Exploring the Career of a Barge Engineer

Looking for maritime jobs? A marine career is what you aspire for? If yes is your answer then here is a good news for you. We can help you. Marine industry offers variety of job profiles of which barge engineering is one, and a fairly good one at that.

Considering the increasing involvement of ships in oil extraction, oil and gas jobs can be seen as good career options. Here is what you can expect from a barge engineering career.

Job profile

As a barge engineer, you can find yourself employed on vessels related to oil and gas industry. While on board, your responsibilities will be to look into working of the vessel and to ensure the oil operations keep running smoothly. For that, barge jobs would require you to handle control room operations like anchor handling, rig stability and vessel maintenance. You would also be required to be trained in handling inventory, scheduling and management of drilling operations.


Barge engineers perform the tasks of looking into entire excavation operations while dealing with maintaining stability of vessel all the while. This would need you to look into all aspects of vessel’s well being like vessel logistics, deck and hull maintenance and repair, emergency handling and preparedness, equipment integrity etc.

Besides these, like most offshore jobs, barge engineers would also need to coordinate communications with on shore authorities at all times. While these remain an integral part of your job, as a barge engineer your responsibilities could vary to some extent depending on the requirements of your employer.

Qualifications and prerequisites

Like most offshore jobs, barge jobs are highly demanding jobs too that require the candidates to be master of their expertise. An employer offering marine jobs of this category expects the candidates to have work experience of minimum of two years in handling large offshore operations.

Besides these, you might be expected to have a U.S. Merchant Mariner’s document, a STCW training certification and/or an Able Bodied Seaman and Tankerman’s certification. However, marine engineer jobs are high input jobs and any qualification is an added advantage for instance, many employers prefer their engineers to possess extra training in handling operations like those on semi submersibles, for instance.

Knowledge of additional languages and experience of handling specific oil and gas jobs are highly valued traits in this line of work. Training in maintenance based disciplines, understanding and experience of quality management systems, and knowledge of handling computerized engineering equipment are marked as essential prerequisites by most employers.


As demanding maritime jobs are, they can also be just as rewarding. On average, marine engineer jobs can fetch you a salary of around USD $50,000. Barge jobs are higher paying than any other offshore jobs in marine in industry. On average, a barge engineer can earn a salary of USD $69,000. But most employers prefer to pay according to the work experience possessed by the candidate, besides the essential training, of course. Depending on that, the salary can range from $50,000 to $100,000. At present, about 37% barge engineers get remuneration in range of $100,000 to $150,000.

Clearly, barge jobs are one of the most demanding marine jobs but they are also one of the most rewarding ones. If you aspire a sound marine career, handling vessels would have to be your second nature and no job rewards better for that than being a barge engineer.

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One Comment

  1. Hi Karan,
    I m Chief Engineer, Sailed on BC/Containers and refer vessel.Presently I m working on offshore Dp vessel as c/e. (PSV/AHTS/MPSV-ROV) last one and half year.I m interested to join as barge Engineer or first as assistance barge engineer. I have MEO CLASS I unlimited.
    Can you help me out?


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