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Marine engineer

Marine engineers design, build and repair boats, ships, submarines, offshore platforms and drilling equipment.

Annual Salary

£24,000 to £55,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

39 to 41 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; away from home

2.4%
Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Marine engineer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

Depending on the industry you work in, you could:

  • build and repair ships, boats and onboard systems
  • design, build and operate offshore gas and oil platforms
  • do marine surveys
  • make sure engines, instruments and systems work safely
  • keep up to date with laws for environmental protection and safety

Working environment

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

You could work at a shipyard, in an office, on a ship, at a port or underwater.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, physically demanding and you may spend nights away from home.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
University

You usually need to complete a foundation degree or degree to become a marine engineer. Courses include:

  • marine engineering
  • marine technology
  • naval architecture
  • offshore engineering

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths and a science for a degree
For more information
Apprenticeship

You might be able to do the Marine Engineer Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship, then take further training on the job.

As a qualified engineer, you might be able to do a:Small Vessel Chief Engineer Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship; Marine Technical Superintendent Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Work

You could start by training as a marine engineering technician with the Merchant Navy or Royal Navy.

You could then study for a marine engineering degree while working.

More information

Further information

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

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With experience, you could:specialise in project management, research and development or consultancy; work on land to refit marine vessels; move into law and work on maritime engineering safety; move into shipping fleet management

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

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