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Marine Engineering

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Marine Engineering Major

Marine engineering is a major that typically falls into the Engineering category.

There are 1 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in marine engineering, 11 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 3 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 1 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Marine Engineering Degree?

This is a less frequently chosen major. Only 400 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering in 2017. This major tends to be male dominated. About 86.5% of recent graduates are men.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of marine engineering majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 2.6%
  • Black or African American: 1.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 4.6%
  • White: 84.8%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 1.5%
  • Other Races: 5.1%
Marine Engineering Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in marine engineering. About 1.5% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending marine engineering majors to the U.S. are China, India and United Arab Emirates.

What Will You Learn as a Marine Engineering Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to marine engineering to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Marine Engineering Majors

Marine engineering majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Marine Engineering Majors

Skills for Marine Engineering Majors

Marine engineering majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

Important Skills for Marine Engineering Majors

Abilities for Marine Engineering Majors

A major in marine engineering will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

Important Abilities for marine engineering Majors

What Can You Do With a Marine Engineering Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with marine engineering:

Careers Related to Marine Engineering
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Marine Architects



Architectural and Engineering Managers



Marine Engineers



Engineering Professors



Marine Engineering Major Salary

Average salaries range from $99,000 to $149,000 for careers related to marine engineering. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Marine Engineering Major  ( 99000 to 149000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Marine Engineering Major Jobs

Some careers associated with marine engineering require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for marine engineering careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Marine Engineering
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Marine Engineering Programs

There are 11 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering, with 0 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Many learners are drawn to online programs due to the ease of use and flexibility. Students should be warned that those who enroll in online programs can take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to drop out.

Is a Marine Engineering Major Worth It?

The median salary for a marine engineering grad is $114,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 192% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,495,600 after 20 years!

marine engineering salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: U.S. Navy via License

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