How to Become a Marine Engineer

Projected Job Growth: 17%
Projected Employment Change: 1,000

Marine engineers help design ships, such as aircraft carriers, submarines, tankers, and even sailboats. Primarily, they work on the mechanical systems like steering and propulsion. Generally, this involves duties such as preparing system layouts, as well as designing, inspecting, and conducting tests on marine equipment and machinery. These types of engineers also prepare technical reports, cost estimates, contract specifications, and schedules for design and construction. As indicated in the above projections provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in this occupation is expected to increase about as fast as average for all occupations, although it is still among the faster-growing careers in engineering.

Why Marine Engineering?

Marine engineering can be a good career choice for problem solvers who like to create solutions, develop plans, and work on job sites, as well as in an office. It is also a field that is expected to see favorable job growth. According to the BLS, there will be a growing need for marine engineers who can design mechanical systems for ships that transport energy products. And as new regulations regarding emissions and pollution for cargo shipping go into effect, they will also be needed to modify the systems in existing ships. In addition, more companies are expected to drill for deposits in the ocean floor and will need marine engineers who can design and maintain the offshore oil rigs.

Getting Into Marine Engineering

A career in marine engineering begins with traditional or online degree programs in engineering. On-campus or online bachelor’s degree programs in marine engineering or marine systems engineering will include courses in computer-aided design, calculus, physics, fluid mechanics, mechanics of materials, ship hull strength, and more. When looking for a place to pursue your education, make sure to only consider schools with online degree programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition, many marine engineers earn a mariner’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard. There are various levels of licensure and those with the highest are more likely to obtain higher paying positions with more job responsibilities.