Marine Transportation

Overview of Marine Transportation as a College Program

Marine transportation programs are considered trade or technical programs, and are therefore coordinated by these departments at colleges and universities. The hands-on nature of the program keeps students engaged with the curriculum through classroom instruction and personal experience in the field.

Marine Transportation Curriculum

Marine transportation curriculums may vary depending on the educational institution that a student attends. Many of the classes taught in a marine transportation degree, however, remain the same regardless of the program administering the degree. Some of the courses taught in a marine transportation degree program include:

  • Port design
  • Laws and regulations of marine transportation
  • Marine systems
  • Safety
  • Marine business administration
  • Marine navigation
  • Ship maintenance
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Physics
  • Tools and maintenance
  • Computer technology

Education Levels Available for a Marine Transportation Degree

Marine transportation degrees are generally available at the lower levels of higher education. This is due to the fact that the marine transportation degree is a pre-cursor to other degrees related to marine transportation and logistics. Universities which offer four year degrees and beyond focus on these other degrees (usually in logistics or transportation management), therefore a bachelor's degree or further study in marine transportation is not readily available.

In the areas of higher education, the marine transportation degree is either awarded as a Certificate or Associate's degree in marine transportation. The Certificate program requires approximately one year to finish but the Associate's degree usually requires two years to complete.

Skills Developed through a Marine Transportation Degree Program

A marine transportation degree teaches students a variety of skills. Many of these skills are concepts related to the field of marine transportation, but others can be applied to your personal life. Some of the skills that a marine transportation degree provides include:

  • Exposure to the science behind the ocean's maneuverings
  • Knowledge of mathematics such as calculus, geometry, and algebra
  • Understanding of the mechanical processes that allow a ship to navigate through the ocean
  • Understanding of logistics planning and route management
  • Ability to use computers for marine transportation
  • Communication techniques
  • Ability to keep people calm in dangerous situations (emergency management skills)
Where to Obtain a Marine Transportation Degree

Marine transportation degrees are offered through a number of different educational institutions. The marine transportation degree can be earned at community colleges as Associate's degrees. Most marine transportation degrees, however, are earned through vocational schools and technical colleges as Certificates or Associate's degrees. The degree can also be obtained online. This is an attractive option for students that seek to work during their studies or want more flexibility in their schedule.

Career Opportunities for Marine Transportation Majors

Students who complete a marine transportation degree program have a variety of career options available. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of marine transportation positions is expected to increase by 15 percent in the 2008-2018 period. Graduates of a marine transportation degree program can find employment as sailors, pilots, or ship engineers. The average annual wages for sailors was $34,390 in May 2008 and $61,960 for pilots of water vessels. Ship engineers earned an average annual wage of $60,960 per year.

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