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Career profile Marine Engineer

Also known as Marine Architect, Marine Design Engineer, Marine Engineer, Marine Engineering Consultant, Marine Structural Designer, Marine Surveyor, Naval Architect, Naval Architect Specialist, Ships Equipment Engineer, Structural Engineer

Marine Engineer

Also known as Marine Architect, Marine Design Engineer, Marine Engineer

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Realistic
  • Artistic
Pay Range
$62,610 - $148,580 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Design
Core tasks
  • Establish arrangement of boiler room equipment and propulsion machinery, heating and ventilating systems, refrigeration equipment, piping, and other functional equipment.
  • Conduct analyses of ships, such as stability, structural, weight, and vibration analyses.
  • Design complete hull and superstructure according to specifications and test data, in conformity with standards of safety, efficiency, and economy.
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What does a Marine Engineer do?

Marine Engineers design, develop, and evaluate the operation of marine vessels, ship machinery, and related equipment, such as power supply and propulsion systems.

What kind of tasks does a Marine Engineer perform regularly?

Marine Engineers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Design complete hull and superstructure according to specifications and test data, in conformity with standards of safety, efficiency, and economy.
  • Supervise other engineers and crew members and train them for routine and emergency duties.
  • Study design proposals and specifications to establish basic characteristics of craft, such as size, weight, speed, propulsion, displacement, and draft.
  • Perform monitoring activities to ensure that ships comply with international regulations and standards for life-saving equipment and pollution preventatives.
  • Oversee construction and testing of prototype in model basin and develop sectional and waterline curves of hull to establish center of gravity, ideal hull form, and buoyancy and stability data.
  • Evaluate performance of craft during dock and sea trials to determine design changes and conformance with national and international standards.
  • Prepare plans, estimates, design and construction schedules, and contract specifications, including any special provisions.
  • Check, test, and maintain automatic controls and alarm systems.
  • Design layout of craft interior, including cargo space, passenger compartments, ladder wells, and elevators.
  • Evaluate operation of marine equipment during acceptance testing and shakedown cruises.
  • Act as liaisons between ships' captains and shore personnel to ensure that schedules and budgets are maintained, and that ships are operated safely and efficiently.
  • Prepare, or direct the preparation of, product or system layouts and detailed drawings and schematics.
  • Investigate and observe tests on machinery and equipment for compliance with standards.
  • Maintain records of engineering department activities, including expense records and details of equipment maintenance and repairs.
  • Conduct environmental, operational, or performance tests on marine machinery and equipment.
  • Inspect marine equipment and machinery to draw up work requests and job specifications.
  • Prepare technical reports for use by engineering, management, or sales personnel.
  • Design and oversee testing, installation, and repair of marine apparatus and equipment.
  • Coordinate activities with regulatory bodies to ensure repairs and alterations are at minimum cost and consistent with safety.
  • Procure materials needed to repair marine equipment and machinery.
  • Maintain contact with, and formulate reports for, contractors and clients to ensure completion of work at minimum cost.
  • Maintain and coordinate repair of marine machinery and equipment for installation on vessels.
  • Determine conditions under which tests are to be conducted, as well as sequences and phases of test operations.
  • Conduct analytical, environmental, operational, or performance studies to develop designs for products, such as marine engines, equipment, and structures.
  • Confer with research personnel to clarify or resolve problems and to develop or modify designs.
  • Review work requests and compare them with previous work completed on ships to ensure that costs are economically sound.
  • Analyze data to determine feasibility of product proposals.

The above responsibilities are specific to Marine Engineers. More generally, Marine Engineers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

What is a Marine Engineer salary?

The median salary for a Marine Engineer is $95,440, and the average salary is $99,590. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Marine Engineer salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Marine Engineers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Marine Engineers earn less than $62,610 per year, 25% earn less than $76,750, 75% earn less than $118,790, and 90% earn less than $148,580.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Marine Engineers is expected to change by 4.1%, and there should be roughly 500 open positions for Marine Engineers every year.

Median annual salary
$95,440
Typical salary range
$62,610 - $148,580
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
4.1%

What personality traits are common among Marine Engineers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Marine Engineer are usually higher in their Investigative, Realistic, and Artistic interests.

Marine Engineers typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, Marine Engineers typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Lastly, Marine Engineers typically have moderate Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Marine Engineer tend to value Independence, Achievement, and Recognition.

Most importantly, Marine Engineers strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Marine Engineers strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Marine Engineers strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Marine Engineers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, integrity, and analytical thinking.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Marine Engineers, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

What education and training do Marine Engineers need?

Many Marine Engineers will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Marine Engineers usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Marine Engineers

  • 2.9% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 10.1% completed high school or secondary school
  • 9.7% completed some college coursework
  • 3.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 53.7% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 18.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.9% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Marine Engineers

Marine Engineers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as engineering and technology, mathematics, or design knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Marine Engineers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Physics
Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Important Abilities needed by Marine Engineers

Marine Engineers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Marine Engineers need abilities such as written comprehension, problem sensitivity, and deductive reasoning in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Marine Engineers, ranked by their relative importance.

Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Critical Skills needed by Marine Engineers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Marine Engineers frequently use skills like reading comprehension, critical thinking, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Marine Engineers, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.