Marine Engineering Degrees

What degrees can I earn in marine engineering?

Colleges and universities offering a campus-based or online engineering degree program in marine engineering will likely offer bachelors as well as marine engineering graduate programs as the top marine engineering degrees.

Marine engineering certificate

Certificate programs in marine engineering are available to candidates with a bachelors or masters degree, and can be useful to engineers already working in the field for further practical and applied knowledge. Some areas of specialization for which engineers may seek a certificate are in marine safety, hydraulics and propulsion systems. In most cases, an engineering certificate in this field can be completed in 15 to 20 credit hours over the course of 1 to 2 years, but program requirements may vary.

Marine engineering associates degree

The entry-level credential for most engineering professions is the bachelors degree, making fewer associates degree programs available in this discipline. Students seeking an onsite or online engineering associates may be interested in pursuing a career as a marine engineering technologist, which works on the engineering team to solve technical problems related to marine equipment, systems and vehicles.

Marine engineering bachelors degree

A bachelors in marine engineering will open doors to many career opportunities. Degree types will vary by institution, with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering or a Bachelor of Engineering with a marine engineering focus being most common.

Prerequisites for admission commonly include a grade C or higher in core math and science courses, and may require a passing score in placement tests for physics or calculus. A campus-based bachelors program typically takes 4 years to complete 120 to 140 credit hours, although it may be possible to earn an accelerated or online engineering bachelors degree in less time.

Marine engineering masters degree

A Master of Science in Marine Engineering and Master of Engineering with a marine engineering concentration are the most common marine engineering masters offered by colleges and universities.

A campus-based or online engineering masters degree program is approximately 30 to 40 credit hours, requiring 2 to 3 years to complete. Prerequisites for programs can include a bachelors degree earned from an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology accredited program, as well as a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Marine engineering PhD

A PhD in engineering, or Doctor of Science, are the highest academic degrees that can be earned by students of engineering. The length of time for a marine engineering PhD program varies widely due to the high level of scientific research that will be necessary to complete the program. Credit hours can range from 50 to 120 hours beyond a bachelors degree, and can take 2 to 5 years or more to complete, depending upon the research and dissertation timeline.

Are there any marine engineering degree programs online?

There are many marine engineering degree programs online to choose from. While most online degree offerings are partial or hybrid programs that require completion of some campus-based courses, the number of top brick-and-mortar universities and private institutions offering online programs entirely online continues to increase.

Online degrees in marine engineering

As you consider a marine engineering associates degree online, it is important to note that the entry-level credential for most marine engineering careers is a bachelors. While earning your associates at 1 of the accredited marine engineering online colleges will help you to gain valuable knowledge and experience, it may be helpful to discuss your job prospects with a career counselor at a university or college you are interested in attending.

Earning your marine engineering online bachelors degree from both an accredited engineering program and an accredited college or university may be an important factor to consider as you pursue degree programs.

The licensing body for engineering requires graduation from an engineering program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. If you are not interested in pursuing professional licensure, you may still want to research institutional accreditation, as attending a university accredited by 1 of several national accrediting agencies is required to receive state and federal financial aid.

While there are many benefits to pursuing a marine engineering online masters degree, campus-based programs allow for a level of networking that will be difficult to achieve with an online program. Be sure to engage opportunities to meet fellow marine engineering students and to be an active member of marine engineering professional organizations in order to make valuable contacts outside of your educational program.

Earning a PhD in marine engineering will likely require a great deal of research. One of the challenges of attending marine engineering schools online is the potential lack of laboratory resources that will be available to you. The best marine engineering online program will accommodate this lack of availability and will work to ensure that your research needs are met.

What kinds of marine engineering classes will I take in my program?

You will begin your bachelors in marine engineering with general education and introductory online engineering courses that focus on advanced mathematics and physics. By your junior and senior years you will advance to courses, such as applied thermodynamics, maritime sustainability and marine turbomechanics.

As a graduate student in a marine engineering program you will be taking courses that are specific to your chosen area of specialization. Some of the most common campus-based and marine engineering online courses will include nuclear propulsion, thermal systems and marine industry policy.

Finally, as a PhD candidate in marine engineering, your work will focus upon independent research on a topic related to your specialization. While you will likely take courses in advanced fluid mechanics and thermodynamics, the majority of your earned credit hours during this program will focus on completion of a qualifying examination in marine engineering, as well as your dissertation defense.

What marine engineering careers can I choose from?

Careers in this field offer a variety of challenging opportunities. Some of the best careers in marine engineering fall into the following categories:

Marine Engineer

Someone employed explicitly as marine engineer is charged with the design, development and maintenance of the mechanical components within all marine vessels. Marine engineering jobs typically require a bachelors in this discipline, but employers may voice a strong preference for a masters or greater. The average salary range for a marine engineer is $40,000 to $140,000.

Naval Architect

A naval architect shares responsibility with the marine engineer in the design and development of marine vessels, but focuses primarily with construction of the exterior of the vessel. The entry-level credential for a naval engineer is the bachelors degree, with years of professional experience counting equally as qualification. The marine engineering salary for this field ranges from $51,000 to $122,000.

Marine Surveyor

Surveyors in this field inspect marine vessels and their contents to ensure safety and to report on their condition. Bachelors degrees are often preferred by employers in this field, but professional expertise and experience is highly valued. Salaries for marine surveyors range from $36,000 to $118,000.

Is there anything else I should know about getting a degree in marine engineering?

While not all engineers choose to pursue licensure, some additional marine engineering training will offer greater compensation to applicants with a Professional Engineering license. The first step toward this type of engineering certification is to take the Fundamentals in Engineering examination. Upon passing the exam you will be considered an engineer in training until you accrue enough working hours to sit for your licensure exam. After that, you can get your marine engineering certification.

The American Society of Naval Engineers regularly offers professional development courses and continuing education learning credits at many of its events, including an annual conference. The society also offers a mentoring program that allows professional engineers to mentor student engineers throughout their educations and into the workforce.