Marine Transportation Degree Programs

Learn about degree options and licensure requirements to work in marine transportation. Find out about typical job duties as well as possible working environments. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Degrees Do I Need to Work in Marine Transportation?

A bachelor's degree in marine transportation or marine transportation operations can prepare you for work in the field. A degree program in this field can lead to careers in marine insurance, charter brokering, ship operations and many departments on land, including engineering.

Degree Requirements Bachelor's degree in marine transportation or marine transportation operations
Course Topics Ship operations, port management, repairing ships and barges, electrical navigation systems and handling cargo
Required Credentials Licensure through the U.S. Coast Guard, Transportation Worker Identification Credential
Median Salary (2018)$54,400 (Water Transportation Workers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)8% growth (Water Transportation Workers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Will I Study?

Marine transportation programs are interdisciplinary in nature, focusing on maritime disciplines and engineering basics. You'll learn how to survive on open waters while controlling a vessel. You'll become familiar with ship operations, terminology, port management, admiral laws and boat safety. Shipboard medicine, navigation strategies, meteorology and watchkeeping are among the skills you'll develop. These skills are essential for work on large vessels.

The engineering area allows you to make repairs and handle ships and barges. You'll study welding, ship architecture, maintenance and ship stability. You'll also learn how to work with the refrigeration systems, electrical navigation systems and communication technologies. It's also important for you to understand the various ship types, such as barges, ferries, tugboats and tankers. You'll also gain knowledge in handling cargo.

What Credentials Are Available?

The U.S. Coast Guard is the only organization to offer licensure in marine transportation. It offers the Merchant Mariner Credential, a license that can carry endorsements for deck personnel, maritime engineers and entry-level security and radio officers. Some colleges require that you complete the Third Mate examination prior to graduation. You can consult the National Maritime Center (NMC) to locate exams (

Prospective merchant mariners must also receive the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) provided by U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This credential holds your fingerprint template for identification purposes. The Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 requires you to obtain this prior to obtaining merchant mariner credentials (

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Alaska Southeast

    Campus Locations:

    • Alaska: Juneau
  • United States Merchant Marine Academy

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: Kings Point
  • The Landing School

    Campus Locations:

    • Maine: Arundel
  • South Central Louisiana Technical College-Young Memorial Campus

    Campus Locations:

    • Louisiana: Morgan City
  • Seattle Central College

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Seattle
  • West Kentucky Community and Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Kentucky: Paducah
  • Santa Barbara City College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Santa Barbara