Merchant Navy Engineering Officer

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Merchant Navy engineering officers are members of the team operating, maintaining and repairing all the machinery and technical equipment on board a ship. Officers are responsible for the work of the engine room ratings under their command. They may also work for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), which supplies the needs of Royal Navy ships at sea.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:

Average starting salaries, when qualified, are around £25,000 to £30,000 a year for a junior/fourth engineer officer, rising to about £37,000 for third officer and £54,000 or more for second officer. A chief engineering officer can earn up to £70,000 a year or more. While at sea, you would have free accommodation and food as well as some transport costs.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

There are jobs on different kinds of vessel: cruise liners, oil tankers, container ships, ferries, cargo ships.

There is a National 4 Skills for Work course in Uniformed and Emergency Services which introduces school pupils to careers in the emergency services, the armed services and the Merchant Navy. There is also a National 5 Skills for Work in Maritime Skills.

What Does it Take?

You need to have:

You need to be:

The members of the crew generally come from a wide range of countries and will have varying degrees of knowledge of the English language.


Getting On



The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST)
Tel: 020 7382 2600
Twitter: @IMarEST

Maritime Skills Alliance

The Maritime Skills Alliance designs and promotes qualifications and apprenticeships for the UK’s maritime sector.

Maritime UK
Tel: 0333 050 3663
Twitter: @MaritimeUK

Nautical Institute
Tel: 020 7928 1351
Twitter: @NauticalInst

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