What does a Marine Engineer do?
Marine engineers design, build, convert, test and
maintain boats and ships, underwater craft (ROVs –
remotely operated vehicles), and offshore platforms,
plant and equipment. In addition, engineers are normally
responsible for managing a team of marine technicians.
See the profile for Marine Technician.
involves a detailed technical knowledge of naval
construction, and mechanical, electrical and electronic
engineering systems, all of which play a part in marine
engineering. Marine engineers work in a variety of
- Shipbuilding, boatbuilding and repair –
working in design, development, construction and
maintenance of ships, boats and associated machinery
- Offshore oil and gas industry – working in the
design, construction, modification and operation of
offshore platforms, rigs, pipelines and equipment
- Marine surveying – inspection of ships and offshore
installations and plant, examining their design,
construction, seaworthiness, safety and maintenance
- Merchant Navy and Royal Navy –
working as a marine engineering officer ensuring
machinery, instruments and systems work safely and
efficiently - in the Royal Navy engineers can specialise in
surface ships, submarines or weapons systems.
Experienced marine engineers usually hold
incorporated or chartered status.
Chartered engineers are normally involved at a
strategic planning level, researching and developing new
designs, innovations and more efficient processes for
the application of new and existing technologies within
their chosen engineering specialism. They are often
project leaders and are responsible for teams of
incorporated engineers and technicians.
Incorporated engineers specialise in managing
the process of applying current engineering solutions in
the most cost-effective manner. They have a detailed
knowledge of the practical application of engineering
science and technology, and have the skills and know-
how to put plans into practice. They often hold key
operational management roles.
What's the working environment like working as a Marine Engineer?
Marine engineers often work flexible hours, which may
include shiftwork and weekends.
engineers can work away from home for long periods, on
ships, submarines or offshore installations. Jobs in
design or construction are shore-based. Outdoor work
can sometimes be very physically demanding.
What does it take to become a Marine Engineer?
To be a marine engineer, you should:
strong analytical skills and an innovative approach to
- have excellent mathematical and IT
- have strong communication and negotiating
- have an excellent technical knowledge with
computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM)
- be able to prioritise and plan effectively
able to work within budgetary constraints
- be willing
to keep up-to-date with new developments
- be able
to manage a team
- be aware of health and safety
- be willing to travel and be able to work at
sea for extended periods.
Diving skills will
be required for some underwater work.
Marine Engineer Career Opportunities
If you would like to know anything about Marine Engineer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below. British Marine Federation
Thorpe Lea Road
www.britishmarine.co.uk Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology
80 Coleman Street
www.imarest.org.uk Merchant Navy Training Board
12 Carthusian Street
www.mntb.org The Royal Navy
(Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance)
14 Upton Road
Tel: 0808 100 3682
www.semta.org.uk Women into Science and Engineering
22 Old Queen Street
Tel: 020 7227 8421
www.wisecampaign.org.uk Engineering Training Council
20-24 York Street
Tel: 028 9032 9878
www.etcni.org.uk Engineering Council
10 Maltravers Street
Tel: 020 7240 7891
www.engc.org.uk The UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence
Facts and Stats:
- Isambard Kingdom Brunel was only 5ft tall and wore a top hat to make himself look taller
Engineering generates more than 40 per cent of the UK¿s national wealth
The Box Hill tunnel, part of Brunel¿s Great Western Railway, took five years to dig and at two miles long was the longest tunnel in the world at the time