Job type

Marine engineer

£24k - £55k

Typical salary

39 – 41

Hours per week

Marine engineers design, build, test and repair boats, ships, underwater craft, offshore platforms and drilling equipment.

More info

  • Design, build and test boats and equipment used at sea
  • Some roles involve working offshore or overseas, and you may need to learn to dive
  • Opportunities to work for companies in the leisure sector, heavy industry, or to become self employed

As a marine engineer, you'll be working closely with the design, construction and repair of anything from boats to offshore platforms.


Depending on the industry you work in, your duties could include:

  • Shipbuilding
  • Boat-building and repair
  • Working in the leisure boat industry
  • Designing, building and operating offshore gas and oil platforms
  • Marine surveying
  • Making sure engines, instruments and systems work safely


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 weather, physically demanding and travelling often.

You'll need

To be a marine engineer, you'll need knowledge of maths, physics, and engineering science and technology, the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools, design skills and knowledge, thinking and reasoning skills, thoroughness and attention to detail, and excellent verbal communication skills.

You would normally need to complete a foundation degree or degree to become a marine engineer, in subjects such as marine engineering, marine technology, naval architecture, or offshore engineering.

You may be able to do a marine engineer advanced apprenticeship, then take further training on the job to qualify. As a qualified engineer, you may be able to apply for a marine technical superintendent degree apprenticeship.

You could also train as an engineering technician with the Merchant Navy or Royal Navy, studying for a degree while on the job.


With experience, you could specialise in project management, research and development or consultancy. There are also opportunities for experienced marine engineers to work in shore-based roles with responsibility for vessel refits, legal work in maritime engineering safety and shipping fleet management.