Marine engineers play a key role in the design, build and maintenance of military and commercial ships, leisure boats and offshore platforms.
It is a highly skilled job, so all staff looking for employment in the sector require relevant qualifications. The most common entry route into the profession is to take a degree in marine or offshore engineering, although candidates who have studied marine modules of mechanical and electronics engineering undergraduate courses may also be considered.
The alternative route into the job is via work experience. This could be gained during a spell as an engineering officer in the Royal Navy or Merchant Navy, or by undertaking an apprenticeship as a marine engineering technician and working your way up within a major company.
There are a variety of businesses that need marine engineers, including shipbuilders, military contractors, oil and gas exploration companies, engineering consultancies, shipping lines and yacht designers. Many of them run graduate trainee schemes, with salaries in the region of £20,000 to £25,000, which are among the best starting points for young engineers.
Competition to hire experienced marine engineers, particularly those with chartered status, is strong and employers often use specialist recruitment agencies to help them find the best staff. Candidates with a good work history can expect to be paid between £35,000 and £55,000 a year in permanent jobs, but can earn more by working on a contract basis via agencies.