Marine Engineering Major: Information and Requirements
Declaring an undergraduate major in marine engineering can prepare students for careers designing and constructing watercraft vessels. The most common type of degree offered at the bachelor's degree level in this subject is the Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering.
Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering Overview
A 4-year degree program in marine engineering is designed to provide students with a strong overview of marine operating systems in crafts such as boats, yachts, ships, submarines and other offshore structures. Soon after declaring a major in marine engineering, students are expected to complete at least 1-2 years of basic engineering and mathematics courses. They are required to gain a strong background in general engineering before they can learn how to apply those concepts to marine structures specifically.
The core courses in a bachelor's degree program in marine engineering offer students a chance to learn about how physics, calculus, technical writing and mechanical engineering can be used to design the operating systems of different boats. Students in such a program are also often asked to participate in laboratory or hands-on experiences or projects, where they are expected to head the design of a proposed watercraft.
A high school diploma and high standardized test scores are the primary prerequisite to gaining entrance into a 4-year university or college with a marine engineering program. Students who are preparing to declare a marine engineering major should also take pre-engineering general education courses such as college mathematics and physics.
Many of the courses involved in a marine engineering bachelor's degree program are technical and scientific in nature. Some core engineering courses include:
- Mechanics of marine technology
- Technical writing
- Differential equations
- Fluid mechanics
- Control circuits
- Ship dynamics
- Electric machinery
- Marine design methods
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts an employment growth of 17% for marine engineers and naval architects for the years 2010 through 2020. The BLS also notes that the median annual wage for these workers was $88,100 in 2012.
Continuing Education Options
Two common types of graduate degrees available for aspiring marine engineers include a Master of Marine Engineering and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture. Each program lasts about two years and prepares students to provide advanced scientific and engineering principles to the technical craft of boat designing and construction. The point of many master's degrees in the field of marine engineering is to provide students with a pre-professional education and prepare them to enter the field directly as marine engineers.
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