Marine engineering programs train students to operate, maintain and repair
various devices on ships and naval structures.
This program is also sometimes called ocean engineering or naval architecture.
Grads of these programs can expect to obtain jobs in the offshore industry,
shipyards, federal government or regulatory agencies. Many of these jobs,
however, require a master's or PhD degree.
There are two types of marine engineers. Engineering officers in the Merchant
Marines operate and maintain equipment on a ship. You can also study marine
engineering at several colleges and universities. This option will lead you
to a career designing marine structures, ships and equipment, and most of
your work will be done on dry land.
Most marine engineering programs stress the importance of internships
and hands-on training. At some schools, students go to school for a semester
and then work in the field the next semester.
Students take math, chemistry, physics, computer science and a variety
of science classes.
According to Robert Randall, a professor of ocean engineering at Texas
A and M University at College Station, students take a variety of math courses,
including algebra, trigonometry and pre-calculus. Science classes include physics,
chemistry and marine sciences.
"English courses and writing skills are important as well. All courses
developing problem-solving skills will help students succeed in the marine
engineering program, including courses such as computer programming and
technical drafting," says marine engineering professor James Christie.
High school students should take as many math and science courses as
they can, especially those stressing problem solving and analytical thinking.
Extracurricular activities are important in high school as well. They provide
students with a picture of how it will be juggling homework and different
social events and organizations.
"Marine-related activities such as sailing, boat handling and maintenance"
are good activities that high school students can use to prepare themselves,
says ocean engineering professor Neil Bose.
The main costs are tuition and books.
Occupational Outlook HandbookFor more information related to this field of study, see: Engineers
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Society of Naval Architects and Marine EngineersCheck out the student sections