Everything You Need to Know About a Career in Marine Engineering

Marine Engineering

Summary – People often dream of having a job in the marine engineering sector. So what does life as a marine engineer might look like? This post will give an approximate answer to this question.

A marine engineer, in case he or she is on-board, will be carrying out all onboard engineering responsibilities that come with a large vessel such as –

  • A cargo carrier
  • A passenger carrier
  • An oil tanker,
  • A CNG tanker or
  • A luxury cruise liner.

A typical day of a marine engineer will consist of sailing with a ship and carry out his or her duties in shifts. Their role is to make sure that every –

  • Mechanical
  • Electrical and
  • Electronic component of the ship is in their prime working order.

Most of the time, a marine engineer will have to work on the fly and improvise using a hands-on approach and tools that are readily available. A marine engineer will have to have a high tolerance for working in noisy, stuffy and hot environments as they might need to spend a considerable amount of time in the engine compartment of the ship they are sailing on.

In case one lands as a Junior Engineer on a ship after graduating from any of the best marine engineering colleges, the above-mentioned scenario will be the regular aspect of their life for the beginning of their career.

After a hard day at work, the marine engineer will be welcomed with hot meals cooked on board, a comfortable living quarter and a free internet connection. On top of this, your ship will also have advanced communication systems on-board that will allow you to communicate with your loved ones in no time, irrespective of the location of your ship.

Your work shifts will be anywhere between eight to twelve hours. In absence of immediate work, you will have to be on standby for the duration of your shift.

Sure the work is trying which is why you can use your leisure hours at the on-board –

  • Dining room
  • Gymnasium
  • Recreation room
  • Indoor games room.

Salary packages – an approximation

Since you will be hard at work and away from your family for months on end, you are bound to be paid handsomely.

For instance, the entry-level post of a Junior Engineer in the marine engineering sector is INR 35,000 per month. (An approximation)

In case you are able to land a job as a Fourth Engineer then you are bound to be paid anywhere between INR 1.5 to INR 2 lac per month. Similarly, in case you become a Second Engineer, your salary will be INR 2.75 to INR 3.5 lac or more!

The most desirable post is that of a Chief Engineer where the officer will be paid anywhere between INR 3.5 lac to 5 lac or more. Furthermore, in case you land as a Chief Engineer on a foreign vessel then you can also be paid in US Dollars!

The best part about life in the marine engineering sector is that all your lodging and boarding expenses will be taken care of by the company that owns the vessel.

You wouldn’t need to spend a single penny on-board your ship except if you are on a cruise ship and want to enjoy a spa day!


The internet charges will also be carried by the shipping company!

How cool is that!?


If you want to have a career in the field of marine engineering then you need to make sure that you are capable of working under pressure and won’t feel bored of doing the same things over and over again. You must always remember that the life of a marine engineer can only be interesting or glamorous if he or she lands a job on a cruise ship. Otherwise, in case one lands a job at an oil tanker or an onshore post then your life will be quite monotonous, but if you stick around for 15 + years or more then you might be looking forward to a lump sum nest egg so that you can retire in style!