What’s it like working as a Marine Engineer?
As the experts on the mechanical workings of a ship, Marine Engineers design, develop, maintain and repair the machinery, propulsion and power supply systems of a ship.
Some Marine Engineers choose to specialise in one type of equipment such as pumps, engines, gears, heaters, or deck machinery, while others may concentrate on steps in shipbuilding, such as cost calculations. There is also scope for Marine Engineers to take on the role of inspectors, making sure that the equipment is working properly before a ship is launched.
What kind of work can I do? A Marine Engineers job varies depending on the speciality and the scale of the position, but can include project planning, management, quality assurance and control, technical reviews of quotations, co-ordinating production, and managing operations and subcontractors. Marine Engineers are technically trained and are able to design and oversee testing, installation, and repair of marine apparatus and equipment, as well as conducting analytical, environmental, operational, or performance studies in order to develop designs for products, such as marine engines, equipment, and structures. On the design side, Marine Engineers work closely with the naval architect to design the propulsion, auxiliary power machinery, and other equipment needed to run the ship. On the installation side, Marine Engineers may be responsible for fitting equipment on ships and could supervise electrical equipment installation. There is also scope for training positions, guiding Ship Officers in the safe and efficient operation of equipment, through manuals or direct training. Where can I work? Most marine engineers find employment in private firms that build ships or make the equipment used in them. Typical employers include offshore and marine engineering companies, marine equipment suppliers, and companies in the defence industry that design and build warships, submarines or related craft. A Marine Engineer is a technically-savvy shipping industry operative and one that the business could not survive without.
How big is this sector? Marine Engineers are in demand due to increase in shipping trade activities globally, especially in the specialist fields of shipbuilding and ship operations. There is also scope for employment in ancillary service industries as consultants, equipment service and commissioning engineers, lecturers, examiners and even shipbrokers.