Over 15,000 kilometres of coastline and Kiwis’ great love of the water offer many opportunities to build a career in the maritime sector

Marine Engineers


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What does it involve?

Marine engineers run and maintain all the ships systems including the engines, pumps, and all electrical equipment on-board the vessel. They have knowledge of: mechanical engineering, pneumatic and hydraulic machinery, how to operate and fix electronic and electrical equipment, safety regulations and procedures, firefighting, first aid and survival skills, home and foreign port regulations.

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Typical day

Usually shift work on the vessel but may be an 8-hour day. Marine engineers may fabricate, repair, maintain and diagnose machinery, maintain controls and alarms, maintain services at sea, supervise other crew and train them in routine and emergency duties.

How much could I earn?

  • Newly Qualified

    $60k- $80k

  • 5 years experience

    $80k- $180k

Does this sound like you?

Study areasAttributesHelpful experiencePreferred work environments
  • Maths, Accounting or Economics
  • Sciences or Workshop Technology
  • Confident communicator
  • Good at precision work
  • Reasonable strength and fitness
  • Good at problem solving/creative
  • Making or fixing things
  • Working with machinery
  • Working with computers
  • Crewing in an engine room is a good idea
  • Inside (workshop or plant)
  • Outside (marine)

Career pathway

SchoolEntry level jobsAdvancing jobsSenior jobs
  •  NCEA passes (preferably Level 2) in:
  • Maths
  • Science (Physics)
  • Technology (Metal Work)
  • English
  • Marine Engineer Class 5 & 6
  • Marine Engineer Class 3 & 4
  • Electro-Technical Officer
  • Marine Chief Engineer Class
  • 1 & 2
Unit/Achievement standards in schoolsTraineeshipHigher learningHigher learning

What do we offer?

We partner with industry associations like the Maritime and Seafood Educators Association and members of your industry to help recruit and build talented employees. This support includes promoting careers in your industry, identifying potential learners, and encouraging work placements.

We also ensure your industry’s qualifications continue to meet needs, support industry events like conferences and regularly celebrate your learners’ success.

When apprentices enrol, we assign them a Competenz account manager. Our account managers understand the industry and the skills learners and businesses need.

Training involves three parts:

  1. Doing the job
  2. Logging the necessary sea-hours
  3. Passing the relevant Maritime NZ exam

You could start as crew or study full time.