Shoreside Job Opportunities? No Engineering Degree

Hello, I am planning on going to GLMA for their Engine program. I will be graduating with a BS in Maritime Technology.

After sailing 5/10 years as an assistant/chief engineer. What are some shoreside job opportunities paired with the BS in Maritime Technology but not an engineering degree like mechanical/marine?

I got a B in Trigonometry but I don’t think I can do Calculus 1/2/3 and college-level physics/chemistry 1/2 which is required for engineering degrees at the other academies. Hence, why I chose GLMA.

I want to sail, I just want to prepare for when its time to settle down.

I’m ex-Navy as well if that matters.

Very Respectfully,

I would think where you live would attribute as much as the degree. Ex-Navy with NAVSEA, licensed sailing experience and a clearance will open many doors for you in areas like Hampton Roads, VA.

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I am sure US Army Corps of Engineers will be more than happy to hire you when time comes. They have dozens if not hundreds of openings all over the country.

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I mean this respectfully…if you’re looking at 4 years of school followed by 5-10 years of sailing…you’re asking about a job market 9-14 years down the road. No one can answer that question. The job opportunities will likely be similar whether Maritime Tech or Marine Eng.

Don’t get me wrong, you’re 100% right to consider the future in current decisions. But in that amount of time you might love going to sea and keep going; you might hate it and have quit long before; there might be industries that don’t exist right now; you could gain experience offshore that’s can be leveraged within your company or outside of it.

If you think Maritime Tech is your best suited avenue to getting the license and going to sea, then go for it. It’s the experience and what you attain after that that will matter to the next employer/industry. Education usually falls towards the bottom of the resume.

Guys I’ve sailed with have gone to Nuc Plants, Steam Plants, Offshore Wind, Facility Management, you name it. Offshore wind didn’t exist when I graduated, but I know former classmates who are walking into shoreside management jobs, not because their degree says Marine Engineering, but because they are eminently qualified after what it took to get and sail as Chief. Most facilities/resorts/campuses would kill for an ex-mariner who knows the finer points of pumps/motors/chillers/risk management/people management.


You might want to check with the math department. College 101 level trig classes can be a difficult as calculus.


College calculus can be done with brute force determination. I hated calculus, never got higher than a B, and ended up doing something like 9 semesters of it between high school, college & nuke school. Through in a few semesters of P-chem & physics that were calc heavy as well.

You don’t have to be a genius to get through engineering or hard science classes, determination will go a long way to make up for brains.

I’ve worked as an ‘engineer’ for almost 20 years without an actual engineering degree. Chem degree + 6 yr nuke JO = engineer. Like shipengr said, I got my job because of people skills, writing ability and tech knowledge, in that order. The nice thing about engineering is that it doesn’t take much to have above average people skills. :rofl: My boss sure doesn’t.

By the way, chem 115/physics 111 are not that hard. Education majors can do it. If you were a sailor and have some semblance of logical thinking skills and a half way decent memory, you can. They aren’t going to make you take organic chemistry.


There will always be jobs for people who can fix things, understand how things work, can manage more than one thing at a time(operate an engineroom).
Been doing the ship engineer/power plant/margarine factory/port engineer/repair consultant/estimator/SME gig for a very long time. Work tends to find you rather than you having to find it.

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Shipboard engineering experience will open quite a few doors shore side. I transitioned to a Power Plant Operator position after sailing for 13 years. There is always a need for people with our varied skill sets. Power plants, manufacturing, building maintenance, and waste water are all industries that are hurting for talent. Most of the current workforce in these sectors are hitting retirement age with no new blood to fill those spots.

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