Maritime Engineering Technician
Maritime engineering technicians support the work of maritime engineers in three main areas: offshore engineering, marine engineering and shore-based industries.
Also known as
- Engineering Technician, Marine
- Ship Engineering Technician
As a Maritime Engineering Technician, you will support the work of Maritime Engineers.
In offshore engineering, you may work as support maintenance staff, responsible for the complex equipment that is used on oil and gas wells.
The cost of oil and gas production is very high, so it's essential that faulty machinery does not interrupt production.
You might lead teams of Technicians and Mechanics in the regular servicing and maintenance of equipment, as well as in responding to emergency repairs.
You may also be involved in the construction and putting into service of fixed and mobile oil platforms and their systems, helping Engineers to find solutions to the problems posed by wind, waves, currents and the nature of the seabed.
In marine engineering, you are concerned with the construction and operation of a vessel's propulsion machinery and associated equipment and systems.
Sea Maritime Engineering Technicians work on a wide variety of vessels, including:
- cargo ships
- passenger liners
- pipelaying vessels
In the Royal Navy, you will work on aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates (warships), assault ships, mine-counter vessels or submarines anywhere in the world.
You are highly skilled, understanding the very complex mechanical, hydraulic, electronic and electrical equipment used by the Navy.
In the Merchant Navy, you will help Engineers to operate and maintain ships' propulsion machinery. You also help to manage electrical and electronic systems. You may work with on-board services such as passenger lifts and air conditioning systems.
In shore-based industries, some work in shipyards, supervising Craft Workers. You'll organise Craft Workers' schedules, solve any problems that come up and give advice on how to do particular tasks.
You may also be involved in quality control and assurance, checking standards throughout the construction process. You may work in design offices, supporting Design Engineers, for example, by providing information, revising technical drawings and maintaining computer software.
Maritime Engineering Technicians who work on ships or sea platforms spend relatively long periods away from home.
Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.
Personal Qualities and Skills
To become a Maritime Engineering Technician, you need:
- strong technical and practical skills
- an inquisitive, analytical mind
- the ability to solve problems by using a logical approach with creativity, imagination and an open mind
- to be willing to keep up to date with advances in technology
- good communication and interpersonal skills to work closely with Craft Workers, other Engineering Technicians, as well as Engineers and specialists from many different areas
- teamworking skills
- an awareness of health and safety procedures
- the ability to understand technical plans and drawings
- a willingness to travel and work at sea for periods of time
- strong computer skills to work with a wide range of sophisticated ICT
You may supervise teams of Craft Workers or other Technicians, so you should have the ability to motivate and encourage others.
You may need diving skills if your job involves underwater work.
Pay and Opportunities
The pay rates given below are approximate.
- Starting: £26,500 - £29,000
- With experience: £31,500 - £38,500
- Senior Maritime Engineering Technicians earn £41,500 - £45,500
Hours of work
Most Maritime Engineering Technicians work around 35-40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Early starts, late finishes, and some weekend work may be required. Some may have to work shifts.
Where could I work?
Employers are firms involved in shipbuilding and ship repair, for example, shipyards, repair yards, and manufacturers and suppliers of marine equipment.
Employers in the offshore industry include major oil and gas companies and service/supply companies.
There are also opportunities with the Merchant Navy and the Royal Navy.
Opportunities occur for Maritime Engineering Technicians to become self-employed, usually in engine and equipment repair for small vessels.
Where are vacancies advertised?
Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, trade industry publications, at Jobcentre Plus and on the Find a Job website.
Vacancies can also be found through specialist engineering recruitment agencies, internet job boards and the websites of professional engineering bodies and maritime organisations.
GreenJobs is a job board aimed at people interested in green careers:
Entry Routes and Training
An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship is a great place to start. Take a look at our information article
You may also be able to enter employment as a trainee, receiving day or block release to go to college part-time.
Another entry route is to take a full-time college course, leading to a relevant A level or BTEC qualification (for example, engineering) before looking for employment.
The Merchant Navy recruits trainee Engineers. The Merchant Navy Training Board co-ordinates training and sponsorship schemes.
There are several routes of entry to the Royal Navy. Contact the Royal Navy to find out which is the most appropriate route for you.
You may be able to work towards a relevant work-based qualification, such as marine engineering.
Professional registration - known as EngTech - is available for those who have joined a professional engineering institution licensed by the Engineering Council.
You also need to complete a relevant Advanced Apprenticeship; or hold a qualification such as the BTEC level 3 certificate or diploma in engineering or construction and the built environment, alongside relevant experience.
You can apply if you don't have a qualification, but you need to have substantial work experience.
Full details on how to register as an EngTech are available in the Engineering Council's UK-SPEC document, which can be viewed on their website.
In the Merchant Navy, the Merchant Navy Training Board co-ordinates training and sponsorship schemes. Trainees spend time at sea and at college, gaining recognised qualifications.
Previous experience working in an engineering environment would be really useful for this career.
With further education and training, you can go on to register at Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and Chartered Engineer (CEng) level.
To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.
The Royal Navy has an upper age limit of 36 years to enter as a marine engineering technician.
No specific academic qualifications are required. However, candidates with the aptitude to pass an Advanced Level Apprenticeship or foundation degree are likely to progress quickly.
Information on pathways to registration as an Engineering Technician (EngTech) can be found on the Engineering Council's website.
- 2% of people in occupations such as maritime engineering technician work part-time.
- 16% have flexible hours.
Professional institutionsProfessional institutions have the following roles:
- To support their members.
- To protect the public by keeping standards high in their professions.
For more information on the institution(s) relevant to this career, check out the contacts below.
Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far
National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
Tel: 0800 015 0400
Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 9178000
Skills for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies
Address: 14 Upton Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0JT
Tel: 0845 6439001
Engineering technology news
Publisher: EngineeringUK and Royal Academy of Engineering
Publisher: Venture Marketing Group
Address: 105 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1QL
Tel: 0141 2213181
Address: 246 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EX
Tel: 020 3206 0500
Engineering Training Council Northern Ireland (ETC NI)
Northern Ireland Enquiries
Address: Sketrick House, Ards Business Park, Jubilee Road, Newtownards BT23 4YH
Tel: 028 9182 2377
Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB)
Address: 30 Park Street, London SE1 9EQ
Maritime UK Careers
Tel: 020 7417 2837
Tel: 0207 997 7624
Tel: 0845 6075555
British Marine Federation (BMF)
Address: Marine House, Thorpe Lea Road, Egham, Surrey TW20 8BF
Tel: 01784 473377
Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST)
Address: Aldgate House, 33 Aldgate High Street, London EC3N 1EN
Tel: 020 7382 2600
Publisher: Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST)
Your Future in the Boating Industry
Publisher: British Marine Federation (BMF)
International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA)
Address: 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU
Tel: 020 7824 5520
Society for Underwater Technology (SUT)
Address: 1 Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1BR
Tel: 020 3440 5535
Tel: 01224 787830
Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) Aberdeen Branch
Address: Enterprise Centre, Exploration Drive, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen AB23 8GX
Tel: 01224 823637
Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 028 4844