Marine engineer

Marine engineers design, build, test and repair boats, ships, underwater craft, offshore platforms and drilling equipment.

Average salary (a year)

£24,000 Starter

to

£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 a marine engineer

You can get into this job through:

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

University

You would normally 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:

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

More information

Apprenticeship

You may be able to do a marine engineer advanced apprenticeship, then take further training on the job to qualify.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including maths, English, science, design and technology, or equivalent qualifications, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Work

You could train as a marine engineering technician with the Merchant Navy or Royal Navy, 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

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
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Depending on the industry you work in, your duties could include:

  • shipbuilding, boat-building and repair
  • working in the leisure boat industry
  • designing, building and operating offshore gas and oil platforms
  • marine surveying
  • making sure engines, instruments and systems work safely

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 travelling often and spending nights away from home.

You may need to wear safety clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could specialise in project management, research and development or consultancy. 

There are also opportunities overseas for experienced marine engineers.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprenticeship in Marine Painter/Sprayer

  • Wage : £210.00 Weekly
  • Location: Lymington SO41 3YL

Courses In England

UOS BEng Marine Engineering March 19

  • Provider: Tyne Coast College T/A South Tyneside College and Tyne Metropolitan College
  • Start date: 18 March 2019
  • Location: South Shields

Marine Engineering - Foundation Degree

  • Provider: BLACKPOOL AND THE FYLDE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 10 September 2019
  • Location: Fleetwood

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