How To Become a Ship Engineer

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How Long Does It Take, What Degree Do You Need, and More

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

What degree do you need

Recommended degree level

Post-Secondary Certificate

We did a survey to ask other Ship Engineers what degree they had when they became a Ship Engineer. Here are the results.
a Post-Secondary Certificate

High School Diploma

College Certificate

One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become Ship Engineers or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked Ship Engineers what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

Marine Science/Merchant Marine Officer

Ship engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering, naval architecture, marine systems engineering, or marine engineering technology. Some ship engineers have bachelor’s degrees in mechanical or electrical engineering. Programs in marine engineering, naval architecture, marine systems engineering, and marine engineering technology are accredited by ABET.

How hard is it

Not Too Hard

You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be a Ship Engineer. For example, an electrician must complete three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Careers in this difficulty category will usually need 1 or 2 years of on-the-job training and informal training with experienced workers. These careers usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Similar careers include hydroelectric production managers, travel agents, electricians, court reporters, and medical assistants.

Related work experience required
1 to 2 years

1 to 2 years

2 to 4 years

4 to 6 years

Job training
1 to 2 years

1 to 2 years

6 months to 1 year

4 to 10 years

License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Recommended but not required

Along with earning a bachelor’s degree, ship engineers usually take an exam for a mariner’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard. The first stage of the license is known as the 3rd Assistant License. With experience and further testing, a ship engineer may get a 2nd and then a 1st Assistant License. The highest level of licensure is known as Chief Assistant. Higher grades of licensing are usually accompanied by higher pay and more responsibilities.

Skills required

We asked other Ship Engineers if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Critical Thinking what does this mean
2. Active Listening what does this mean
3. Equipment Maintenance what does this mean
4. Troubleshooting what does this mean
5. Monitoring what does this mean

= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need certain know-hows to excel at your job. Ship Engineers are generally very knowledgeable in these 5 key areas.

1. Mechanical what does this mean
2. Public Safety and Security what does this mean
3. Engineering and Technology what does this mean
4. Transportation what does this mean
5. Mathematics what does this mean

Learn more about Ship Engineers

Job Description
Requirements (You are here)

Related to Ship Engineers Requirements

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