About a century ago no one would have heard about a marine engineer, but today it is a profession which is as established as any other famous ones. Over the last 100 years, engineering as a field of study has developed and diversified far beyond what could have been imagined prior to this period. Marine engineering is the branch of study that deals with the design, development, production and maintenance of the equipments used at sea and on board sea vessels like boats, ships etc. As a matter of fact, it is quite a vast field and it also has many sister arenas like naval architecture and nautical science. .
A marine engineer is a professional who is responsible for the operation, maintenance and repair of all major mechanical and engineered equipments on board a ship. There are many mechanical systems that help in the operations of any vessel like the propulsion mechanics, electricity and power generation system, lubrication, fuel systems, water distillation, lighting and air conditioning system etc. These are all included in the technical responsibilities of a marine engineer.
The various posts offered in the field of Marine engineering are Chief Engineer, Second Engineer, Third Engineer, Fourth Engineer and Junior (Fifth) Engineer. In Merchant navy ships, the career path of a Marine engineer progresses periodically by undergoing several examinations conducted by the Directorate General of Shipping, Ministry of Surface Transport, Government of India. With experience, capability and job opportunities available, he can become second engineer and ultimately the Chief Engineer which is the highest post, within 6-7 years.
Marine Engineers are also employed in the areas of designing, research and consultancy. They have opportunities in designing and building firms and even in the teaching or training profession. They can also opt for any job that a mechanical or electrical engineering graduate hunt for.
Marine Engineers have lucrative career options abroad also. The American Bureau of Shipping, an internationally recognized organization, recruits freshers and trainees with almost no experience. The bureau deals with developing rules based on principles of naval architecture, marine engineering and related subjects. Other countries like France and U.K also recruit young marine engineers.