1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Marine engineer

Marine engineer

Alternative titles for this job include

Marine engineers design, build and repair boats, ships, submarines, offshore platforms and drilling equipment.

Average salary (a year)

£24,000 Starter


£55,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Marine engineer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You usually need to complete a foundation degree or degree to become a marine engineer. Courses include:

  • marine engineering
  • marine technology
  • naval architecture
  • offshore engineering

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths and a science for a degree

More Information


You might be able to do the Marine Engineer Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship, then take further training on the job.

As a qualified engineer, you might be able to do a:

  • Small Vessel Chief Engineer Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship
  • Marine Technical Superintendent Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


You could start by training as a marine engineering technician with the Merchant Navy or Royal Navy

You could then study for a marine engineering degree while working.

More Information

Further information

You can find more advice about careers in engineering from the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and British Marine.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • knowledge of physics
  • design skills and knowledge
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Depending on the industry you work in, you could:

  • build and repair ships, boats and onboard systems
  • design, build and operate offshore gas and oil platforms
  • do marine surveys
  • make sure engines, instruments and systems work safely
  • keep up to date with laws for environmental protection and safety

Working environment

You could work at a shipyard, in an office, on a ship, at a port or underwater.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, physically demanding and you may spend nights away from home.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could:

  • specialise in project management, research and development or consultancy
  • work on land to refit marine vessels
  • move into law and work on maritime engineering safety
  • move into shipping fleet management

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Marine Engineer Apprenticeship

  • Wage: Competitive Annually
  • Location: Coal Park Lane, Swanwick, Southampton

Courses In England

Marine Engineering - Advanced Certificate

  • Start date: 03 September 2024
  • Location: Fleetwood

Marine Engineering Diploma

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Paignton

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.