Marine Engineer Job Description [Updated for 2024]

marine engineer job description

In the era of expanding global trade and commerce, the role of marine engineers has never been more critical.

Technology continues to evolve, and with each advancement, the demand for skilled professionals who can design, develop and maintain our marine structures grows stronger.

But let’s delve into the specifics: What’s truly expected from a marine engineer?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the core responsibilities of this role,
  • A hiring manager outlining the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply fascinated by the complexities of marine engineering,

You’ve come to the right place.

Today, we present a customizable marine engineer job description template, designed for effortless posting on job boards or career websites.

Let’s dive right in.

Marine Engineer Duties and Responsibilities

Marine Engineers are primarily involved in the design, construction, maintenance, and repair of the mechanical parts of ships, boats, and on occasion, oil rigs and other marine structures.

Their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Design, develop, and take responsibility for the installation of ship machinery and related equipment including propulsion machines and power supply systems
  • Inspect marine equipment and machinery, and draw up work specifications
  • Repair and upgrade maritime mechanical systems
  • Ensure that all essential ship machinery and systems meet national and international safety rules and standards
  • Coordinate with other team members and departments to complete project goals
  • Investigate and conduct failure analysis and provide recommendations for corrections
  • Oversee and supervise construction and testing of the marine machinery
  • Manage system-related information and documentation for reference purposes


Marine Engineer Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a skilled Marine Engineer to design, develop, and maintain marine equipment and systems.

Marine Engineer responsibilities include creating blueprints, designing engines and propulsion systems, testing prototypes, and supervising the building and maintenance of all types of marine vessels.

Our ideal candidates are familiar with all aspects of shipbuilding, from design and construction through to installation and servicing.

Ultimately, the role of the Marine Engineer is to ensure the efficient and safe operation of marine equipment and systems.



  • Design and oversee testing, installation, and repair of marine apparatus and equipment
  • Conduct analytical, environmental, operational, or performance studies to develop designs for marine systems
  • Provide technical leadership in areas of specialty throughout all phases of ship design, construction, and repair
  • Prepare technical reports for use by engineering, management or sales personnel
  • Coordinate activities with regulatory bodies to ensure repairs and alterations are at a minimum and to maintain a safe, environmentally friendly ship
  • Inspect marine equipment and machinery, and draw up work specifications
  • Conduct environmental, operational, or performance tests on marine machinery and equipment
  • Design and oversee activities with ships’ crew to ensure that all machinery and equipment is properly operated and maintained



  • Proven work experience as a Marine Engineer
  • Experience in designing and implementing marine projects
  • Ability to prepare, read, and interpret complex technical information
  • Excellent knowledge of marine engineering and mechanical systems
  • Experience in the inspection, maintenance, and operation of marine equipment
  • Proficiency in marine engineering software tools
  • Ability to manage project teams, schedules, and resources
  • BSc degree in Marine Engineering or relevant field



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Marine Engineer
  • Work Environment: Office and shipyard setting. Some travel may be required for ship inspections, meetings or client consultations.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Lead Marine Engineer or Marine Engineering Manager.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $75,000 minimum to $110,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does a Marine Engineer Do?

Marine Engineers, also known as marine design engineers or marine mechanical engineers, work in the marine industry to design, develop, and maintain the mechanical and electrical systems of sea vessels and offshore structures such as ships, submarines, oil rigs, and more.

They design propulsion systems, auxiliary power machinery, and operation equipment.

They often work on the engines, pumps, navigational systems, and under-water equipment, ensuring they function effectively and efficiently.

Marine Engineers also oversee the installation, operation, maintenance, and repair of these complex systems onboard a sea vessel.

They create blueprints, choose suitable materials, and manage the building process.

They are also responsible for conducting diagnostic testing, identifying faults, troubleshooting problems and ensuring compliance with international marine regulations and safety standards.

In addition, they may also be involved in conducting environmental, operational or performance tests on marine machinery and equipment.

Marine Engineers often work in coordination with Naval Architects, who are responsible for designing the overall ship structure and hull.

They usually work in offices, but they also may spend time aboard a ship to test or maintain the ship’s machinery.


Marine Engineer Qualifications and Skills

Marine Engineers apply a mix of technical knowledge, soft skills, and maritime expertise to design, build, and maintain watercraft and marine equipment.

This includes:

  • Technical knowledge and practical experience with ship’s mechanical systems such as propulsion engines, electric power generation systems, fluid systems, and HVAC systems.
  • Analytical skills to identify and solve problems related to the design, development, and functioning of marine vessels and structures.
  • Proficiency in using specialized software for designing and testing marine equipment and structures.
  • Understanding of marine regulations and standards to ensure designs and operations meet compliance requirements.
  • Strong communication skills to effectively coordinate with ship crew, technicians, and other stakeholders, and to explain complex technical issues in a comprehensible manner.
  • Project management skills to oversee construction, testing, and repair projects, ensuring they are completed on time and within budget.
  • Attention to detail to ensure the safety and efficiency of marine operations and machinery.
  • Ability to work under pressure and in challenging conditions, often in remote locations or at sea.


