Career Prospects In Marine Engineering Companies
Marine engineering is a fascinating and very diverse branch of engineering that offers a truly international career path for experienced professionals and recent graduates. One of the great benefits of working in a global industry is the ability to ride out downturns and fluctuations in any national economy by working in whichever sector and locality is currently flourishing.
There are some established global centres for marine engineering companies including Dubai and the Middle East, where the industry has grown to service the offshore, port and shipping requirements of the oil and gas majors. Engineers in other disciplines can take advantage of a new short training course run jointly by LOC and Drydocks World that gives first-hand knowledge of ship repair, deep sea installations, rigs, offshore units and how a port operates. This is a valuable opportunity for engineers to see whether they would enjoy a change of career by moving into a new and vibrant professional environment.
Alternative Career Pathways
Another career pathway for Brits is to take up training as an engineer with the Royal or Merchant Navy. After their training and service, many of these officers choose to move into the private sector, where they can enjoy higher salaries; however, unlike the Royal Navy, most employers do not provide a tot of rum every day! As Navy officers, they are already familiar with the demands of global travel; therefore, employers do not run the risk of their new employee discovering they do not like being away from their home base for extended periods.
This is also an industry that allows you to join at a junior level and progress upwards through career experience and further education and training. Marine apprentices who have completed their apprenticeships successfully can often find that their employer is willing to at least part-sponsor an engineering degree course.
Industry Bodies Play a Key Part in Professional Development
Even those engineers with their eyes firmly set on becoming the next generation of chief operating officers at large-scale marine engineering companies will find that they need to carry on learning all the way through their career. If the employee’s interest is in engineering challenges, the career path involves working towards becoming an incorporated or chartered engineer, which means registering with the relevant industry organisation, such as the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST). These bodies are rich sources of career development expertise and can also help engineers to network with others in their specialism.
Incorporated engineers tend to be involved in managing operations day to day. Chartered engineers tend to be more involved in strategy and their roles might involve planning new projects, advising on applications of current research, or new business developments.
The UK National Careers Service has some interesting statistics on the UK marine engineering jobs market, including the fact that there is a substantial predicted employment rise for science and engineering jobs between now and 2021. There has never been a better time to specialise in this rewarding area of engineering.