• Ship Mechanic/Engineer Job Description

    A ship engineer is someone who designs, builds, tests and repairs inboard or outboard ship engines and their electrical and mechanical parts. A ship mechanic is someone who tests and repairs ship engines.

    A ship mechanic/engineer should be responsible, analytical, methodical and accurate, and have strong mechanical aptitude and the ability to use a variety of technical tools to diagnose and solve ship engine and machinery problems. They should be reasonable fit and healthy, as they may work at heights and in confined spaces, and lift heavy objects.

  • What does a Ship Mechanic/Engineer do?

    ship mechanics/engineers may do some or all of the following:

    • design and build new ship engines and components
    • conduct operational tests and monitor engine performance for signs of faults
    • diagnose engine and machinery problems
    • repair and service engines and engine parts, petrol systems and clutch assemblies
    • repair and service marine transmissions, propeller drives and jet drive propulsion systems and trailers
    • install and repair marine electrical, electronic and ignition systems, and inboard marine hull equipment and instruments
    • maintain logs and other records tracking the ships maintenance and repairs
    • supervise other engineers and mechanics
  • Where does a Ship Mechanic/Engineer work?
  • Working Conditions

    Ship mechanics/engineers may work normal business hours, but may also work overtime and irregular hours during emergencies. They work in workshops and in the engine rooms of ships, which can be hot and noisy. They usually travel and can be away from home for an extended period of time, as they are required to travel with the ship.

  • What is Required to Become a Ship Mechanic/Engineer?

    To become a ship engineer, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering or a related discipline, while to become a ship mechanic you will need to obtain a certificate or diploma in marine technology or a related discipline from a maritime academy or learn the job under the supervision of an experienced mechanic.

  • Modules

    Just to give you an idea, some of the classes that you’ll be taking in a maritime academy may include:

    • Small gasoline engine repair
    • Small diesel engine repair
    • Fuel system repair
    • Marine outboard motors
    • Marine electronic systems
    • Thermal dynamics
    • Electrical engineering
    • Gas turbines
    • Ship systems
    • Hydraulics
    • Engineering mechanics
    • Instrumentation
  • Specializations
  • Knowledge, Skills and Attributes

    Ship mechanics/engineers need to have:

    • patience
    • adaptability
    • diligence
    • dexterity and agility
    • honesty and dependability
    • precision and accuracy
    • self motivation
    • mechanical aptitude
    • physical strength and stamina
    • good eyesight and normal color vision
    • good hand-eye coordination
    • good attention to detail
    • good interpersonal skills
    • good listening and communication skills
    • good judgment and decision making skills
    • analytical and problem solving skills
    • math and computer skills
    • time management and organizational skills
    • observational skills
    • the ability to work well under pressure
    • the ability to read mechanical diagrams, schematics and instructions, and solve problems
    • the ability to read and interpret precision measuring instruments accurately
    • knowledge of mechanical engineering
    • knowledge of marine engine systems
    • knowledge of electrical, transmission and fluid systems
    • knowledge of scuba diving
    • knowledge of safety regulations and procedures


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Alternative Careers
  • Ship Captain
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  • Locomotive Mechanic
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