Marine Engineering | A call from the deep blue oceans | Scope and Opportunities

Marine engineers are given the responsibility of developing and operating ships that can carry cargo safely to and from their destinations. Marine engineers have to make sure that ships are designed to combat even the harshest environment that can be encountered at sea.

Graduates of marine engineering are also suited to working as mechanical engineers aside from working as marine engineers among other opportunities.

Due to the harsh environments you would work in, to become a successful marine engineer you must also develop your personality, communication and leadership skills.

What is Marine Engineering ?

The term ‘Marine’ hits everyone's mind that it is something related to water.

But, it is more than that.

Marine Engineering is one of the engineering courses that deals with design, construction, operation and maintenance of the ship functions that include steering, anchoring, cargo handling, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, etc.

The technology and techniques one can learn during marine engineering are used for creating cruise ships, oil platforms and harbors.

How is the Marine Engineering different from Naval Architecture ?

Marine Engineering is the branch of Engineering that deals with the nautical architecture and science. It involves construction, installation, operation, and repair of the ships machinery.

Naval Architecture deals with design process, ship building and operation of marine vessels.

What is the role of a Marine Engineer ?

Marine Engineers are responsible for the design and construction of seagoing vessels and structures, focusing primarily on their internal systems.

They design the on-board electrical, environmental and propulsion systems aboard everything from oil platforms to cruise ships.

No environment on Earth is as demanding as the sea. Designing and building vessels and structures that can withstand the wind, waves and salt exposure requires special education and experience. The modern world’s global commerce is largely enabled by the ocean-going technological marvels created by Marine Engineers.

Today’s oceans are piled by oil and cargo ships that are amazingly huge and complex. The largest ship ever built, once named Seawise Giant, was over 1500 feet long. Royal Caribbean International recently launched 2 Oasis class cruise ships, floating paradises that routinely carry over 5000 happy cruisers on vacation. The Marine Engineering involved in assuring the safety of the crews and passengers of these behemoths is challenging and exacting. Marine engineers routinely break records and create new technology as a normal course of doing business.

What marine engineers are ?

Marine Engineers are in charge of the designs and the construction. They look after the maintenance of the ships they are assigned to. They work with naval captains and other engineering and maintenance teams as well.

Marine engineers do not just work with one type of ship; they work with all kinds of ships. These include sailboats, tankers, submarines, and aircraft carriers.

Marine Engineers are the skilled professionals engaged in the design, construction and maintenance of vehicles and structures used on or around water for example – ships and boats.

They have responsibilities for the construction and maintenance of ships machinery that include steam turbines, gas turbines and engine room.

Marine Engineers work as a liaisons between ship captain and shore personnel in order to ensure the efficiency and safety of ship. Also, monitors and supervises the other engineers, mechanics and crew members of the ship.

Marine Engineers also works on the power generation, gas and oil industry. Nowadays may national and international companies showing their interest in producing the electricity with the use of tidal power generators and more.

Do you know?

Archimedes was the first marine engineer and developed numerous of marine engineering systems. In India marine engineering was introduced in August 1949.

If you are fascinated by the ocean or water and have interest in machinery or structures and want to do something creative then Marine Engineering is the best career option for you.

Is Marine Engineering the right career for you?

Like any engineering field, Marine Engineering requires a strong background in Mathematics and Science. Pursuing and engineering degree is a serious commitment and is not to be taken lightly.

Along with Mathematics and Science skills, you’ll probably do well if you’re fascinated by the ocean and the engineering involved with in harnessing the power of the sea. Not all Marine Engineers work safely behind a desk designing systems. If you don’t think you ever want to spend time on a ship or other off-shore structure, you might think about a different career choice. However, if ships and the sea call to you, this is a rewarding profession worthy of consideration.

Becoming a Marine Engineer

The normal path to becoming a Marine Engineer is to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university. Many public and private colleges offer undergraduate degrees in Marine Engineering, but there are some schools that specialize in this arena. Marine Engineers are highly involved in the design and operation of shipboard electrical and environmental systems as well as power plants, so you’ll take courses in electrical engineering, fluid dynamics and power production.

Moving on to a Master’s Degree in Marine Engineering will often encompass a broader area of study including Naval Architecture. Naval Architecture involves the overall structural design of ships and other vessels.

At the pinnacle of Marine Engineering are professionals who have earned their Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) in the field. With the complexity involved in many of these large-scale systems, the sky is the limit.

Educational Requirements for Marine Engineering

If you want to become a marine engineer, then make sure to get at least a bachelor’s degree in any of the three: marine engineering, ocean engineering, and mechanical engineering. However, if you want to get into an important position in this field, then get a Master’s degree in marine engineering – some would even go the extra mile to getting doctorate degrees.

Courses & Duration

How to Become a Marine Engineer?

You can opt for Marine Engineering - either after completion of your 10th class, 12th class or your graduation.

