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    Career Option - Marine Engineering
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    Three quarters of the earths surface is surrounded by water and for that reason itself Marine engineering is a very exciting and challenging field for those who are passionate about sea and are fond of working with tools. Even though waterways are comparatively used less for traveling, above 80% of the goods transportation happens through sea. For international export and import of freights, countries mainly depend on ships and other water vessels. Marine Engineering is the most basic profession as far as ships and navigation is concerned.

    Marine engineering is a branch of Engineering that deals with nautical architecture and science. The term 'Marine Engineering' is meant for research conducted in oceans and coastal or inland waters connected to the sea. Marine Engineering courses deal with construction and maintenance of ships and other sailing vessels. The three professions, i.e Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering and Ocean Engineering are interrelated and sometimes may be confusing. Naval Architects are those who are involved with basic ship design, starting with hull forms and overall arrangements, power requirements, structure and stability. Ocean Engineers study the ocean environment to determine its effects on ships and other marine vehicles and structures. They may design and operate stationary ocean platforms, or manned or remote-operated sub-surface vehicles used for deep sea exploration.

    Marine Engineers have the complete responsibility of the ship's technical management. They are responsible for selecting the ships' machinery, which may include diesel engines, steam turbines, gas turbines; and for the design of mechanical, electrical, fluid and control systems throughout the vessel. They are the members of a ship's crew who are in charge for managing a team of marine technicians and craftspeople. The construction, operations and maintenance of the engine room are the main obligation of a Marine engineer. That means the Marine engineer deals with the technical area of the ship. In fact, they are the overall in charge of the engine and its crew, and ensure the safety and standards of the marine body. The role of Marine Engineers has widened and smoothened with modern development and electronic navigation.

    A four year BE in Marine Engineering is the basic educational qualification needed to become a Marine engineer. This is a career that offers vast job opportunities including off-shore jobs and the most attractive part is its huge remuneration and NRI status. Many Indian and foreign institutes offer courses in Marine Engineering. Immense job opportunities are awaiting for Marine engineers and they have nearly 100% placement rates. The demand for Marine Engineers in public and private shipping companies has risen sharply, with the increase in international global sea traffic.

    Eligibility : BE in Marine Engineering / Nautical Science and PG Diploma in Mechanical Engineering are the basic qualifications to become a Marine Engineer. The minimum educational qualifications for pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Engineering or Nautical science is plus two or equivalent with high percentage of marks in science subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. These courses are of 4 years duration. Chennai School of Ship Management offer Alternate Training Scheme (ATS) of three years to become a Marine Engineer.

    Good health is required to be a good Marine Engineer. Physical fitness is a must and there are certain medical norms that need to be met to get entry into the Marine Engineering courses. The minimum height should be 150cms with correlated weight and proportionate chest with minimum 5-cm expansion. He should also pass a medical fitness test for sea service under standard norms and with eyesight 6/6 with no colour blindness.

    T S Chanakya, Mumbai, and the Marine Engineering Research Institute (MERI), Calcutta are the two main training centres for Marine Engineers, be Most institutes admit candidates through an entrance examination, which is normally held in the month of May every year at various centres all over India followed by viva-voice and medical examination. Selection to T S Chanakya and MERI is made through the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) conducted annually by IIT. After applying to IIT for appearing in JEE, candidates are required to submit a separate application to the Directorate General of Shipping, Jahaz Bhavan, W.H Marg, Mumbai 400 001. The Alternate Training Scheme (ATS) of Chennai School of Ship Management was structured by International Maritime Organisation.

    Those who have BE in Marine engineering and a passion for academics can pursue post graduation (i.e ME in Marine engineering) which is of two years duration and Ph.D. Educational qualification for M.E and Ph.D, is BE in Marine Engineering and ME in Engineering respectively. Many institutes in India and abroad offer these courses. 