Marine Engineer Experience Requirements

Marine Engineers usually require a degree in marine engineering, naval architecture, or another related field.

This education provides them with substantial theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

Some students may also gain hands-on experience through internships with shipbuilding companies or marine consultancy firms.

Entry-level candidates might have less than 2 years of practical experience, often gained through internships or co-op programs while still in school.

They can further develop their skills and knowledge in roles such as Junior Marine Engineer or Assistant Naval Architect.

Candidates with 2 to 5 years of experience often work in roles like Marine Project Engineer or Naval Architect.

They typically have enhanced their skills in areas such as ship design, propulsion systems, and structural analysis.

Marine Engineers with more than 5 years of experience usually have significant project management experience and advanced technical knowledge.

They may have also demonstrated leadership skills in their previous roles and may be suitable for managerial positions such as Chief Marine Engineer or Marine Engineering Director.

Marine engineers seeking to work on military projects may also need security clearance and should have experience working with military-grade marine technology.

All marine engineers are expected to have a firm understanding of maritime regulations and standards.


Marine Engineer Education and Training Requirements

Marine Engineers typically require a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering, naval architecture, or another related field.

These academic programs provide a comprehensive understanding of marine vessels’ systems and structures, including mechanical, electrical, and fluid systems.

They also need a strong background in thermodynamics, calculus, fluid dynamics, and physics.

For positions with more specialized duties or those in certain fields, such as marine structural design or offshore engineering, employers may require a master’s degree or additional training in a specific marine engineering discipline.

Marine Engineers can also acquire professional certification through several institutions, such as the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, which could further enhance their skills and career opportunities.

Securing an internship or cooperative engineering programs can provide valuable hands-on experience.

Many Marine Engineers also spend time at sea to understand marine conditions and gain practical experience in the field.

Continuing education is essential in this field, as marine technology and regulations continually evolve.

Licensing as a Professional Engineer (PE) may be beneficial for career advancement.

The licensing process involves meeting education and experience requirements and passing rigorous exams.

A strong understanding of maritime laws and regulations, as well as safety and environmental standards, is also required in the marine engineering profession.


Marine Engineer Salary Expectations

A Marine Engineer earns an average salary of $92,560 (USD) per year.

The actual earnings can significantly fluctuate depending on factors such as level of experience, certification, location, and the employing organization.


Marine Engineer Job Description FAQs

What are the daily duties of a marine engineer?

On a typical day, a Marine Engineer may oversee the operation and maintenance of mechanical and electrical equipment onboard ships, submarines, or offshore platforms.

They may conduct inspections, carry out repairs, and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

They will also spend some part of their day drafting designs for new marine equipment or modifying existing ones.


What skills does a marine engineer need?

Marine Engineers need strong technical skills to design, develop, and take care of marine vessels and their components.

They should have excellent problem-solving abilities to troubleshoot and repair systems when they malfunction.

A solid understanding of principles related to fluid dynamics and mechanical engineering is also crucial.

Additionally, they should be familiar with CAD and other related software for designing purposes.


Do marine engineers need a degree?

Yes, marine engineers generally require a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering, naval architecture, marine systems engineering, or a related field.

Some positions may require a master’s degree or a license, particularly those that involve public safety.

Continued education is also crucial in this field due to the rapid advancement of technologies.


What should you look for in a marine engineer resume?

A marine engineer’s resume should show a strong background in engineering principles and specialized training in marine systems.

Look for a relevant degree and any additional certifications, such as a marine engineer’s license.

Experience in designing, building, or maintaining marine vessels or structures can be a strong plus.

Familiarity with marine software programs like CAD is also a desirable skill.


What qualities make a good marine engineer?

A good marine engineer has a strong attention to detail and an analytical mindset to effectively design and troubleshoot marine equipment.

They should have excellent problem-solving skills to identify and address issues quickly.

Good marine engineers are also effective communicators, able to coordinate with different team members and explain complex technical matters in easy-to-understand terms.

They must also be committed to safety and environmental protection.


Is it difficult to hire marine engineers?

The challenge in hiring marine engineers can vary depending on the specific needs of your project or company.

The field is specialized, which can make it more difficult to find candidates with the exact skill set you’re looking for.

Offering competitive salaries and opportunities for ongoing training and development can make your position more appealing to potential candidates.



And there you have it.

Today, we delved into the depths of what it truly means to be a marine engineer.


It’s not just about designing ships.

It’s about charting the course of our maritime future, one vessel design at a time.

With our handy marine engineer job description template and real-world examples, you’re well equipped to set sail.

But why drop anchor just yet?

Plunge further with our job description generator. It’s your compass to creating precise job listings or honing your resume to near perfection.


Every ship design is a part of a larger fleet.

Let’s navigate the future. Together.

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