Marine engineers operate and maintain engines on board ships and are responsible for their safe, efficient and cost-effective operation. The job involves the operation, inspection, testing, maintenance and repair of mechanical and electrical equipment, operating systems and auxiliary equipment. Marine engineers’ tasks vary according to their level of qualifications and the size and utilization of ships. Marine engineer is a certified professional title.

Engineers work on fishing, transport and passenger ships, in power plants, power plants and elsewhere where requirements are made for extensive knowledge of mechanical and technical equipment. They may also perform sales jobs for companies that import or manufacture machinery and hardware.

There are four levels of marine engineers’ qualifications:

“A” qualifications extend to ships with propulsion power of up to 750 kW

“B” qualifications extend to ships with propulsion power of up to 1,500 kW

“C” qualifications extend to ships with propulsion power of 750 up to 3,000 kW

“D” qualifications are unlimited

Main tasks
  • management and operation of mechanical, electrical and auxiliary equipment
  • responding to failures in mechanical and electrical equipment
  • ensuring that the operation of the equipment meets requirements for safety and pollution prevention
  • responsibility for the organization and tasks of engineering shifts and the training of subordinates
  • ensuring that there is an adequate supply of spare parts on board
Competence requirements

A marine engineer must have knowledge and skills in accordance with the qualification level, as larger ships come with more diverse and complex equipment and a greater emphasis on management.


Marine engineering study programs are available at Fjölbrautaskóli Norðurlands vestraFjölbrautaskóli SuðurnesjaFramhaldsskólinn í Vestmannaeyjum, Menntaskólinn á Ísafirði, Framhaldsskólinn í A-Skaftafellssýslu (A – qualifications) and Verkmenntaskóli Austurlands (A and B qualifications ), Tækniskólinn and Verkmenntaskólinn á Akureyri  (A – D qualifications ). Validation of prior learning has taken place and/or may be available.

Marine engineering
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