Marine engineering technicians carry out technical functions to help marine engineers with the design, development, manufacturing, and testing processes, installation, and maintenance of all types of boats, from pleasure crafts to naval vessels, including submarines. They also conduct experiments, collect and analyse data and report their findings.
Marine engineering technicians typically perform the following duties:
- diagnose faults and repair equipment on a ship
- help design and develop new marine equipment
- refurbish older ships with new navigation and communications systems
- use remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) to inspect undersea pipelines
- maintain weapons systems, radar and sonar on board warships
The following job titles also refer to marine engineering technician:
yacht engineering technician
vessel engineering technologist
marine engineering technologist
submarine engineering technician
vessel engineering technician
boat engineering technician
marine vessel engineering technician
cargo vessel engineering technician
ship engineering technician
submarine engineering technologist
pleasure craft engineering technician
Marine engineering technicians work in an office, at a shipyard, at a port, on a ship or underwater. Their working environment may be physically demanding, outdoors in all weathers and they may spend nights away from home. They may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.
An associate’s degree in mechanical engineering, marine engineering, marine construction, or a related field is generally required to work as a marine engineering technician. If the role involves working on Navy warships, there may be additional requirements related to citizenship, background checks, or physical fitness.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Marine engineering technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Marine engineering technician career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to marine engineering technician.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of marine engineering technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of marine engineering technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of marine engineering technician.
- Engineering principles: The engineering elements like functionality, replicability, and costs in relation to the design and how they are applied in the completion of engineering projects.
- Material mechanics: The behaviour of solid objects when subjected to stresses and strains, and the methods to calculate these stresses and strains.
- Mechanics of vessels: The mechanics involved in boats and ships. Understand the technicalities and participate in discussions over related topics in order to solve problems related to the mechanics.
- Mathematics: Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity, structure, space, and change. It involves the identification of patterns and formulating new conjectures based on them. Mathematicians strive to prove the truth or falsity of these conjectures. There are many fields of mathematics, some of which are widely used for practical applications.
- Physics: The natural science involving the study of matter, motion, energy, force and related notions.
- Engineering processes: The systematic approach to the development and maintenance of engineering systems.
- CAE software: The software to perform computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis tasks such as Finite Element Analysis and Computional Fluid Dynamics.
- ICT software specifications: The characteristics, use and operations of various software products such as computer programmes and application software.
- Multimedia systems: The methods, procedures and techniques pertaining to the operation of multimedia systems, usually a combination of software and hardware, presenting various types of media such as video and audio.
- Mechanics: Theoretical and practical applications of the science studying the action of displacements and forces on physical bodies to the development of machinery and mechanical devices.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of marine engineering technician.
- Use a computer: Utilise computer equipment or digital devices to facilitate quality control, data management, and communication. Follow instructions given by a computer programme, create computer files or documents.
- Execute analytical mathematical calculations: Apply mathematical methods and make use of calculation technologies in order to perform analyses and devise solutions to specific problems.
- Troubleshoot: Identify operating problems, decide what to do about it and report accordingly.
- Adjust engineering designs: Adjust designs of products or parts of products so that they meet requirements.
- Ensure vessel compliance with regulations: Inspect vessels, vessel components, and equipment; ensure compliance with standards and specifications.
- Read engineering drawings: Read the technical drawings of a product made by the engineer in order to suggest improvements, make models of the product or operate it.
- Liaise with engineers: Collaborate with engineers to ensure common understanding and discuss product design, development and improvement.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of marine engineering technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Stealth technology: The techniques used to make aircraft, ships, missiles and satellites less detectable to radars and sonars. This includes the design of particular shapes and the development of radar-absorbent material.
- Fluid mechanics: The characteristics and properties of fluids, including gases, liquids and plasmas, at rest and in motion, and the forces on them.
- CAD software: The computer-aided design (CAD) software for creating, modifying, analysing or optimising a design.
- Guidance, navigation and control: The engineering discipline that deals with the design and development of systems that can control the motion of automobiles, ships, space- and aircraft. It includes control over vehicle’s trajectory from its present location to a designated target and vehicle’s speed and altitude.
- Product data management: The use of software to track all information concerning a product such as technical specifications, drawings, design specifications, and production costs.
- Synthetic natural environment: The simulation and representation of components of physical world such as climate, wheather and space where military systems exist in order to obtain information and perform tests.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of marine engineering technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Guarantee customer satisfaction: Handle customer expectations in a professional manner, anticipating and addressing their needs and desires. Provide flexible customer service to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Manage supplies: Monitor and control the flow of supplies that includes the purchase, storage and movement of the required quality of raw materials, and also work-in-progress inventory. Manage supply chain activities and synchronise supply with demand of production and customer.
- Order supplies: Command products from relevant suppliers to get convenient and profitable products to purchase.
- Disassemble equipment: Disassembles equipment using hand tools in order to clean equipments and to perform regular operational maintenance.
- Record test data: Record data which has been identified specifically during preceding tests in order to verify that outputs of the test produce specific results or to review the reaction of the subject under exceptional or unusual input.
- Perform physical stress tests on models: Perform tests on products’ models to analyse the ability of products to endure temperature, loads, motion, vibration and other factors.
- Operate precision measuring equipment: Measure the size of a processed part when checking and marking it to check if it is up to standard by use of two and three dimensional precision measuring equipment such as a caliper, a micrometer, and a measuring gauge.
- Manage health and safety standards: Oversee all personnel and processes to comply with health, safety and hygiene standards. Communicate and support alignment of these requirements with the company’s health and safety programmes.
- Perform test run: Perform tests putting a system, machine, tool or other equipment through a series of actions under actual operating conditions in order to assess its reliability and suitability to realise its tasks, and adjust settings accordingly.
- Oversee quality control: Monitor and assure the quality of the provided goods or services by overseeing that all the factors of the production meet quality requirements. Supervise product inspection and testing.
- Analyse stress resistance of products: Analyse the ability of products to endure stress imposed by temperature, loads, motion, vibration and other factors, by using mathematical formulas and computer simulations.
- Ensure equipment availability: Ensure that the necessary equipment is provided, ready and available for use before start of procedures.
- Use testing equipment: Use equipment to test performance and operation of machinery.
- Plan manufacturing processes: Determine and schedule production and assembly steps. Plan manpower and equipment needs taking ergonomic considerations into account.
- Calibrate electronic instruments: Correct and adjust the reliability of an electronic instrument by measuring output and comparing results with the data of a reference device or a set of standardised results. This is done in regular intervals which are set by the manufacturer and using calibration devices.
- Re-assemble engines: Re-assemble transport equipment engines after overhaul, inspection, repair, maintenance or cleaning according to blueprints and technical plans.
- Write stress analysis reports: Write down a report with all your findings encountered during the stress analysis. Write down performances, failures and other conclusions.
- Use CAD software: Use computer-aided design (CAD) systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation of a design.
- Follow production schedule: Follow production schedule taking into account all requirements, times and needs. This schedule outlines what individual commodities must be produced in each time period and encapsulates various concerns like production, staffing, inventory, etc. It is usually linked to manufacturing where the plan indicates when and how much of each product will be demanded. Utilise all the information in the actual implementation of the plan.
- Write inspection reports: Write the results and conclusions of the inspection in a clear and intelligible way. Log the inspection’s processes such as contact, outcome, and steps taken.
- Assess operating cost: Estimate the operating cost in terms of manpower, consumables and maintenance.
- Disassemble engines: Disassemble internal combustion engines, generators, pumps, transmissions and other components of mechanical equipment.
- Position engine on test stand: Position the engine on a stand or in a cell, ready for testing, by using a hoist or overhead crane.
- Analyse production processes for improvement: Analyse production processes leading toward improvement. Analyse in order to reduce production losses and overall manufacturing costs.
ISCO group and title
3115 – Mechanical engineering technicians
- Marine engineering technician – ESCO
- Marine engineering technician | Explore careers – National Careers Service
- Featured image: By U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Tony Spiker – Public Domain