An aquatic engineer, more often referred to as a marine engineer, designs and develops machinery, vessels and other structures related to water. They work in a variety of industries and environments. In May 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported average salaries for marine engineers in the United States.
A bachelor’s degree in marine engineering or a related discipline is generally required. Some employers require a professional engineer's license. Along with formal education, aquatic engineers must have excellent analytical and communication skills because engineers often oversee all the workers involved with design projects.
According to the BLS, the median annual wage for marine engineers was $74,330. The 25th percentile earned $55,990 per year and the 75th percentile earned $97,800 per year. The 10th percentile earned $41,070 per year and the 90th percentile earned $121,960 per year.
The industries with the highest levels of employment were architectural, engineering and related services, the federal executive branch, ship and boat building, and deep-sea, coastal and Great Lakes water transportation. The highest wages were paid by the federal executive branch, where marine engineers earned an annual mean wage of $103,090. Deep-sea, coastal and Great Lakes water transportation organizations paid an annual mean wage of $82,570. The ship and boat building industry paid $66,710 per year.
The highest concentration of workers was in the Norwich/New London, Connecticut/Rhode Island metropolitan division of the BLS data, earning an annual mean wage of $85,170. The Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Newport News, Virginia/North Carolina metropolitan division paid an annual mean wage of $69,140. The top paying metropolitan division was the Baltimore/Towson, Maryland division, where the annual mean wage was $118,910.