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Chief engineer

The Chief Engineer is in charge of the engineering department and responsible to the Master for its efficient operation. They have overall control and decision making powers for the engineering department, and responsibility for ensuring that all planned mechanical and electrical maintenance takes place. The chief engineer also co-ordinates operations with shoreside engineers.

Second engineer

The Second engineer has engineering watch-keeping responsibilities and oversees the training of more junior engineers. They are directly responsible to the Chief Engineer and have responsibility for the management of the engine room and the engine room maintenance team.

Third engineer

The third engineer has engineering watch-keeping responsibilities and is responsible for the maintenance of certain engine room equipment (eg, auxiliary generators). Also looks after the electrics if there isn't an electrician or a marine electro-technical officer on board.

Junior engineer/fourth engineer

Used as a familiarisation role for newly-qualified officers in some companies, a junior/fourth engineer officers supports the third engineer officer and is responsible for the fuelling and maintenance of specific engine room equipment (eg, purifiers). Engineering watch-keeping responsibilities will be undertaken at times, alternatively undertaking general maintenance duties on a day work routine.

Engine rating

Engine ratings are support members of the engineering department who assist with maintenance of the engine room machinery plant. This is a hands-on role which includes mechanical maintenance, engineering operations and general duties.

Marine electro-technical officer (METO)

This is a specialist role supporting the electrical and electronic systems found on board modern merchant ships and superyachts, from bridge navigation equipment and engineering propulsion systems to communications and audio visual kit, including the latest in entertainment play-out, IT systems and gadgets.

Our career progression charts are designed to give you a clear guide to the best route and courses required to further your career.

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