Engineering is all about solving problems using specialist technical and practical skills. It’s all about maths, science, research, prototypes, design, maintenance and production.

Every industry and every area of society depend on the precise and efficient work of engineers. Engineers provide technological solutions to the problems, issues and ideas that affect every area of our lives. 

There are roles for engineers in the maritime sector on shore and at sea.

Marine engineers are involved in the design, construction, installation, operation, maintenance and repair of the main propulsion engines and auxiliary machinery and systems found in all kinds of ships, boats and offshore installations. 

Marine engineers work on engines and auxiliary equipment in the boatbuilding and shipbuilding industries and associated companies. A number of engineering disciplines – such as mechanical, electronic and structural – are involved. Marine engineers need to understand the effects of wind, waves and corrosion. Ships, boats, underwater structures, and the systems within them must be capable of operating in demanding conditions. 

Marine engineers employed by merchant shipping companies work on different kinds of vessels, from cruise ships to tankers. They are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the engines, as well as the electrical and electronic equipment. Engineering ratings undertake routine maintenance and repair work in the engine room, check instrument readings and operate controls. 

More information

Careers at Sea, provided by the Merchant Navy Training Board, has an array of material on engineer careers in the Merchant Navy.

Careers at Sea

IMarEST (The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology) has produced information introducing you to some of the exciting careers available in marine science, engineering and technology.

IMarEST – Marine Careers

Related pages

Reviewed June 2023