A marine engineer is a professional who has studied marine engineering (sometimes also called maritime engineering) and is responsible for the operation, maintenance and repair of all major mechanical and engineered equipment on board a ship. There are several mechanical systems that help in the operations of any vessel like the propulsion mechanics, electricity and power generation system, lubrication, fuel systems, water distillation, lighting and air conditioning system etc. These are all included in the technical responsibilities of a marine engineer.
Responsibilities of Marine Engineers
Some of the important duties that people who have done marine engineering (maritime engineering) perform are:
- Monitoring and maintenance of mechanical systems – Engineers of each rank on board ship is allocated specific machinery and systems for maintenance and monitoring purpose. Machinery systems are divided among all engineers and it is the duty of each engineer to ensure his/her machinery is running at all times. Marine engineers are also required to look after the machinery on deck.
- Proper record keeping and planning maintenance – The engine room department works as a team to ensure maintenance of all machinery systems is carried out according to the planned maintenance system. Precise record keeping of various parameters is carried out for official paperwork and reporting.
- Fuel oil bunkering – Marine engineers also handle the transfer of fuel oil to the ship from a bunker station or barge. It is usually the duty of the 4th engineer, who also takes regular soundings of the fuel oil tanks and report it to the chief engineer for planning bunkering operations.
- Emergency breakdown and repair – The study of marine engineering also teaches how to deal with major maintenance and breakdown of machinery systems at sea. Though marine engineers are quite capable of the same, there are times when there might be a need for experts. In such cases, marine engineers are required to work with the experts to repair and resolve the issue.
Apart from the above-mentioned duties, a marine engineer on ships is required to follow all the instructions of the chief engineer, the head of the engine room department on the ship.
Course Duration: 4 Years
- Educational Eligibility: Pass in HSC/(10+2) with 60% Average in PCM
- Age Limit: Maximum 25 Years
- Medical & Physical Standards: No Color Blindness, (+) or (-) 2.5 vision is allowed. Eye Glasses permitted
Job & Career Path after the course:
After doing a four-year marine engineering degree course, a candidate becomes eligible to work on ships (after pursuing required supplementary courses). A fresh marine engineering graduate will join a ship as a trainee or junior engineer for six months working contract. After completion of the training and the necessary sea-time, a fifth engineer is eligible to appear for class IV exams, clearing which, he or she will be able to join as a 4th engineer.
After gaining a good amount of experience and on the basis of performance, a company will provide promotion to the third engineer. On completion of required sea time as a third engineer, one can give Class II exams to become a second engineer. Similarly, on completion of necessary sea time and gaining a good amount of experience, a second engineer can give Class I exam to get promotion as chief engineer.
Do note that the promotion will solely depend on the company’s decision even if the marine engineer has the experience and certificate.
The process might also differ in the country and company one belongs to.