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Occupation Details

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Marine Engineer

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, you may need to complete three - four years of college and work for several years in the career area to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€30k > 60
Engineer - Marine / Maritime
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€30 - 60
Related Information:
Entrants 30k - 35k
Experienced up to 60k
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Works on the design, development, production, maintenance and repair of machinery and equipment used at sea and on board sea vessels such as ships.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:1

Brendan Cavanagh
Ships Engineer
Brendan is currently a second engineer operating out of Killybegs in Donegal. He completed his Leaving Cert in Carndonagh Community School in 2001. He has studied several courses at the National Fisheries College and expects to complete his Class 1 Certificate next year.
Go to Interview

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Marine Engineer - from: YouTube Video
Go..Marine Engineer - from: BIM Ireland [Videos]

The Work header image

The Marine Engineer's principal concern is to carry out continuous maintenance and repairs to keep the main propulsion machinery operating safely and economically.  
The Marine Engineer's responsibilities also involve the maintenance of the ship's auxiliary machinery, including electricity generators, pumps, refrigerators, winches, and the ventilating system together with a range of other electronic and electrical equipment. At sea, the routine work in the engine room department is divided into watches.  
Merchant shipping legislation requires all Irish ships with a registered power in excess of 750kw to carry Engineer Officers with the appropriate certificate of competency.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Prepare, or direct the preparation of, product or system layouts and detailed drawings and schematics.


Inspect marine equipment and machinery to draw up work requests and job specifications.


Conduct analytical, environmental, operational, or performance studies to develop designs for products, such as marine engines, equipment, and structures.


Design and oversee testing, installation, and repair of marine apparatus and equipment.


Prepare plans, estimates, design and construction schedules, and contract specifications, including any special provisions.


Investigate and observe tests on machinery and equipment for compliance with standards.


Coordinate activities with regulatory bodies to ensure repairs and alterations are at minimum cost, consistent with safety.


Conduct environmental, operational, or performance tests on marine machinery and equipment.


Prepare technical reports for use by engineering, management, or sales personnel.


Maintain contact with, and formulate reports for, contractors and clients to ensure completion of work at minimum cost.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others: Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Provide Consultation and Advice to Others: Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.


Communicating with Persons Outside Organization: Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.


Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Scheduling Work and Activities: Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Engineering and Technology: Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.


Design: Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


Mechanical: Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.


Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Operations Analysis: Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.


Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

If you are someone who loves machinery, tinkering around and figuring out what makes things work, you might be just the kind of person who would take great satisfaction out of a career as a Marine Engineer. 

You will need a curious, analytical mind and a strong interest in how things work. You will need the ability to solve problems using the combination of a logical approach with creativity, imagination and an open mind.  
Marine engineering is a fast-changing area, so you must be willing to learn and develop new knowledge and keep up to date with advances in technology.  
You will need strong communication and interpersonal skills to work well in a team, especially if you serve at sea.  
You may be responsible for planning timetables and budgets, so you need good organisational, written and numerical skills. Computer skills to use a wide range of sophisticated information technology are helpful.  
You may supervise or train other engineers or engineering technicians, so you must have good leadership skills; you need to be able to encourage and motivate others. This job will also require normal colour vision.

Entry Routesheader image

NFQ Level 7 Marine Engineering is available at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) - see CR095

BIM also offer Marine Engineering courses - Level 5 Marine Engineering Processes; Compentency Engineer Officer (Fishing Vessel). Details available here.

It is possible to train as a Marine Engineering Cadet with the Irish Merchant Marine or the Navy.

Irish Engineer Cadets study for a B Eng. in Marine Engineering. This degree course, together with one further year spent at sea, constitutes the full programme for the Marine Engineers Cadet Training Scheme. Success in the Degree Examination merits consideration for exemption from certain parts of the Irish Department of the Marine’s Second Engineer Officer and Chief Engineer Officer Certificates of Competency The course aims to provide a sound knowledge of marine engineering and all aspects of maritime affairs. Additionally it provides a comprehensive engineering education as required by Marine Engineering Officers. Detailed information is available on the college website - See NMCI

Last Updated: July, 2015

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Marine Craftsperson - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Marine Engineer - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Marine Engineering Technician - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Merchant Navy Engineering Officer - from: N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: IMDO Irish Maritime Development Office
Address: Wilton Park House, Wilton Place D02 NT99, Dublin 2, Ireland
Tel: (01) 7753900
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM)
Address: Crofton House, Crofton Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
Tel: (01) 214 4100
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: National Maritime College of Ireland
Address: Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork
Tel: (021) 497 0600
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Bridget Gavin - Marine Engineer

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Maritime, Fishing & Aquaculture
Engineering & Manufacturing

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