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Ship Engineer

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What Does it Take to Be a Ship Engineer?

Career Description Supervise and coordinate activities of crew engaged in operating and maintaining engines, boilers, deck machinery, and electrical, sanitary, and refrigeration equipment aboard ship.

What Do Ship Engineers Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Perform general marine vessel maintenance or repair work, such as repairing leaks, finishing interiors, refueling, or maintaining decks.
  • Monitor and test operations of engines or other equipment so that malfunctions and their causes can be identified.
  • 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.
  • Fabricate engine replacement parts, such as valves, stay rods, or bolts, using metalworking machinery.
  • Operate or maintain off-loading liquid pumps or valves.
  • Order and receive engine room stores, such as oil or spare parts, maintain inventories, and record usage of supplies.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Ship Engineer?

When polled, Ship Engineers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Equipment Maintenance: Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Repairing: Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

  • Tugboat Engineer
  • Operating or Equipment Maintenance Marine Engineer
  • Deck Engineer
  • Tug Boat Engineer
  • Turnaround Engineer

Job Outlook for Ship Engineers

In the United States, there were 10,100 jobs for Ship Engineer in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.9% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 700 new jobs for Ship Engineer by 2026. There will be an estimated 1,300 positions for Ship Engineer per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Ship Engineers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Ship Engineer are Maine, Texas, and South Carolina. Watch out if you plan on working in Missouri, Indiana, or Pennsylvania. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Ship Engineers Salary

The salary for Ship Engineers ranges between about $40,330 and $123,670 a year.

Salary Ranges for Ship Engineers

Ship Engineers who work in New York, Missouri, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

How much do Ship Engineers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alaska $63,620
California $66,870
Florida $67,650
Georgia $66,440
Kentucky $88,710
Louisiana $76,010
Massachusetts $84,810
Minnesota $73,450
Mississippi $77,260
Missouri $86,470
New Jersey $73,790
New York $100,430
North Carolina $49,370
Oregon $78,820
Pennsylvania $81,900
South Carolina $79,350
Tennessee $75,750
Texas $74,100
Virginia $72,970
Washington $84,960

What Tools & Technology do Ship Engineers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Ship Engineers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Project
  • Oracle software
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software
  • Apple macOS
  • SAP software
  • Computerized maintenance management system CMMS
  • Customer relationship management CRM software
  • Salesforce
  • Computer aided dispatch software
  • Electronic data interchange EDI software
  • Wonderware software

How to Become a Ship Engineer

Individuals working as a Ship Engineer have obtained the following education levels:

Ship Engineer Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Ship Engineer?

Ship Engineer Work Experience

Where do Ship Engineers Work?

Ship Engineer Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Ship Engineer Industries

Similar Careers

Are you already one of the many Ship Engineer in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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