    Course Details : A course in Marine engineering deals with the training leading to careers in ship repair and ship operation. The candidates are given a knowledge of fairly high standards in fundamental engineering sciences, specialised knowledge of theoretical and practical marine engineering and also a basic knowledge of social sciences and humanities. In addition to this, the course entitles the trainees to acquire the competencies prescribed by the Standards of Training, Certification and watch-keeping for sea-farers.

    Personal skill:

    In order to become a Marine engineer, a person should possess some essential personal attributes. Good English language proficiency and physical fitness is a must. They should have excellent technical knowledge, math and IT skills. A marine engineer should have organising quality, team spirit and practical thinking and common sense. He should possess an aptitude to be calm under pressure and should know how to manage the situation. Once in the profession he should always update his knowledge and should be aware of the latest developments. As they are working with big equipments and engines, patience is another essential skill that Marine engineers should have. They should have an awareness of health and safety procedures. More over he should enjoy sea travel and should be dedicated to his job.

    Job Prospects and Career Options : Marine engineers are responsible for the design and construction of ships, the construction of ports and waterfront cargo facilities, and the operation of ships and support vessels. They design, construct and develop nautical equipments. They are the persons who are responsible for selecting the ships machinery, which may include diesel engines, steam turbines, gas turbines or nuclear reactors. They are also responsible for the design of mechanical, electrical, fluid and control systems throughout the vessel. They should also make sure of the safety of the ship while it is in the sea.

    Public and private shipping companies are the main hirers of Marine engineers. Navy, engine production firms, ship building and designing firms, research bodies are some of the other firms where Marine engineers are highly in demand. Marine Engineers can take up employment in different foreign and Indian shipping companies and with the port and harbor departments. The latest developments in moving natural gas from ports to the pipeline, offer excellent opportunity for future graduates looking to work portside. They are in great demand in the oil and gas industry, where they have to design and build pipelines and other equipments.

    The various posts offered in the field of Marine engineering are Chief Engineer, Second Engineer, Third Engineer, Fourth Engineer and Junior (Fifth) Engineer. In Merchant navy ships, the career path of a Marine engineer progresses periodically by undergoing several examinations conducted by the Directorate General of Shipping, Ministry of Surface Transport, Government of India. After passing Class IV - Part A examination, a candidate with a four year BE course will be appointed as a Junior Engineer Officer as he is a beginner in this profession. After successfully completing Class IV - Part B examination, he becomes qualified to sail as Watch Keeping Engineer Officer. With experience, capability and job opportunities available, he can become second engineer and ultimately the Chief Engineer which is the highest post, within 6-7 years.

    Chief Engineer would be in charge of supervision in which he should make sure the safe running of all engines, machinery and all other equipments on the ship. The second Engineer will take care of the daily work of engine room. As the third engineer is in charge of the main engine, the fourth engineer will be responsible for the generators and the small pumps. The junior Engineers are the trainees. The people who join with out a license is the other category called as engineering cadets.

    Marine Engineers are also employed in the areas of designing, research and consultancy. They have opportunities in designing and building firms and even in the teaching or training profession. They can also opt for any job that a mechanical or electrical engineering graduate hunt for. 

    Marine Engineers have lucrative career options abroad also. The American Bureau of Shipping, an internationally recognized organization, recruits freshers and trainees with almost no experience. The bureau deals with developing rules based on principles of naval architecture, marine engineering and related subjects. Other countries like France and U.K also recruit young marine engineers.

    Remuneration : Marine Engineering is one of the well-paid careers in the field of engineering. At the entry level itself, a Marine engineer receives excellent pay package. A junior engineer can earn around Rs 25000 – 30000 per month in Indian ships and around Rs 74000 in foreign ships. A chief engineer will get up to Rs 1,85000 per month.

    Paid holidays for around six months is the most attractive part of this career. The job market of Marine engineering is secure compared to all other engineering fields. Another advantage of this career is that by virtue of travelling in a ship for more than six months, a person gets NRI status and thus the remuneration he gets is exempted from tax. 






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