Ship Engineers

Ship Engineers

Engines are a ship's main source of power for propulsion, heat, and electricity. Ship engines are massive; some are as large as the power plants that generate electricity for small cities. Ship engineers direct the engineering departments aboard ships and submarines.

What They Do:

  • Ship engineers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Direct engine room operations in nuclear or diesel-powered vessels
  • Direct crews that inspect and maintain the electrical generators that supply power for lights, weapons, and equipment
  • Direct crews that inspect and maintain the heating plants and air conditioning systems
  • Direct crews that inspect and maintain ship transmission and propulsion systems
  • Direct engine room repairs

Training Provided:

Job training consists of classroom instruction. Training length varies depending on specialty; the time required for nuclear specialties is the longest. Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses. Nuclear specialties involve extensive training in reactor operations. Course content typically includes:
  • Inspection and maintenance of marine engines, electrical systems, and fuel systems
  • Operation and maintenance of power plants and related machinery

Helpful Attributes:

Helpful fields of study include civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering. Helpful attributes include:
  • Interest in engines and machines
  • Interest in planning and directing the work of others

Work Environment:

Ship engineers work in engine rooms, where the noise levels and temperatures may be high