Marine engineering technician

Shipbuilding technician

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Marine engineering technicians design, build, service and repair boats and ships.

Salary range: £16,000 to £30,000

How to become a marine engineering technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You could do a foundation degree in marine engineering or marine technology.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree

More information


You could take a course to get some of the skills you’ll need in this job. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Mechanical Engineering
  • Level 2 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Engineering Technology
  • Level 3 Diploma in Marine Engineering
  • Level 3 Diploma in Marine Construction and Maintenance

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More information


You could get into this job through a marine engineer advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information


You could train as an engineering technician with the Merchant Navy or Royal Navy, then move into the commercial marine industry after you leave.

More information

Further information

You can find more advice about careers in marine engineering from the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and British Marine.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • knowledge of physics
  • design skills and knowledge
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need IT skills and a knowledge of computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM).

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • fault-finding and repairing electronic, hydraulic and mechanical equipment on boats and ships
  • helping to design and develop new marine equipment
  • providing engineering support on board a dive support vessel
  • refurbishing older craft with new navigation and communications systems
  • using underwater craft like remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to inspect undersea pipelines
  • supervising a team of craftspeople in a ship or boatyard
  • maintaining weapons systems, radar and sonar on board Royal Navy warships

Working environment

You could work in an office, at a shipyard, at a port, on a ship or underwater.

Your working environment may be physically demanding, outdoors in all weathers and you may spend nights away from home.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into a supervisory role or engineering project management work. 

You could specialise in a particular area, like boat design, specialist equipment sales and support or marine insurance. 

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