Marine engineers control the installation, operation and maintenance of machinery and equipment on ships and vessels. Marine engineers work in the engine departments of cargo ships, dredges, offshore supply and drill vessels, floating production storage and offtake facilities, oil tankers, passenger ships and tugs. They need to be familiar with various types of diesel engines, steam plant and gas turbines.
Duties & Tasks
Marine engineers may perform the following tasks:
- ensure that the main engines and associated machinery, electrical, refrigeration, air conditioning and cargo-handling equipment on ships are operating efficiently
- monitor automatic data-recording equipment, or record readings manually on ships without such equipment
- analyse the readings for trends and make adjustments to machinery operation as required
- carry out regular maintenance of the main engine and repair defective auxiliary equipment
- stand watch as officer in charge of the engineering watch at sea and in port
- ensure that vessel operations do not create pollution
- maintain engine room stores and record usage of parts and equipment
- supervise staff and carry out major maintenance work while the ship is in port
- be involved with the operation of small craft such as patrol boats, tugs, river ferries and port authority vessels.
Marine engineers may work onshore or at sea, or both. Those who work at sea may be away from home for long periods. They may work long shifts and be on call to work in emergencies. Engine rooms can be very noisy, hot and dirty. Physical exertion is required when repairing machinery.
- enjoy technical and engineering activities
- enjoy machinery operation
- able to cope with the physical demands of the job
- prepared to accept responsibility
- able to work as part of a team
- prepared to work for long periods at sea.