Is becoming an ocean engineer right for me?

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What do ocean engineers do?

Still unsure if becoming an ocean engineer is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become an ocean engineer or another similar career!

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How to become an Ocean Engineer

Becoming an ocean engineer involves a combination of education, practical experience, and professional development. Here are the general steps to pursue a career as an ocean engineer:

  • Educational Background: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Ocean Engineering, Marine Engineering, or a related field. Some common majors include mechanical engineering, civil engineering with a focus on coastal or marine engineering, or naval architecture. Ensure that the program is accredited by a recognized accreditation body.
  • Gain Relevant Experience: Seek internships, co-op programs, or entry-level positions in engineering firms, research institutions, or government agencies. Practical experience is crucial for applying theoretical knowledge and building practical skills.
  • Specialization and Advanced Education (Optional): Consider pursuing a master's or doctoral degree for specialized knowledge and to enhance career prospects, especially if interested in research or advanced roles. Specializations may include marine structures, offshore engineering, naval architecture, or oceanography.
  • Participate in Professional Organizations: Join professional organizations related to ocean engineering, such as the Marine Technology Society (MTS) or the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE). Attend conferences, workshops, and networking events to connect with professionals in the field.
  • Obtain Professional Licensure (Optional): While licensure is not always required for ocean engineers, obtaining a Professional Engineer (PE) license can enhance career opportunities, especially for those involved in public projects or consulting. Check the licensing requirements in the state where you plan to work.
  • Seek Career Opportunities: Explore job opportunities in government agencies, private companies involved in offshore energy, maritime construction, or consulting firms. Look for positions that align with your interests and career goals.

While specific certifications for ocean engineers may not be as standardized as in some other engineering fields, there are several relevant certifications and credentials that can enhance your skills and marketability. Here are some certifications that may be beneficial:

  • Engineer-in-Training (EIT) or Fundamentals of Engineering (FE): Although not specific to ocean engineering, obtaining EIT or FE certification is often a crucial step towards earning a Professional Engineer (PE) license, which can be valuable for certain roles and projects.
  • Professional Engineer (PE) License: While not always mandatory, obtaining a PE license can be advantageous for ocean engineers, especially those involved in public projects, consulting, or where a professional stamp is required. Requirements vary by state, and obtaining a PE license typically involves passing the PE exam and meeting education and experience criteria.
  • Certified Marine Technologist (CMarTech): Offered by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST), the CMarTech certification is designed for professionals in the marine sector, including marine engineers. It demonstrates a commitment to professional development and high standards in the industry.
  • Project Management Professional (PMP): A PMP certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) can be beneficial for ocean engineers involved in project management roles. It demonstrates expertise in project planning, execution, and completion.
  • American Welding Society (AWS) Certification: For ocean engineers involved in marine structural engineering, obtaining AWS certifications, such as Certified Welding Inspector (CWI), can be valuable for ensuring the quality of welding processes in marine construction projects.
  • Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) Certification: Relevant for those working in offshore engineering, an OIM certification demonstrates competency in managing offshore installations, ensuring safety, and overseeing operations. Certification requirements may vary based on the certifying body.
  • Remote Pilot Certificate (Part 107): If involved in the operation of unmanned aerial systems (drones) for marine surveying or inspection purposes, obtaining a Remote Pilot Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is essential.
  • Certification in Geographic Information Systems (GIS): For ocean engineers involved in geospatial analysis, obtaining a GIS certification can enhance skills related to mapping, spatial analysis, and data visualization.