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Marine EngineerAlternative titles

Mataaro Kaipuke

This job is sometimes referred to as:

Fishing Industry Marine Engineer
Merchant Navy Marine Engineer
Naval Engineer
Restricted Limit Vessel Marine Engineer
Ship's Engineer
Shore-based Marine Engineer

Marine engineers build, maintain, service and repair engines, as well as mechanical and electronic equipment on yachts, boats and ships.

Contact us

Call us on 0800 222 733

What are the chances of getting a job?


Chances of getting a job as a marine engineer are good due to a shortage of people in the role.

According to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates, the number of marine engineers increased by about 9% between 2010 and 2012.

Despite increasing numbers of people in the role, demand for marine engineers still exceeds supply. As a result, ship's engineer (marine engineer) appears on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled ship's engineers from overseas to work in New Zealand.

Types of employers varied

Employers of marine engineers include:

  • shore-based marine engineering companies
  • fishing companies
  • coastal shipping companies
  • oil and gas industry companies.


  • Immigration New Zealand, 'Long-term Skill Shortage List', accessed March 2013, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2013.

Current vacancies

GRADUATE - Structural Engineer 2014/2015 Listed: 20 Nov 2014 Taranaki
Sheetmetal Foreman – Orca Rotorua Listed: 20 Nov 2014 Bay Of Plenty
Diesel Engineer Listed: 14 Nov 2014 Auckland
Electrical Engineer – Top company, ongoing opps Listed: 10 Nov 2014 Northland
Solutions Engineer Listed: 10 Nov 2014 Wellington
Software Development Team Leader Listed: 06 Nov 2014 Canterbury
Diesel Mechanic Listed: 05 Nov 2014 Canterbury

Other vacancy websites

Progression and specialisations

Marine engineers can advance to work on larger and more complex vessels, or can move into engineering work in other industries.

Marine engineers may specialise in the following roles:

Fishing Industry Marine Engineer
Fishing industry marine engineers work on vessels ranging from small inshore fishing boats to large factory trawlers.
Merchant Navy Marine Engineer
Merchant navy marine engineers work on merchant ships in coastal waters and overseas, including cruise liners and superyachts.
Restricted-limit Vessel Marine Engineer
Restricted-limit vessel marine engineers work on vessels in restricted waters, such as harbour tugs and ferries, charter launches or small cargo ships.
Shore-based Marine Engineer
Shore-based marine engineers work on vessels when they are in dry dock.

How many people are doing this job?

Year 2012
Year 2011
Year 2010
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.

Updated 14 Aug 2013