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Marine Engineering Education Requirements and Career Information

Marine engineers require a significant amount of formal education. Learn about the degrees available, job duties and salary information to see if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

Marine engineers are skilled individuals involved in the design, construction and maintenance of vehicles and structures used on or around water. Marine engineering technology and techniques are used to create cruise ships, oil platforms and harbors. A bachelor's degree in marine engineering is the minimum requirement for career entry, and graduate programs in this field are also available.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 10%
Median Salary (2013)* $89,550 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements for Marine Engineers

Anyone interested in pursuing a career in marine engineering must complete a significant amount of education in science, technology and engineering. Degrees in marine engineering are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Bachelor's degrees in marine engineering introduce students to basic concepts of marine propulsion, fluid dynamics and ship design. Master's and doctoral degrees in marine engineering cover advanced topics in materials science, managing engineering projects and electrical power systems.

A career in marine engineering can be enhanced with an additional advanced or professional degree. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) can lead to executive and management positions in shipping, naval architecture and off-shore oil exploration. Some marine engineers capitalize on their education and experience by earning a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.), often concentrating on maritime and engineering law.

Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment prospects for marine engineers and naval architects were expected to increase by 10 percent between 2012-2022, which is slightly faster than other engineering specialties (www.bls.gov). Employing less than 7,000 educated professionals, marine engineering is a specialty field with a limited number of practitioners in the United States.

Industries employing the most marine engineers include architectural and engineering services and boat building companies. Marine engineers can also find employment with government agencies, transportation companies and scientific services.

Salary Info

The high level of education and technical knowledge possessed by marine engineers is reflected in their earnings. In May 2013, the BLS reported that marine engineers earned a median annual salary worth $89,550. Marine engineers with sufficient expertise and experience earned as much as $140,390 annually as of May 2013.

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  • School locations:
    • Virginia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 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
      • Engineering Mechanics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Mining Engineering
      • Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
      • Plastics Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Michigan include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Engineering - Architectural
      • Engineering Mechanics
      • Engineering Physics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Geological Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Manufacturing Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
      • Nuclear Engineering
      • Plastics Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Wisconsin include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Biological and Agricultural Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Engineering Mechanics
      • Engineering Physics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Geological Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Metallurgical Engineering
      • Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
      • Nuclear Engineering
      • Systems 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
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Geological Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Engineering Physics
      • Math
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics