What is Marine Engineering?

Marine Engineering is one of the most challenging disciplines of engineering dealing with the design, development, operation, maintenance and repair of machinery, equipment and systems on sea faring vessels such as ships, submarines etc. and offshore platforms such as oil rigs. These include the vessel’s engines, propulsion systems, fuel systems, power generation systems, navigation systems among others. A marine engineer’s job is to make sea going vessels survive in water and the equipment and systems on board operational and safe at sea in all weather conditions. A ship, submarine or an offshore platform has several mechanical, electrical and electronic equipment and systems. Therefore, a course in marine engineering draws upon these branches of engineering along with physical and material sciences. The focus is on understanding the design, operation and testing of the different equipment and systems and imparting practical skills for their maintenance and repair at sea.

How to Pursue the Course?

For a bachelor degree in Marine Engineering, 60% in English and 50% in maths, physics and chemistry is required in class 12th. Besides, some institutes may demand 60% in all of them. A student then is supposed to write certain entrance examinations in some cases. Some of these exams are are the Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Test; CUSAT-CAT ; WB-JEE among some others.

Top Colleges

Institutes offering bachelors in Marine Engineering are: Indian Maritime University, Kolkata; Tolani Maritime Institute, Pune; Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education and Training, Pune; A.M.E.T University, Chennai; Neotia Institute of Technology, Management and Science, Kolkata; Vels University School of Maritime Studies, Chennai,  and some others.

Career Prospects

Ships are the only means of transporting large quantities of commercial cargo. With increasing international trade there has been a very high growth in the shipping industry and correspondingly in the number of ships in use. Further, there is renewed interest in cruises and use of boats, yatches etc. for recreation. In addition, there has been a growth in the number of vessels being inducted into the navy. As a result, there is increased demand for marine engineers in sectors such as shipbuilding, shipping, cruise lines and defense. These include working as engineers in different roles on board ships and other sea faring vessels, as well as in design and manufacturing of ships, submarines, offshore platforms and smaller vessels, such as fishing boats, speedboats, and sailboats.


Approx. 6 to 8 lakhs is the starting yearly salary of a graduate in Marine Engineering which is tax free aboard a ship. The start is as an engineering cadet from where the growth includes becoming a fourth engineer, the third engineer, a second engineer and finally a chief engineer of the ship. With growth the salaries go up several times and a chief engineer could be earning more than 40 lakhs a year. The salaries are even higher if the marine engineer joins an international shipping line.