Career Guidance for Marine Engineers

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If you have passion for traveling and living a life only few can imagine, you may be interested in a career in marine engineering. A marine engineer has to be on the ship for a long time to carry out tasks and design, build, and structure the specific aspects of marine. At the same time you would be having fun with your fellow peers and other marine engineers while traveling the whole world.

If you are unsure about what career options you might have after completion of marine engineering degree this guide will act as a direct route. This career guidance for marine engineering will help you set a definite course of action for your marine career and show you the other opportunities you may explore while enjoying almost half of the year on sea.

In this career guide for marine engineering, you will find a perspective of what marine engineering is all about; where you should start your journey and what basics you need to know in order to make your mark; if you would like to get recruited on-campus or off-campus how would you do that; how would you be able to choose the perfect company for a glorious career; what top-notch companies you can apply for getting the maximum exposure and excellent recognition in your marine career; skill sets required for succeeding in marine engineering; what the pay structure would be; and last but not least the higher education opportunities available if you would like to have an edge over others. Let’s begin.

How do we define Marine Engineering?

This section is brief outlook on what marine engineering is all about. Since you are a marine engineer or about to be one, you would know quite a bit about it. But here’s a summary of what you can expect in marine engineering.

First of all, marine engineering is not a narrow field of engineering where you can pick up a skill or two and become successful. Rather it is a field where you need to integrate all your knowledge in engineering and become a competitive engineer by virtue of the application. In marine engineering, you need to research, design, maintain, survey and install all size of marine vessels.

They need to take care of engine rooms, their design, running, maintenance and repair. Marine engineers also need to work on the shore in order to ensure that the cargo which are getting loaded or unloaded are done properly by installing and maintaining equipment during the loading and unloading time.

In simple terms, marine engineers need to have diverse knowledge in all domain of engineering in order to be the best of the best. The integration is the key here. If you would like to become a good marine engineer all you need to do is to ensure that you can learn all the basic structures of engineering i.e. design, install, repair, maintenance, servicing, ensuring proper operations and integrating all at the end. If you can master these, your path would be smoother, easier and much more convenient than any other marine engineers.

Where to start?

Marine engineering is not for the faint hearted. Before starting just know that you need to be away from home, from your near and dear ones for almost 6-7 months a year. During that time you would be traveling on the sea and taking of the engine rooms and any aspect required to be fixed in marine. So if you are willing to pursue a career in marine engineering, think again. Because you need to commit yourself to your subject of specialization and take responsibility for success!

If you are willing and committed then you should begin to hone yourself with the skills required for being an excellent marine engineer. The first and most important thing is to be physically fit. If you are not at top of your health, then you don’t have the qualification for pursuing a career in marine engineering. Thus, to begin concentrate on making yourself super fit and super enthusiastic at all times.

Traveling on the sea for time duration of 6-7 months is not a child’s play. It needs a lot of mental strength. Thus, you need to constantly give yourself auto-suggestion and motivation to be at the best of your game and never give up hope of crisis or any contingency situation arrives.

People who are not very tough cannot go through this gruelling time on the sea as they give up hope after few months of journey and would like to go back to their native places. Thus along with physical training, you need to train your mind about what kind of mental toughness you require in order to extract the best from you during the tough time. You can talk to ex-marines who had been there and have had a large number of years of experience. They will be able to give you a picture of what it means to be on the sea and how to deal with sea-soreness.

How to get recruited during Campus or off Campus Recruitment?

In marine engineering most people get placed by on-campus as the course itself is very gruelling and students need to pass through all kind of tests in order to make themselves super-tough for the sea. The marine companies come to the campus and offer placements to students who successfully complete the course of marine engineering from their respective colleges.

Now not only shipping or marine industry, marine engineers are taking key positions even in IT sector, consulting firms for marine or shipping, brick and mortar companies and others. Marine engineers are another name of people who take things on their stride. They take responsibility as entrepreneurs and become the go-to-guy in any company they join.

So, if you are planning to go for marine engineering, the possibilities and opportunities for you are excellent and if you are willing to put hard work and are ready to apply all that you learn in the course, then you can make your mark in any company or sector you choose to work for.

Choosing the perfect company for a bright career

There is no one company for which marine engineers can apply. And at the same time there is no one job position for which they are suitable. Following are the list of positions for which marine engineers can be suitable and make their career in.

  • Shipping Industry - Ship manufacturing industry (Marine engineers know everything about ship, thus having a marine engineer on your side is a great idea to build a the perfect ship for clients)
  • Consultancy firms (Usually marine engineers who have few years of experience can get recruitment in the consulting firms. In consulting firms they need to share their knowledge and expertise and help clients build their shipping business.)
  • Academic (If you are the one who love to teach then you can teach all that you have learned in your marine engineering course in any marine college and can think of going for higher education.)
  • Steel Industry (The similar kind of expertise is required in steel industry as well, thus a great option for marine engineers.)
  • Manufacturing sector
  • Power sector

Main engineer (A marine has all the engineering knowledge and skills for applying the nitty-gritty of engineering in any field of engineering. Thus s/he can work as main engineer in any engineering set up.)

Top Companies which offer jobs for Marine Engineers

As there are a lot of world-class companies which can be explored by marine engineers, there are the following top-notch companies the nature of which are marine-specific. Let’s have a look at these top-class companies which offer marine engineers a great opportunity for career success.

  • Aker Solutions
  • Balmoral Offshore Engineering
  • DeepOcean
  • Commissioning Services International
  • Hallin Marine
  • Oceaneering
  • Seawell Limited
  • Trident Offshore
  • Cal Dive International
  • Mariner LLC
  • Alfa Laval

Skill sets required for getting jobs in Marine Engineering

There are three things you need to adhere to if you would like to be able to be the best marine engineers in the world. The first thing that you need to have a knack for applying all the foundational knowledge you learn along the way during your course. You need to learn the basics in such a way that when the time of application will come, you don’t need to go back to the text book to check whether you are right or not. For that you need to be able to connect all the concepts together and practice mental rehearsal whenever possible.

The second thing you need to master is the intellectual and emotional intelligence. During the tough time on sea when you are required to do the work in engine rooms and help your fellow peers to adjust the set of the sails, you need to be at the top of your emotional intelligence. You would need to master your emotions in such a way that you would be able to overcome your tendency to give up in between and finishing up every project you are assigned and entrusted with.

The third thing which is of immense importance is the physical ability to endure tough time. When you need to give long hours in the engine rooms and design, research, survey the basic parameters of marine engineering even on the sea, you should be ready without any excuse. If you are not physically strong, it would be impossible for you to endure.


The compensation will bring a huge smile on your face. It’s said that there is no gain without pain. If we rephrase it we will be able to say that there is a lot of gain if you are ready to endure pain. That’s the reason, if you are starting out your median salary would be around US $25,000 to $60,000. It is a huge salary for a fresher and as you need to travel the world, the pay structure applies as same as in India.

Higher education opportunities

If you would like to join academics or by any means would like to further studies in marine engineering, then you need to go for master degree. To pursue master degree the basic criteria is to have a bachelor degree in marine engineering (B.E./B.Tech. in Marine Engineering).

The course you can opt for are Masters of Engineering (M.E.) in Marine Engineering and Masters of Technology (M.Tech.) in Ocean Engineering. Basically for pursuing your master degree you need to pass GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) in India and if you would like to pursue your studies in foreign countries, you need to clear GRE (Graduate Record Examination).