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Ship Engineers

Also called: Assistant Engineer, Chief Engineer, Engineer, Port Engineer

What they do:
Supervise and coordinate activities of crew engaged in operating and maintaining engines, boilers, deck machinery, and electrical, sanitary, and refrigeration equipment aboard ship.
On the job, you would:
  • Start engines to propel ships and regulate engines and power transmissions to control speeds of ships, according to directions from captains or bridge computers.
  • Maintain or repair engines, electric motors, pumps, winches, or other mechanical or electrical equipment or assist other crew members with maintenance or repair duties.
  • Perform or participate in emergency drills, as required.


Engineering and Technology
  • mechanical
  • product and service development
  • management
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
  • movement of people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road


Basic Skills
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
  • figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it


  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Hand and Finger Use
  • keep your arm or hand steady
  • put together small parts with your fingers
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen
  • use rules to solve problems
Controlled Movement
  • quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat


People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Dependability
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Attention to Detail
  • Independence
  • Integrity
  • Self Control


You might use software like this on the job:

Facilities management software
  • Computerized maintenance management system CMMS software
  • Damen DAMOS
Data base user interface and query software
  • Kongsberg Maritime K-LOG Electronic Logbooks
Document management software
  • Marine Software Marine Safety Manager


Education: (rated 3 of 5)
certificate after high school or
high school diploma/GED
usually needed

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Job Outlook

Average Outlook
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per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about ship engineers.