A ship engineer is a professional responsible for the maintenance of a ship’s mechanical equipment. In general, the engineer on a ship is similar to the mechanic for an automobile – though the job tends to be a lot more complicated and involved, due to the complex nature of a ship’s engine as compared to a car one. Ship engineers often work in teams, lead by a Chief engineer, who has a number of engineers under his/her supervision. The job involves performing regular check-ups on the ship, repairing damage as it arises, and keeping an eye out for safety features.
Becoming a ship engineer is difficult and challenging. The education involved is similar to that given to most engineers, involving a great deal of mathematics, physics, as well as knowledge about ship engines, of course. Usually, some prior working experience related to mechanics is beneficial to candidates, and an additional degree related to engineering beside the one for ship engineering can also serve a candidate well.
Ship engineers are among the highest-paid crew members on a ship, typically earning between $55,000 – $96,000. The large gap between the different ends of the earning spectrum is dictated by the differences in ships’ organization and the funding behind each vessel’s company. In some cases, a ship engineer would have some incredible potential for advancing their career, while others just take up the job as a means of building up some reputation before moving to another company in a similar position.