Ship Engineers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Stan T.Career, Overview

Ship Engineers

Ship Engineers supervise and coordinate activities of crew engaged in operating and maintaining engines, boilers, deck machinery, and electrical, sanitary, and refrigeration equipment aboard ship.

Becoming One
Post-secondary certificate
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Interest Match

Job description

Ship Engineers supervise and coordinate activities of crew engaged in operating and maintaining engines, boilers, deck machinery, and electrical, sanitary, and refrigeration equipment aboard ship.

  • Start engines to propel ships, and regulate engines and power transmissions to control speeds of ships, according to directions from captains or bridge computers.
  • Maintain or repair engines, electric motors, pumps, winches, or other mechanical or electrical equipment, or assist other crew members with maintenance or repair duties.
  • Perform or participate in emergency drills, as required.
  • Monitor engine, machinery, or equipment indicators when vessels are underway, and report abnormalities to appropriate shipboard staff.
Read more about what does a Ship Engineer really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Average salary
$75710 per year

Average hourly wage
$36 per hour

Ship Engineers with little to no experience tend to make between $40330 and $51540 while the more experienced ones can earn over $92870 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
NY $48 $100,430
KY $43 $88,710
MO $42 $86,470
WA $41 $84,960
MA $41 $84,810

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Ship Engineer is to move to a higher paying state like NY. Right now, the highest paying states for Ship Engineers are NY, KY, MO, WA and MA.

However, a higher pay at NY doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at NY might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Ship Engineer is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Post-secondary certificate

We asked other Ship Engineers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Post-Secondary Certificate followed by a High School Diploma.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Marine Science/Merchant Marine Officer
Read more about how to become a Ship Engineer and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Ship Engineer.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work outdoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

61% of Ship Engineers said they were satisfied with their job and 47% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Learn more about Ship Engineers

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Job Description

Related career information

Ship Engineers job description, Ship Engineers salary, Ship Engineers information, what is the job of a Ship Engineer like, pros and cons about Ship Engineers, colleges and universities for Ship Engineers, is Ship Engineers the right career for me, careers in Transportation

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Barge Engineer, Chief Engineer, Deck Engineer, Deckhand, Engineer, Equipment Operating Engineer, Ferry Engineer, Fire Boat Engineer, Fire Department Marine Engineer, Harbor Engineer

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