daily life of a Ship Engineer
are Ship Engineers happy with their job

Ship Engineers

Other names for this job might include Barge Engineer, Chief Engineer, Deck Engineer, Deckhand, Engineer, Equipment Operating Engineer, Ferry Engineer, Fire Boat Engineer, Fire Department Marine Engineer, Harbor Engineer

  • $78970
  • 61%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Medium
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


Being A Ship Engineer: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Ship Engineers do and what is their typical work day like. After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Ship Engineer or not.

Job summary

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.

We asked Ship Engineers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


61% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 47% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

Become one

schools for Ship Engineers Interested in becoming A Ship Engineer? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. This service is free thanks to our sponsors. Click to start becoming a Ship Engineer

Typical day

On a daily basis, Ship Engineers Monitor the availability, use, or condition of lifesaving equipment or pollution preventatives to ensure that international regulations are followed. They Monitor engine, machinery, or equipment indicators when vessels are underway and report abnormalities to appropriate shipboard staff.

1 of the main responsibilities as A Ship Engineer is to Maintain electrical power, heating, ventilation, refrigeration, water, or sewerage systems.

Some may also Record orders for changes in ship speed or direction and note gauge readings or test data, such as revolutions per minute or voltage output, in engineering logs or bellbooks.

In a normal work day, another thing that Ship Engineers do is they Maintain complete records of engineering department activities, including machine operations.

In addition to that, they Start engines to propel ships and regulate engines and power transmissions to control speeds of ships, according to directions from captains or bridge computers..

A typical day for A Ship Engineer look like this:

Monitor availability of equipment or supplies.
Monitor engine operation or functioning.
Report vehicle or equipment malfunctions.
Maintain watercraft engines or machinery.

We asked some Ship Engineers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?41% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?4% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?25% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?85% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?28% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?9% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?7% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?61% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Ship Engineers do, they Perform or participate in emergency drills, as required. They might also Order and receive engine room stores, such as oil or spare parts, maintain inventories, and record usage of supplies.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Direct emergency management activities.
Record operational or production data.
Acquire supplies or equipment.

Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as A Ship Engineer, you can expect to work More than 40 hours per week.

Do Ship Engineers work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Ship Engineers work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Ship Engineers work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


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. You will like this career if you are someone who likes 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. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. You also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

How we can help

Start your journey to be A Ship Engineer

Get the best college for Ship Engineers

Discover the best colleges for your $$$

Find colleges have the highest earning grads

Yes, I'm sure

Rank: B
Salary: $70110

They inspect, test, repair, or maintain electrical equipment in generating stations, substations, and in-service relays.
Rank: C+
Salary: $46140

They operate or control an entire process or system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.
Rank: B
Salary: $58070

They operate or maintain stationary engines, boilers, or other mechanical equipment to provide utilities for buildings or industrial processes. Operate equipment, such as steam engines, generators, motors, turbines, and steam boilers.
Rank: B
Salary: $51070

They work below surface of water, using scuba gear to inspect, repair, remove, or install equipment and structures. May use a variety of power and hand tools, such as drills, sledgehammers, torches, and welding equipment. May conduct tests or experiments, rig explosives, or photograph structures or marine life.
Rank: C
Salary: $58850

They diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Includes helicopter and aircraft engine specialists.

Trusted by over 50,000 fans

[easy-followers title=”” nofollow=”1″ total_type=”text_before” columns=”2″ template=”tinycolor”]

Career type

Transportation Transportation Operations

Other Careers Like This

Help Others Out

Learn more about Ship Engineers

Job Description (You are here)
Is This Right For Me

Study To Be A Ship Engineer

Related to Ship Engineers Job Description

Ship Engineers job description, what do Ship Engineers do, typical day for Ship Engineers, what is it like to work as a Ship Engineer, how many hours do Ship Engineers work, day to day work of a Ship Engineer

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/transportation-and-material-moving/water-transportation-occupations.htm http://www.marad.dot.gov/ http://www.uscg.mil/ http://www.americanwaterways.com/ [schema type=”review” url=”https://www.owlguru.com/” name=”OwlGuru.com” description=”OwlGuru.com is a career and college finder site. We help students to find a career and college that is right for them.” rev_name=”Ship Engineers” rev_body=”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.” author=”Stanley Tan” user_review=”3.8″ min_review=”1″ max_review=”5″ ]