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How Do I Become a Marine Engineer?

Some marine engineers work on offshore oil rigs.
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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 18 August 2014
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A career in marine engineering can allow you to design, repair, and maintain marine vessels. In order to become a marine engineer, you should study naval architecture or marine engineering at a four-year college. Focus on science and electrical engineering during your studies. After you graduate, seek an apprenticeship with a reputable marine engineer in order to gain experience and build a rapport with buyers of different types of watercraft.

Visit colleges that offer degrees in marine engineering, naval architecture, or ocean engineering. Tell the admissions representative you would like to become a marine engineer and ask her about the best course of study. Find out if there are any laboratories at the college where you can gain practical experience in designing and repairing watercraft.

Make sure the curriculum will prepare you to become a marine engineer. The ideal program will include courses in electrical or mechanical engineering. You should also take a variety of science and math courses during your course of study.

A college that offers job placement services or internships with local marine engineers can help you reach your goal. Marine engineering can be hard to break into, so it is important to make contacts with people already working in the field. Schools that provide networking opportunities can give you an advantage when you are ready to seek employment in this field.

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After graduation, look for an apprenticeship in your area. If you have completed an internship, contact that employer to see if there are any openings for which you might be qualified. In the event there are no positions available, ask for a letter of reference so you can highlight your skills and experience when visiting other companies.

Keep a portfolio of your work to show to prospective employers. Include sketches of any designs you have created during the course of your studies. Take pictures of any special work you have done as an intern, and include before after photographs of any unique repairs or alterations. Add a copy of your professional resume, college transcripts, and any letters of recommendation you might have to this portfolio as well.

Look for work in a variety of industries. Some of the places that might have openings include shipbuilders, cruise lines, oil rigs, and fishing companies. Transportation companies that ship merchandise by sea might also need these professionals. A diligent search can help you reach your goal and become a marine engineer.

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