While marine engineering jobs are by far the most prevalent, marine jobs in the engineering field can also take the form of marine scientist, marine electrician, or marine designer, to name a few. Marine engineers and their counterparts design, construct, and maintain ships of all kinds, such as submarines, sailboats, aircraft carriers and tankers. The duties of a marine engineer typically include:
Sketching detailed schematics and layouts
Inspecting marine machinery and equipment
Designing, installing and repairing marine equipment
Testing marine machinery and equipment for compliance
Authoring reports for managers, salespeople or other engineers
Preparing estimates, contracts and construction schedules
Communicating with contractors to monitor progress and cost of projects
Professionals with marine jobs work primarily in offices, but they frequently board ships at sea to inspect, test or maintain them. Related occupations include naval architect jobs, aerospace engineering jobs, and electrical engineering jobs.
Marine Job Education Requirements
Most marine jobs, especially marine engineering jobs, require at least a bachelor's degree. Marine engineers must have a four-year degree in marine engineering, naval architecture, marine engineering technology or marine systems engineering. Job experience is also critical in getting a marine job, which is why many marine engineering degree programs offer cooperative education programs that give students college credit for completing structured work experience. Marine jobs often also require a mariner's license from the U.S. Coast Guard, the first level of which is the 3rd Assistant License. Higher level licenses are available with additional testing and work experience.
Marine Job Market
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that there are 7,300 marine engineer jobs in the U.S. currently. That number will rise by 800 in the next decade for a growth rate of 10 percent, which is the same as the national occupational average. An increasing worldwide need to design and build ships that transport valuable energy materials, such as liquid natural gas, will drive growth in the sector. The states with the largest number of marine jobs in descending order are Texas, Virginia and Florida.
Marine Job Salary Information
Marine engineers and naval architects made an average of $94,040 in 2013 according to the BLS. The highest earning 10 percent of the profession made $140,390, while the lowest earning 10 percent made $56,800. Those with engineering marine jobs in the management of enterprises and companies made the most, earning $124,550, while those working in the oil and gas extraction had the second highest average salary, earning $119,430. The top paying states for marine jobs are Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Texas.