How to Make Money as a Ship Engineer

Ship engineers are also referred to as marine engineers. Their role includes designing various systems to power the boat. They also create reliable power machines for offshore drilling rigs.

Their responsibilities are more focused on the ship structure, not the individuals. They are also concerned with the shape and its reliability for transport. Technology has resulted in more advanced ships; therefore, there is an increase in the demand for ship engineers to address various system designs and installation issues.


If you are good at math and science and also have a love for ships, then this could be the perfect career choice for you. However, many people today base their career choices on how much money they will make, not just what they love to do. So, we are here to tell you how much you can expect to earn as a ship engineer. 

ship engineer

Job Overview

Ship Engineers are needed for modifying the ship engine and the propulsion systems to make them more energy-efficient. There is an estimated 17% increase and more than 1,000 ship engineers’ job opportunities as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Oversea transportation and offshore oil drilling companies also play a significant role in the ship engineer’s job demand.



Most ship engineers study for approximately seven years for a bachelor’s degree in engineering. They are equipped with substantial information on the systems and upgrades needed. Upon graduation, an internship is required to enhance skills and expertise. In some states, engineers who want to work on ships must pass the state exam for licensing.

Average salary

Engineers are among the top-paid employees in these companies. The average pay depends on the terms of the employment contract, certification, and experience. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, ship engineers earn $91,730 on average in annual salaries. However, wages can fall anywhere between $64,460 and $110,000.

According to the University of Michigan, researchers report ship engineers with master’s degrees to earn $71,400 while those with bachelor’s degrees make approximately $56,783.


Industry Compensation

Engineers also make a fortune through compensation from various employment parties. According to the BLS reports, the architectural and engineering firms employ nearly half of ship engineers. As of 2011, these engineers earned an average salary of $100,840 per year. Ship engineers working for the federal government are paid the highest average salary of $103,230. Inland water ship engineers earned $82,550 per year.

Other engineers working in the shipbuilding industry and sea and great lakes transportation earned an average salary of $69,940 and $85,530, respectively. Ship engineers working in these sectors can work fulltime, on a contract basis, or on a freelance basis.

How to Make Money as a Ship Engineer 1

State Compensation

The salary varies with geographic location and state. According to the BLS statistics, Michigan paid the highest average salary of $129,110 per year. Columbia and Maryland, on the other hand, paid $116,410 and $112 140 per year on average. Alabaman ship engineers received $58,400 per year.


Ship engineering is a diverse sector that provides different job opportunities in the transportation and oil drilling industry. If you are looking forward to starting your career as a ship engineer, seek connections with prominent companies after earning a degree. Go to various marine club meetings and make sure you have all of your documents in order.

Working as an engineer on a ship is a guarantee that you will make a lot of money. Technology and expansion in the oil and natural gas exploration industry guarantee long term job contracts for ship engineers. Get ready to work on a ship! It’s an exciting and adventurous career to be involved in.