Marine engineering technician

Marine engineering technicians design, build, service and repair boats and ships.

Annual Salary

£16,000 to £35,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours


Future employment

There will be 1% more Marine engineering technician jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • fault-finding and repairing electronic, hydraulic and mechanical equipment on boats and ships
  • helping to design and develop new marine equipment
  • providing engineering support on board a dive support vessel
  • refurbishing older craft with new navigation and communications systems
  • using underwater craft like remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to inspect undersea pipelines
  • supervising a team of craftspeople in a ship or boatyard
  • maintaining weapons systems, radar and sonar on board Royal Navy warships


You could do a foundation degree in marine engineering or marine technology.

You'll usually need:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English, maths and a science subject or equivalent qualifications
  • at least 1 A level for a foundation degree 


You could take a course to get some of the skills you'll need in this job. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Mechanical Engineering
  • Level 2 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Engineering Technology
  • Level 3 Diploma in Marine Engineering
  • Level 3 Diploma in Marine Construction and Maintenance

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course


You could get into this job through a marine engineer advanced apprenticeship.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

£16,000 to £35,000

Starter salary: £16,000 to £22,000

Experienced salary: £23,000 to £30,000

These figures are a guide.


You’ll usually work around 38 hours a week, but overtime is common during busier periods.

Your workplace could range from an office, shipyard or port, to working at sea (possibly underwater), installing and servicing equipment in all weather conditions.

Your working environment may be physically demanding, outdoors in all weathers and travelling often and spending nights away from home.

You may need to wear safety clothing.

You could train as an engineering technician with the Merchant Navy or Royal Navy, then move into the commercial marine industry after you leave.

With experience, you could move into a supervisory role or engineering project management work. 

You could specialise in a particular area, like boat design, specialist equipment sales and support or marine insurance.

You can find more advice about careers in marine engineering from the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and British Marine.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • knowledge of physics
  • design skills and knowledge
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

You'll need IT skills and a knowledge of computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM).

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