Alpena Community College

fb icon outlook icon bb icon w icon

Marine Technology

Join the Underwater Revolution!

Program Curriculum

Marine Technology is designed for students interested in a career working with the latest underwater technology with emphasis on maintenance, repair, and operations of underwater robots, known to the industry as Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs). This is a fast-paced and rapidly growing industry that offers many areas for growth and employment worldwide. 

The Marine Technology program at ACC is designed for students interested in exciting careers working on the ocean and Great Lakes—from conducting research for universities to working for many industries of the blue economy.

The Marine Technology program offers a wide range of hands-on experiences, from building and operating an underwater robot, to on-water working experiences aboard research vessels. This unique program features coursework in:

  • Applied Robotics and ROVs (Remote Operated Vehicles)
  • Ocean and Great Lakes Resources, Economics, and Issues
  • Science of Underwater Archeology
  • Scientific SCUBA Diving
  • Working Aboard Ships
  • Opportunities for "At-Sea" Internships
  • Application of Data Acquisition Technologies at Sea

Marine Technology Facilities


The on-water portion of the Marine Technology program takes place at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (NMS). Located on the shores of Lake Huron just a mile from ACC's main campus, Thunder Bay NMS protects one of America's best-preserved and nationally significant collection of shipwrecks.

At Thunder Bay NMS, Marine Tech students explore maritime history, experience practical, hands-on sessions teaching underwater surveying and recording, spend time on Great Lakes research vessels, and even have the option of completing diving courses.

In addition to the on-water component of the program, Marine Tech students experience a variety of hands-on technologies used in commercial and scientific work in the labs on ACC's main campus. 3-D modeling, machine design using CAD software, metal cutting, robotics, and electrical studies are core courses students will experience.

A Sea of Opportunities!

The use of ROVs is rapidly expanding as more uses of the technology are discovered and the oil and gas industry push oil exploration and production in deep water. The oil and gas industry employs about 95% of the ROV operators in the world, with the other 5% being used in areas such as: historical research, environmental, law enforcement recovery, maritime archeology, and shipwreck exploration.

The marine technology industry is a broad field with many branches, and it interrelates widely with other branches of technology, such as resource extraction, environmental management, manufacturing, robotics, and communication. Students will have access to a variety of jobs and careers such as ROV Technician, Shipboard Technician, Design Engineer, Hydrographic Surveyor, Marine Electronics Technician, and Marine Research Technician.

The ocean economy is large and diverse, accounting for 20% of our national economy and supporting one in six jobs in this country. The need for qualified ROV Technicians will continue to grow as the industry adapts to new technology. On average, entry level ROV Technician make $35,000 or above, and after 2 years $40-50,000.

Employment of surveying and mapping technicians is expected to grow 19 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations. In May 2008 the middle 50% of surveyors and mapping technicians earned between $27,370 and $45,860.


I wanted to drop you a note to thank you for introducing us to Mike Dunham.
Mike came to us directly after graduating from your Marine Technology program. At the time we hired him we were in need of someone who would be technically prepared to get down to work immediately. That was a tall order and one, frankly, I doubted could be fulfilled. From day one Mike has proved otherwise and has been a solid asset to SeaView Systems. The training he received in your program has enabled him, in part, to take on a wide range of tasks in our systems development workshop with minimal supervision.

We were particularly impressed the day that we were in urgent need for a draftsman and Mike told us that he had proficiency in SolidWorks having taken a module in his Marine Technology program. That was more than I had expected and he got us right out of a jam!

Initially, we only hired Mike part time in order to help us complete a project, but we soon saw how valuable he was to our organization and so we have made provision in our budget to put him on full time. I feel that with the grounding that Alpena Community College has given Mike, and his strong work ethic, we can look forward to a long and productive future together.

Best regards,
Matthew Cook
SeaView Systems, Inc."


Check out this interview with Tom Waligora from Oceaneering as he talks about his journey from Alpena to participating in some of the MATE's Center's early ROV competitions. Click here to view the video. 

Want to see what our current students think of the program? Watch this short interview with some of our Marine Technology Students!

Career Resources

The following websites are great resources for careers in Marine Technology.

Proud to Partner

Alpena Community College is proud to partner with the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education Center).



This project was funded (in part, as applicable) by a grant under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant, as implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

About the Program Advisor

David Cummins has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology and a Masters of Arts in Industrial Management. He has over 13 years of industrial experience including, management, design, 3D modeling, and PC based data acquisition and control. He has assisted several inventors in the development of their products to obtain patents and the design of industrial components for use offshore. Currently, he is working on the development of the Great Lakes Section of MTS. Since the age of three, David has been on the water and is using his passion and experiences to develop Alpena Community College’s Marine Technology program.

Contact the InstructorDavid Cummins