  • Eligibility for diploma courses: - Completion of secondary examination/10th class

  • Eligibility for UG courses:- Completion of Higher Secondary examination/12th class

  • Eligibility for PG courses:- Completion of B.Tech/B.E. in marine engineering

  • There are various Institutions which offer diploma, bachelor or master degree courses in Marine Engineering. The courses deal with the maintenance & construction of ships and other sailing vessels.

Diploma Courses: It is three year duration programme.

- Diploma in Marine Engineering

Bachelor Courses: The duration of these courses is 4 years.

-B.Tech/B.E. in Marine Engineering

-B.Sc in Marine Engineering

Master Courses: It is two year duration programme.

-M.Tech in Marine Engineering

You could choose your specialization for PG courses as per your interest as follows:

  • Maritime Commerce

  • Marine Refrigeration

  • Command And Control System

  • Weaponry And Weapon Systems

  • Navigation Systems And Equipment

  • Marine Renewable Energy Research

  • Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Research

  • Information, Communication Systems and Equipment

  • Offshore Extractive and Infrastructure (Cable Laying)

Eligibility Criteria for Marine Engineering Courses

For Diploma Course – You have to pass 10th examination to get admission into diploma programme.

For UG Courses – Minimum educational qualification of 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as a compulsory subjects is required for this course. If you completed a three year diploma in marine engineering, you can apply for UG course in marine engineering. Your age should be 17-25 years.

Entrance ExamJEE Main

(Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) is an engineering entrance examination conducted for admission to various engineering colleges in India. It is constituted by two different examinations - JEE Main and the JEE Advanced. The exams are of the objective pattern.)

For PG CoursesThe prescribed qualifying examination for M.Tech will be B.Tech passed in Marine Engineering.

Entrance ExamGATE

(The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering(GATE) is an examination that primarily tests the comprehensive understanding of various undergraduate subjects in engineering and science. GATE is conducted jointly by the Indian Institute of Science (IIS) and seven (IIT) Indian Institutes of Technology (Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee) on behalf of the National Coordination Board – GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Government of India)

Colleges in India that offer Marine Engineering Programme:

  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras

  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur

  • National Institute of Technology (NIT), Karnataka

  • Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education & Training (MANET), Pune

  • Marine Engineering and Research Institute, Kolkata

  • V. Raman College of Engineering, Bhubaneswar

Marine Engineering Jobs

The first requirement that a marine engineer graduate should have to get a job in this field is to be passionate about ships and definitely love the water.

Traditional jobs that a marine engineer can get into include ship engineering, naval combat engineering, and marine systems design. Working in this profession means spending much time on ships and at sea. You will be away from home most of the time. You will encounter different dangerous situations at sea. So having a strong personality and natural leadership skills are quite necessary.

Marine Engineering

Jobs & Career Scope in Marine Engineering?

You have a plenty of career opportunities in the field of marine engineering. You will get the job depending on your specializations.

The job of Marine engineers is not just limited to construction and maintenance of ship or boats vessel but it is extended up to the project management and control responsibilities too.

There are lucrative career options for the marine engineers in public as well as in private shipping companies. You will designated as a third assistant engineer or fourth engineer.

There are lots of job opportunities for marine engineering students not in India as well as in abroad countries.

Cargo Ship

What will be your Designation?

Marine Chief engineer is considered equal to captain and possess the top rank. After gaining sufficient experience and knowledge in the field of marine engineering you will be eligible for this post.

Besides this, marine engineers are also designated as

  • Trainee Marine Engineer

  • Junior Marine Engineer

  • Sales Engineers

  • Engineering Managers

  • Structural Engineer

  • Submarine Designer

  • Third Assistant Engineer

  • Fourth Assistant Engineers

  • Onshore Marine Coordinator

  • Dock Engineer

  • Marine Equipment Designer

Marine Engineering


Marine Engineers are required in public and private shipping companies, engine production firms, ship building and designing firms, navy, research bodies.

The companies that recruit marine engineers are as follows:

  • SMEC Automation Pvt Ltd.

  • American Cruise Lines

  • Marintek Design and Engineering Pvt Ltd.

  • GMMCO Limited

  • GE Shipping Co. Limited

  • Carnival Cruise Line

  • TMC Shipping Pvt Ltd.

  • ITT Shipping (P) Ltd.

Marine Engineering

Marine Engineer Employment Outlook

According to the US Government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Marine Engineers and Naval Architects earn an average annual salary of $84,850. However, the top 10% of the career field pulls in a healthy $145,790 annually.

Demand for Marine Engineers is expected to continue growing about as fast as the national average for all careers. New fields like alternative energy from wind and tides combine with traditional ship design and oil platform work to generate a healthy demand for professional Marine Engineers.

The demand is expected to be fueled by a combination of factors. First, many existing vessels may need to be retrofitted to comply with new regulations involving pollution and emissions standards. As oil companies continue to move offshore to drill, marine engineers will also be needed to design and service these rigs. Marine engineers will be needed to work on offshore energy sources, such as wind turbines. However, as marine engineering is a relatively small field, the numerical change is only expected to be about 1,000 new jobs.

