Students in a marine engineering bachelor's program can expect to complete at least 1-2 years of basic engineering and mathematics courses before they learn how to apply concepts about operating systems in craft to marine structures specifically. Students often must participate in lab or hands-on experiences or projects, in which they might be expected to head the design of a proposed watercraft. A 4-year undergraduate major in marine engineering can prepare students for careers designing and constructing watercraft. Prerequisites include a high school diploma and high standardized test scores. Students pursuing a master's in this field must take pre-engineering general education college courses.
Bachelor's Degree in Marine Engineering
Many of the courses involved in a marine engineering bachelor's degree program are technical and scientific in nature. For instance, the core courses in a bachelor's degree program in marine engineering offer students a chance to learn about how physics, calculus, technical writing, and mechanical engineering can be used to design the operating systems of different boats. Some core engineering courses include:
- Marine design methods
- Differential equations
- Fluid mechanics
- Control circuits and electric machinery
- Ship dynamics
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts an employment growth of 9% for marine engineers and naval architects for the years 2014 through 2024. The BLS also notes that the median annual wage for these workers was $93,110 in 2015.
Two common types of graduate degrees available for aspiring marine engineers include a Master of Marine Engineering and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture. Each program lasts about two years and prepares students to provide advanced scientific and engineering principles to the technical craft of boat designing and construction. The point of many master's degrees in the field of marine engineering is to provide students with a pre-professional education and prepare them to enter the field directly as marine engineers.
A bachelor's degree in marine engineering affords students the experience and knowledge they need to pursue a career in designing marine craft, allowing them to become anything from marine engineers to consultants for the manufacture of boats. Graduates may want to pursue a master's in the same field for further knowledge and experience.