Career Profile:

Ocean Engineer

Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia, 2015
Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia, 2015


Median Yearly





This unit group is for all civil engineers: Civil engineers plan, design, develop and manage projects for the construction or repair of buildings, earth structures, ports and coastal installations, and systems related to transportation services and water distribution.

Work type:


Most likely to work in:

Cape Breton, Halifax, Northern Region, Southern Region

Most employees have:

Post-Graduate Degree / Bachelor's Degree


Professional Engineer Certificate

What you do

Ocean engineering is a combination of mechanical, electrical, civil, acoustical and chemical engineering techniques and skills, coupled with a basic understanding of oceanography. 

In the oceans technology sector, ocean engineers work in an array of fields such as the oil and gas industry, military, and marine navigation. They design and build instruments and infrastructure that must stand up to the wear and tear of frequent use and that will survive the harsh conditions of the ocean environment.

An Ocean Engineer performs some or all of the following duties:

  • Develop construction specifications and procedures;
  • Evaluate and recommend appropriate building and construction materials;
  • Ensure construction plans meet guidelines and specifications;
  • Plan and design major civil projects;
  • Act as project or site supervisor;
  • Supervise technicians, technologists and other engineers

What you need

  • A strong interest in planning and designing;
  • Problem-solving and decision-making skills;
  • Able to think in an analytical and logical manner;
  • Able to communicate and cooperate with others;
  • Excellent computer skills; and
  • Good eyesight and have an eye for detail.

Who might be hiring?

References and further reading

* The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is "good", which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is above average.

Your Career Pathway

Opportunities for Hands-on Experience

Secondary School
Co-op Options and Opportunities (Science Streams)
Oceans 11

Post-Secondary Educational Programs

Certificates, Diplomas, Community College
Acadia, Cape Breton University, Dalhousie Agriculture Campus, Saint Mary's, Saint Francis Xavier: Diploma of Engineering (Civil Engineering concentration)
2 years, $6,000 / year
University Bachelor's Degree
Dalhousie: Faculty of Engineering - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
4 years, $12,500 / year
Provincial Standards Examination for Right to Title and Practice

Certification attests that the holder has met provincial requirements for the occupation. Certification is required to practice this profession.

Graduate Programs

NSCC Oceans Technology Program
Advanced one year diploma for students with a Bachelor of Science or Engineering or an Engineering Diploma to further enhance skills in the oeceans technology sector.
Masters Degree
Dalhousie: Faculty of Engineering - Masters Degree
1.5-2 years, $13,000 / year
Doctorate Degree
Dalhousie: Faculty of Engineering - Department of Civil Engineering
4 years, $10,000 / year