Candidates possessing the degree in marine engineering will get the attractive pay depending upon the experience, location and domain knowledge. An average salary ranges from 64000 to 96000/year will be provided to the marine engineers.

Those working in abroad will receive 85000$ per annum.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Career advancement usually follows with experience in the field. You’ll normally start off focusing on specific systems, and move on to more complex applications as you increase your experience and education. There are many opportunities operating systems in their native maritime environment, but if life at sea isn’t for you, there are many office-based jobs where skills like Computer Aided Design (CAD) come into play.

Marine engineers can advance into supervisory or management positions with experience. Typically, the USCG licenses can help marine engineers move up; as the level of license increases, responsibilities normally increase. Some marine engineers move into sales, using their technical knowledge to help clients plan and execute projects.

Professional Organizations & Societies

Professional organizations or societies are ideal for marine engineers’ career advancements and personal development. These groups and communities were formed by individuals who work in the same field. They form these groups to share ideas, give and take advice, and even find new jobs.

Some of these organizations are listed below:

1.American Society of Naval Engineers 2. Marine Engineers Beneficial Association 3. Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers

Compared to some other engineering fields, Marine Engineering is a small and highly focused profession. However, there are opportunities for robust professional development and camaraderie.

Probably the largest international group in this field is the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers . With membership around 8500, this organization is focused on their stated mission “to advance the art, science, and practice of naval architecture, shipbuilding and marine engineering.”

Top 3 Jobs with Highest Marine Engineering Salary


A marine engineer’s primary job is to design, test, build, and repair everything you see in ships, boats, and submarines among others.

A marine engineer gets paid $76,502 median salary per year. The average salary can go up if the candidate has engineering design background and skill.

According to statistics,

Marine Engineering

Marine Engineering

there are about 10% of marine engineers that earn less than $44,000 a year and 10% that make $144,000. Most marine engineers work with private companies. Some work in the government sector.


You can gradually move up to become a Naval Architect if you have graduated from a marine engineering course and have worked enough to get a solid understanding of the big picture and how the thousands of systems, in a ship, work together.

A naval engineer is paid $44.76 per hour on average. The lowest hourly rate is at $29.38, and the highest is at $71.80. On a yearly basis, the average salary is at $93,110. The lowest annual salary is at $61,110, and the highest is at $149,330.

Marine engineers and naval architects work together. Their roles and responsibilities are similar in most aspects because a naval architect designs the ship and takes care of construction inside and out.


An ocean engineering graduate has a starting salary of $63,225 and a median salary of $118,597 annually. Oceanographers and marine biologists work very closely with ocean engineers. Moreover, like marine engineers and naval architects, ocean engineers also take care of the structure of the ship. They make sure the ship and other water crafts can withstand the weathering effects of the ocean. So in some ways, they are structural engineers who are experts in understanding the cause & effects of forces (water and wind) at sea.

Graduates of this field can be engineers and can get any job that is related to the ocean because they understand the many related natural resources of the sea like natural gas, oil, and oxygen. They also help marine biologists and oceanographers come up with solutions to water resource problems and create life-saving technologies.

If you think this is a career worth pursuing, then go for it, it is a challenging one, but one that promises much fun and excellent skills to be gained.

A Day in the Life of a Marine Engineer

Based on the performance specifications of the vessel, marine engineers design the propulsion system to deliver the power required. They also design the steering system, heating, cooling and ventilation systems and hydraulics for the ship. If the job is a retrofit, the marine engineer studies the current plans before designing the new systems.

Once marine engineers know what equipment is to be installed and where each duct, machine and power source is to be located, they prepare detailed plans. They create layouts and schematics, determine the work schedule and prepare a cost estimate for approval by management.

As the work progresses, marine engineers may conduct periodic inspections or tests to catch any issues as soon as possible. They ensure that design specifications are being followed, monitor the project budget and prepare status reports for clients or managers.

Although most of a marine engineer's work can be performed in an office, there are times when sea trials are part of the job. Marine engineers may spend time aboard ship to test how the vessel performs or to gather information for maintenance or an upcoming retrofit. Engineers who specialize in offshore drilling may spend some time on the oil rig to supervise maintenance or repair efforts involving the rig's mechanical systems.


In conclusion, the marine engineering jobs and the industry have been involved in building, designing, testing, repairing, and improving equipment used underwater and on water surfaces. The industry was also responsible for exploring underwater life and creating equipment to observe living creatures and changes inside the ocean.

Today, the marine engineering industry has become more focused on building and designing ships, boats, submarines, and other water vehicles. Could it be because many titles have cropped up that relates to the study of water, life under the water, and of engineering equipment and vehicles for water?

The marine engineering industry, though, is great at what it does and marine engineers enjoy their careers especially when they love spending a lot of their time at sea.

Whatever it is that drives you to become a marine engineer, loving what you do will get you to where you want to be in your career.


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