Ocean Engineering

Ocean engineers apply their knowledge of the ocean environment to the design and construction of marine structures, ships and other marine vehicles. Many schools offer both undergraduate and graduate programs in ocean engineering.

Inside Ocean Engineering

Ocean engineers study the effects of the ocean on ships, vehicles and other structures. They design dams, levees, canals and complex tide abatement systems. Essentially, ocean engineering is the marine-based branch of civil engineering. It merges classical courses in civil and mechanical engineering with oceanography and naval architecture.

Education Information

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available in ocean engineering. Schools that offer bachelor degrees in ocean engineering expect students to complete courses in marine structure design, oceanography, ocean systems design and engineering materials. Bachelor's degrees in ocean engineering are either a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering or a degree in civil engineering with an ocean engineering concentration.

Master's and doctoral degree programs in ocean engineering consist of independent research and fieldwork in addition to advanced engineering and marine science courses. Students can concentrate their studies in specific areas of ocean engineering, including seafloor mapping, underwater acoustics, coastal structures and underwater vehicles.

Degree Options

Aspiring ocean engineers can begin their education path with an undergraduate degree in ocean or civil engineering. The articles below describe these and other degree choices, as well as discussing some of the top schools for ocean engineering studies.

Distance Learning Options

While there are no degree programs online specifically for ocean engineering, students can earn a degree in civil engineering. There are also individual oceanography courses and engineering classes available online that can contribute to a traditional ocean engineering program. The following articles discuss some options.

Career Options

Ocean engineers work for the government and in the private sector, where employers include the offshore oil, marine metals and marine transport industries. Other job areas are research in renewable energy, remote sensing and naval and underwater vehicles. Below is information on some career options in ocean and civil engineering.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for ocean engineers, who are included in the BLS category for civil engineers, will be 20% during the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). This is faster than the average for all occupations. The BLS also reports that in May 2012, ocean engineers earned a median annual salary of $79,340.

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Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Biological and Agricultural Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Nuclear Engineering
      • Ocean Engineering
      • Surveying
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Delaware (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Delaware include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Ocean Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Oregon (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Oregon State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Biological and Agricultural Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Forest Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Manufacturing Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Nuclear Engineering
      • Ocean Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Rhode Island include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Ocean Engineering
  • School locations:
    • New Hampshire (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of New Hampshire include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Ocean Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Florida Atlantic University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Ocean Engineering
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Petroleum Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Math

Popular Schools

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