Careers in Marine Engineering

Last Updated 20 March 2013, 12:20 IST

Marine engineering can  be a highly lucrative career for  those who are built for a highly challenging job.

A marine engineer is a professional who is responsible for the operation, maintenance and repair of all major mechanical and engineered equipment on board a ship. 

Ships these days use the most modern technology and equipment that can be understood, maintained and handled only by marine engineers. This job requires a high degree of discipline and responsibility since the chief marine engineer is in charge of a ship and its cargo which cost millions of dollars. 

They manage the enormous power of the ship and all its complicated machinery and help it cross the ocean. Marine engineers may have to work on cargo ships, container ships or oil and gas tankers. 

They have to spend months together at the sea which can get tiresome and they might get homesick. But all the hardship is compensated with the pay, which is obscenely high even at the starting level, with the time off (4-6 months in a year) and with the chance to sail around the world.

The demand for marine engineers in public and private shipping companies has risen sharply, with the increase in international global sea traffic. The construction, operations and maintenance of the engine room are the main obligations of a marine engineer. This means that they deal with the technical area of the ship. 

In fact, they are the overall in-charge of the engine and its crew. The top rung of the hierarchical ladder is the post of a chief engineer. Marine engineers usually sail for 15-20 years after which they land jobs in shipyards, maritime universities or in management of a shipping company. 

There are job opportunities in other sectors too like banks, hotels, and power plants.  Besides this, marine engineers can work in governments as well as the Indian Navy. 

A career in Marine Engineering is challenging and rewarding. Marine engineers have complete responsibility of the ship's engine room and range from development and designing of the engines related to ships and propulsion system.
Eligibility Criteria

For doing a bachelor’s degree in Marine Engineering or nautical science one should have passed 10 + 2 science with physics, chemistry, maths and English. The course is of 4 years duration.

After successful completion of the course, degree viz. B E or BTech is awarded to the students. In most institutes candidates are admitted through an entrance examination, which is normally held in the month of May every year at various centres all over India followed by viva-voice and medical examination. 

Candidates aspiring for a degree course at TS Chanakya, Mumbai and Marine Engineering Research Institute Kolkata, should qualify the Joint Entrance Examination conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), which assesses the candidate’s knowledge of physics, chemistry and mathematics. 

The examination is followed by personal interviews/counseling, where the interviewers assess the degree of alertness, and awareness of the external environment in the candidates and their suitability for such a career. 
Career Prospects

After successful completion of BE/BTech in Marine Engineering/nautical science, one can join as fourth engineer or third assistant engineer. Since the job on the ship entails residing on ship for a major part of the year there are other exciting avenues as well. Marine engineers are also employed by engine production firms, ship building firms, research bodies, ship design firms and also in the Indian Navy.

The marine engineers can remain within the ambit of the shipping industry and join marine workshops at land i.e. at the ports. Alternatively, the marine engineers can join ship manufacturing companies, which are equally good paymasters.

These days the marine engineers are employed in the IT sector in a major way, apart from consultancy companies like Price Waterhouse Coopers and DCL, in construction companies, power sector, steel industry, and electronic industry.

Those who want to join Government Service can consider Directorate General Shipping of India. Those with entrepreneurial skills can also explre the entreprenuerial scope in the field.

Those marine engineers who have a passion for academics can pursue post graduation and enter the field of academics where the demand for qualified academicians in this field is growing very fast. Pay Package

Starting salary of a fresh marine engineering graduate are usually higher than other engineering branches. It can go even high if the candidate wishes to join an oil tanker. There are various levels from first engineer to fourth engineer culminating in Chief Engineer.

Marine jobs are highly paid and enjoyable. The marine engineers get NRI status, which is, tax-free income based on their service at sea, ex-India. They also get the opportunity to see the world through sailing as a profession without any extra expense. Luxurious life through lucrative salary comes as a big compensation being away from home.
Marine Engineering Institutes/Universities

* Marine Engineering & Research Institute (Kolkata)* College Of Engineering (Andhra University) Visakhapatnam *  Mohamed Sathak Engineering College, Kilakarai, Ramnad District, Tamilnadu*  Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education and Training (MANET), Pune*  Tolani Maritime Institute*  R L Institute of Nautical Sciences*  Training Centre, The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd, Maritime Training Institute, Mumbai *  Indian Maritime College, Chennai*  LBS College of Advanced Maritime Studies and Maritime Studies and Research, Mumbai*   Padmabhushan Vasantdada Patil Pratishthan's College of Engineering, Mumbai*  T S Chanakya, Karaus, New Mumbai

(Published 20 March 2013, 12:20 IST)

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