What to expect from a career in Marine Engineering, Navigation or Mechanics

The marine industry offers a variety of career opportunities, whether you’re interested in working with your hands or operating sophisticated marine technology – or both. Marine programs at Ontario colleges give you the skills you need to work with the latest marine equipment or join a ship’s crew for a career in marine transport.

If you’re interested in starting an exciting career in the ever-evolving marine industry, here’s what you need to know.

Marine Courses

Ontario college marine programs are geared toward different careers in the marine industry. These include:

  • Marine Engineering. In marine engineering programs, students train to become engineering officers aboard marine vessels or for other positions in the marine industry. Skills learned include engineering systems training and ship operation using the latest technology. Courses will include electrical, electrical control and modulating control systems, welding, blueprint reading, machining, safety training and much more. Students will also complete a co-op component to gain real world experience aboard a ship or in another marine-related position.
  • Marine Navigation. Marine navigation programs prepare students to act as navigation officers aboard marine vessels, taking on the responsibility of understanding and adapting to oceanic factors (such as tides and channel formation) as well as operating sophisticated navigation technology. Marine navigation courses include coastal and ocean navigation, radar navigation, astronomy for navigation and more, as well as general seamanship classes like ship construction and survival craft operation. A co-op component will also be part of the program requirements.
  • Marine Mechanic. Marine mechanic programs teach students to repair and maintain marine engines. Students will learn about the different types of recreational marine engines as well as the principles of marine propulsion, fuel and electrical systems. Workshop, welding and electrical skills will also be part of the curriculum, and students will have the opportunity to practice these skills during a field placement. These programs can be used as preparation for marine or small engine technician apprenticeships.

General Marine Program Requirements

Marine programs at Ontario colleges typically require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, which includes a grade 12 English credit. Additional requirements will vary by program, but most require one or more senior level math credits and may also require senior level physics or chemistry credits.

Many marine programs also require a Transport Canada Marine Medical Examination Report to ensure students are physically prepared for on-board work on a ship.

Marine Jobs and Salaries

Marine programs lead to both domestic and international careers in the marine mechanic and shipping fields. These programs are very well respected in the industry and can be seen as a huge asset in moving from entry-level to more advanced positions.

Common job titles on board and ashore include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Engineering Officer
  • Navigation Officer
  • Marine Mechanic
  • Ship Officer

Salaries in the marine industry will vary, but are typically quite competitive. The average entry-level salary for marine mechanic and technician positions is around $35,000 per year. Ship personnel in more demanding positions (such as working in the Arctic for the Canadian Coast Guard) can have much higher salaries, between $40,000 and $100,000 per year.

Ontario Colleges Offering Marine Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of marine programs at Ontario colleges.

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