Is Marine Engineering Right for You?

Is Marine Engineering Right for You? Read this Article

Do you love big ships? Did you dream of working on a boat when you were young? Are you mechanically inclined? Being part of a marine engine room crew might be just the right career for you. As part of the crew, you will take care of all of the mechanical systems onboard, but you will also get to travel to distant places and see things you’ve never seen at home.

Marine Engineering


The crew of a large vessel, like a sea-going cargo ship or a cruise liner, is in charge of operations for the ship. They have to make sure the engines and all shipboard systems are running smoothly. They are also part of the regular watch rotation. The engineering crew takes care of the electrical, mechanical, and waste treatment systems on the ship. You might be in charge of keeping track of marine engine room parts or keeping the lifeboats in working order. Members of the engineering staff make sure all of the machines on board are working, and that the engines and systems are ready to perform in case of an emergency.

Certified or Non-Certified

You can work in the engine room of a large vessel with just a high school diploma or equivalent and without certification, but if you aspire to a leadership position, you will need training and certification. Many employers require a degree from a trade school program in marine engineering and several certificates in areas like survival training, handling dangerous goods, and first aid.

Necessary Skills

If you like working with your hands and figuring out why something is not functioning, you are on your way to a career in marine engineering. Here are some skills useful in the trade:

  • critical thinking
  • problem-solving
  • mechanical aptitude
  • organization
  • ability to manage people and resources
Marine Engineering

Other Requirements

In addition to education and mechanical aptitude, you will need to be physically fit. Many employers require regular physical exams to be sure crew members are in top shape. Working on a ship can be strenuous and takes muscles. You will also need a valid passport because ships travel through international waters and make calls in many ports. 

If these requirements sound like you, then you could be on your way to a rewarding and exciting career as a member of the marine engineering crew on a large, sea-going vessel. There are many opportunities for people who like working with engines and want to see the world.

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