contractors, verifying specs, writing reports and making 3D models and presenting those ideas and models to clients and managers.

Inspections and evaluations of a marine vessels components is also another job responsibility.  Most will have daily inspections assigned to them.  Some are visual inspections while others are more involved and detailed.  They use diagnostic machinery to test a vessels functionality.

Typical Work Schedule

Typically this kind of work require a normal 40 hour work week.  Although, there will be certain times when longer hours are more common when deadlines will need to be met.

Projected Job Growth

Job growth depends largely on the growth of the shipping and naval industries.  Some firms are willing to give employees on-the-job training programs.  It is a broad path and offers a variety of different career choices.

Typical Employers

Most mechanical engineers end up working for the government or in the military like the U.S. Navy.  while others work for private shipbuilding firms.

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How To Become a Marine Engineer

Marine engineers should enjoy working with their hands and also display a great technical aptitude.  They should possess good communication skills and be capable of working in a team and also independently.

A Bachelor’s degree in marine engineering or a related subject is usually required to enter this career.  Classes should include mechanics, hydraulics, mathematics, mechanical theory and materials testing.  A person wanting to work in this field must also be licensed.  They will have to pass a written, physical and verbal exam and must have some kind of sea or maritime experience.


Marine Engineer Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Marine Engineer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Marine Engineer's can make an average annual salary of $100,090, or $48 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $74,030 or $36 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #67 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Marine Engineer. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Marine Engineers

  • 2.4%   Doctorate
  • 16.8%   Masters
  • 55%   Bachelors
  • 6.1%   Associates
  • 9.8%   College
  • 10%   High School
  • 0%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Marine Engineer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 700 jobs for a total of 9,000 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 8.4% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #260 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Marine Engineers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Engineering services 1,900 200 0%
Ship and boat building 1,100 --- ---
Federal government, excluding postal service 1,000 -100 0%

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