How Much Does a Marine Engineer Make?

Marine Engineer Make - Merchant Navy Info

Uncover the lucrative world of marine engineers. Discover average salaries, pay ranges, and the highest-paying locations for these in-demand professionals. Plan your career path with confidence!

What does a marine engineer do?

A marine engineer is a specialized engineer who works on one vessel or piece of equipment. These can include:

  • boats, including fishing boats and speedboats
  • ships, including cruise ships and freight vessels
  • submarines
  • seaplanes
  • offshore platforms
  • drilling equipment.

These professionals often work on the entirety of a project, creating initial blueprints and prototypes before managing the construction of ships or other vessels. Marine engineers may also work onboard newly launched vessels, testing them for any issues, making improvements, or working on repairs and maintenance.

Marine engineer typical job duties

The duties of being a marine engineer vary depending on their area of expertise but commonly include:

  • communicating with clients to determine project goals and identify needs
  • researching the project thoroughly, exploring how to create the best solution that meets all of the client’s desires
  • researching new and innovative technologies
  • drawing up budgets for the whole project
  • hiring and overseeing staff who can work on the project
  • managing staff throughout the project
  • experimenting with different systems, such as steering systems or ship motors
  • testing vessel prototypes and coming up with solutions to any issues
  • overseeing the construction of the vessel and making improvements or changes when necessary
  • working on newly constructed vessels and monitoring them for any problems, fixing them when required
  • repairing significantly damaged vessels.

What skills do you need to become a marine engineer?

Marine engineering is a highly skilled role, and candidates often use soft and hard skills to qualify. A marine engineer might use the following skills daily:

Computer skills

Marine engineers often require powerful IT skills to perform their daily tasks. This can include using computer-aided design platforms when designing their vessels. They may also use special software programs to analyze data and create blueprints or design drawings.


Creative abilities can help candidates produce accurate drawings of vessels or ships. A client may describe their goals and overall aesthetic. Then, the marine engineer can use creativity to make an innovative design.

Mathematical skills

Working in engineering may require knowledge of mathematics. These professionals may use engineering equations and the ability to apply this knowledge practically. Most marine engineers study mathematics at the secondary level.

Scientific knowledge

Marine engineers may find knowing physics, biology, and the marine environment helpful. This technical knowledge can help them create safe and effective designs. For example, they can use knowledge of physics to design vessels that float correctly.

Communication skills

Marine engineers often work directly with many other professionals, including naval architects and boat builders. It may be beneficial if they can communicate the goals and needs of the project effectively. You may improve your communication skills by taking note of your language when giving instructions and developing active listening skills. You could also ask those around you for feedback on your communication abilities.

Presentation skills

Marine engineers are typically competent and confident when presenting their ideas to a group of people. These people may be clients or employees, so their presentation skills may be versatile. You can improve presentation skills through repeated practice on a presentation-based course at school or university.


Senior marine engineers are usually in charge of a small team. Marine engineers can comfortably give directions to the team and often manage the recruitment of new engineers. In a senior role, you train team members to develop their skills. These professionals may also use leadership skills to manage a project efficiently. You can practice your leadership skills by leading group projects and asking your peers and teachers for feedback.


Marine engineers might come up with innovative solutions to issues in the design or repair process. It’s often helpful if they remain calm under pressure, as these problems may require an immediate resolution. You can improve your problem-solving skills by troubleshooting obstacles that affect everyday tasks methodically and calmly. Doing this regularly can help you feel confident in creating solutions.


Marine engineers might manage a project by organizing the construction of a vessel or equipment from start to finish. Marine engineers generally have a clear idea of the project’s next stage and how they might execute it. Marine engineers typically ensure that all the details and documents of a project are easily accessible and well organized.

Practice organization skills by planning your day, week, and year. Make yourself aware of all your duties, such as school or university work, part-time paid work, or commitments with friends and family. Practice creating lists and timetables to ensure that you complete each task effectively. You may use this practice to prove your organizational skills in job interviews.


Projects may evolve, and marine engineers might quickly change plans to meet new client requirements. Marine engineers might also spend extended periods at sea, so they’re typically adaptable in everyday life. You may demonstrate your adaptability skills by working on various engineering and non-engineering-related projects. You could use evidence of undertaking different projects to display your adaptability at interviews. You could study or work in a different country to demonstrate that you are okay with spending long periods at sea.

How much is a marine engineer salary?

The average marine engineer salary is $77,690 per year. However, the average wage of a marine engineer often varies depending on qualifications, location, and years of experience. Companies typically pay entry-level marine engineers a lower salary, while senior marine engineers with more responsibility may earn more than average.

As of Jan 21, 2024, the average monthly pay for a Marine Engineer is $7,440.

While the merchant navy sees monthly salaries as high as $13,250 and as low as $4,375, most Marine Engineer salary currently range between $5,541 (25th percentile) to $8,916 (75th percentile). The average Marine Engineer salary range varies greatly (by as much as $3,375). This suggests there may be many opportunities for advancement. There are also chances of increased pay based on skill level, location, and experience.

Based on recent job posting activity on merchant navy, the Marine Engineer job market is very active as few companies are currently hiring. A Marine Engineer in your area makes, on average, $7,440 per month, the same as the average monthly salary of $7,440. It ranks number 1 out of 50 states for marine engineer salary.

To estimate the most accurate monthly Marine Engineer salary every month in jobs, the merchant navy constantly scans its database of millions of active jobs being published.

How to become a marine engineer

It can take several years to become a marine engineer as candidates require education at a tertiary level. Employers also prefer candidates with on-the-job experience from an entry-level role or internship, so getting some work experience while studying is often prudent. The following steps can help you become a marine engineer:

Get a bachelor’s degree

Most engineers have a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering, offshore engineering, or marine technology. General engineering degrees may also be appropriate if the candidate completes a work placement at a real-life company. Alternatively, hiring managers may also consider candidates who have obtained another science-based degree and have suitable work experience or a master’s degree in a related field.

Consider a master’s degree

A master’s degree may be optional if you already have a bachelor’s degree in a specific subject for marine engineering. However, if you have a degree in another type of engineering, you might require a master’s degree that focuses explicitly on marine engineering. A master’s degree can also help you specialize in a particular area of marine engineering, like submarines.

Gain relevant work experience

Candidates might also organize a work placement alongside their studies to gain on-the-job experience. Apply to relevant internships focused on marine engineering or email maritime engineering companies about possible opportunities. Starting a work placement can also provide you with contacts in the industry, which may open opportunities for full-time work.

Obtain specific qualifications

After graduating, engineers might gain a certificate of safety training that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority has approved before applying for entry-level jobs. Candidates also undertake a minimum of 36 weeks of sea service onboard the vessel they wish to specialize in and keep a training record book. They might also complete a vocational education and training marine operations qualification and can apply for jobs.

Apply for entry-level marine engineer roles.

People who want to become marine engineers usually apply for entry-level roles once they have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in marine engineering. These roles often include further training, especially in the first few years. However, companies often expect candidates to apply the knowledge acquired through experience or education.

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