Marine engineering technicians, also known as marine technicians or shipbuilding technicians, design, build, convert, test, service and repair boats and ships, underwater craft (ROVs – remotely operated vehicles), and offshore platforms, plant and equipment.
Marine technicians are involved with all aspects of the mechanical, electrical and electronic installation and maintenance of vessels and equipment; this can include engines, propellers, pumps, generators, pipework, hydraulics, transmission systems, navigation and communication equipment.
Work can be carried out at sea, working on board a vessel or platform; or it could be onshore, working in a shipbuilding or ship repair yard. Technicians also work for specialist marine equipment manufacturers and suppliers.
Technicians may have supervisory responsibilities for marine craftsmen/women, but they themselves work under the direction of a marine engineer. For details of craft and engineering positions, see the profiles for Marine Craftsman/woman and Marine Engineer in the Manufacturing and Engineering section.
Marine engineering technicians normally work a 38-hour week but overtime is common during busy periods.
The environment in which technicians work varies considerably; it can include offices, shipyards or ports, or it may involve working at sea (or underwater) installing and servicing equipment in all weathers and conditions.
As a marine engineering technician, you should:
Diving skills will be required for some underwater work.
Work is available in civilian or naval shipyards, and boatyards and marinas building, servicing or repairing smaller vessels. Opportunities also exist with onshore marine engineering companies sub-contracted to provide services to shipbuilders, platform construction companies and specialist suppliers of plant and equipment.
Whilst there has been a general decline in the shipbuilding industry, there has been growth in the leisure craft sector, with a demand for maintenance, refitting and repair services. For experienced technicians there are also opportunities to work on contracts overseas.
Career progression would normally involve moving into supervisory positions. With further training and experience, higher management and project lead roles may become available. See the profile for Marine Engineer. There may be opportunities to specialise in a particular area, for instance, marine design or specialist equipment sales and support.
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