What do coffee, bananas, oil and coal have in common? Like around half of all German imported products, they reach us by sea – mostly on huge container ships. But people still travel by ship too. In Germany alone, more than ten million passengers board a ferry every year to get from A to B. And vacation on the cruise ship is still extremely popular.
The ships themselves are of course a prerequisite for the safe transport of goods and people by sea. Specially trained engineers design and build them: the ship technicians.
The study of ship technology at a glance
According to Ehuacom.com, ship technology can be studied at universities all over Germany, but especially at universities and technical colleges near the coast . It belongs to the large area of engineering and is a sub-area of mechanical engineering. Accordingly, there are independent courses in the field of ship technology, as well as the option of choosing the subject as a focus in a mechanical engineering course.
Many universities divide marine technology into further sub-categories :
- The shipbuilding : It deals mainly with the outer parts of ships.
- The Marine engineering : It deals with the machines inside the ship, such as the navigation or the turbines.
- The marine technology : It focuses for example on shipyards or on the construction of oil rigs.
The bachelor’s degree
As in all engineering courses, basic subjects such as math , physics , electrical engineering or mechanics are on the schedule at the beginning of the bachelor’s degree . The students also learn to make designs with the help of special computer programs and already have special subjects such as materials science .
In the higher semesters, students learn how to build ships or individual ship parts. Aspects such as buoyancy or ship equipment also play a role here. At each university there are different options for specializing. The offer includes subjects as diverse as yacht design or port operations . Most universities also offer additional modules in business administration , law or project management , which are intended to optimally prepare students for the world of work.
The master’s degree
With a bachelor’s degree in their pocket, ship technicians can start their professional life straight away. However , if you are aiming for a career in the fields of science and research , or would like to hold management positions later , you should consider a master’s degree. This offers the opportunity to specialize even further, for example in marine technology or maritime transport. In addition, a bachelor’s degree in ship technology often enables a master’s degree in related subjects, such as mechatronics or mechanical engineering.
Who is suitable for studying marine engineering
As a prospective ship technician, you should of course have an enthusiasm for ships and for seafaring . A strong interest in natural science subjects such as mathematics and physics as well as in technical contexts is also essential. A solid knowledge of English is strongly recommended, as a large part of the specialist literature is written in English.
After graduation: professional fields for ship technicians
Qualified ship technicians are in demand. Graduates usually have good career prospects. Most work in shipyards, where they design new ships, oversee construction, perform quality controls, and are involved in marketing and sales. Companies in the supplier industry and companies that build marine engineering structures, for example from steel construction, also employ ship technicians.
Not all ship technicians are involved in the construction of new ships and marine engineering systems. Many also find accommodation with authorities or shipping companies , where they are responsible for monitoring ships and their equipment. Other possible employers are engineering offices, ship equipment companies or shipbuilding and hydraulic engineering research institutes.
Advantages of studying abroad
The companies produce a large part of the ship technology built in Germany for export . As a rule, you will work in all areas in international teams . Employers often take good English skills for granted. Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to expand your foreign language skills and to practice communicating across cultural differences . In addition, one or more semesters abroad also contribute to your personal development and strengthen personality traits such as organizational skills, assertiveness and independence. Qualities that are extremely important in later professional life.