- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
- analytical thinking skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative
- thinking and reasoning skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- business management skills
- knowledge of engineering science and technology
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Your work will depend on which level of engineer you are:
- As chief engineer you’ll be planning engineering tasks and allocating staff
- As second engineer you’ll be supervising the day-to-day duties of staff and engine crew
- As third engineer you’ll be helping the second officer and looking after electrical systems and machinery
- As junior/fourth engineer you’ll be carrying out general machinery maintenance, often the first posting for an officer trainee
Your role could also include:
- running maintenance checks on machinery and systems
- responding to equipment failure alerts and repairing faults
- maintaining fuel levels and stocks of spare parts
- updating record management systems
- mentoring and supporting trainees
You may need to wear protective clothing and a uniform.
You could work on a ship.
Your working environment may be cramped, at height, outdoors in all weathers and you may spend nights away from home.
With experience, you could become captain or chief engineer. You could also work towards chartered status with the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST).
If you decide to work onshore, you could move into management, ship surveying, lecturing or research.