Engine Room Assistant

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Bilge Dweller
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Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:37 pm
Currently located: Victoria

Engine Room Assistant

Postby yorkygb » Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:41 pm

Hello all, I am new here, this is my first post. I am a journeymen heavy duty mechanic, got my ticket in Alberta. I have just got a job on the BC Ferries as an engine room assistant, and am looking towards getting my 4th Class ticket. A few questions as follows, how much sea time will I need, what material should I study and when will I be eligible to write the exam?

With thanks,


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Engineering Mentor
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:06 am
Currently located: Québec

Postby Sébastien » Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:27 am

Unfortuately for you young yorky, things all changed on the first of July last year. Last fall two of my oilers went to Transport Canada to get their study books, basically the same as an engineering cadet's book but with on the job training to compensate for the fact that they did not go to school. They were told that it did not work that way anymore and that they would have to go to school for a few months and both abandoned the process because they could not afford to stop working for a few months. Hope this helps.

Bilge Dweller
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:37 pm
Currently located: Victoria

Postby yorkygb » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:11 pm

Thanks for the reply Sebastien. I would be able to take a few months off if required, if I was unable to challenge the exam based on experience and my diesel engine ticket. I was not expecting to circumnavigate any schooling, the grandfather days are over it seems. Oh, I am not an oiler, I am an Engine Room Assistant :D :roll:

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The Dieselduck
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:41 pm
Currently located: Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada (West Coast of Canada)

Oiler ERA, smirareh

Postby The Dieselduck » Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:02 pm

A rating by any other name would smell as sweet... as the saying goes - I think.

ERA, oiler, I believe is still the same thing in Canada, deep sea is another thing, but here the experience counts as the same.

Anyways, I am not sure if you drop by the training page at all, it pretty much has the answer you seek. Or at least I though it did. There has been some changes to the regs, and I am working through updating that page, but I believe it is fairly accurate, including information on the "alternate path" check out the Mallaspina PDF file on the training page - in regards to your experience and the stuff TC wants out of you.

If you have drop by that page and still have questions, please fire them off to me, and I will correct the lack of insight. Don't forget to download your Sea Time testimonial sheet in pdf - fillable format from the machinery page. Mmmm. that remind me, I should really put it on the training page too.... I will do that.

Cheers, and welcome to the coast.
Martin Leduc
Certified Marine Engineer and Webmaster
Martin's Marine Engineering Page

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Bilge Dweller
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:22 am

Postby Sprocket » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:58 am

Hello Yorky and welcome to a great website for us engineers. As far as sea time goes, if you already have your ERR rating, you will need 36 months sea time to be eligible to write your 4th's. I believe also that you now require the PMSE (practical marine skills for engineers) as well as the training book for watchkeepers to be filled out. There is much info. on the requirements in Transport Canada's publication TP2293 as to what you need to write your 4th's. In your case, you may be able to use some of your mechanic hours as seatime. With respect to the PMSE, you may be able to get an exemption as you have shop experience, the PMSE is basically, operating various handtools and machine tools, welding skills, etc. As far as what materials to study, the test is multiple choice with a wide variety of topics. I would brush up on 2-stroke, 4-stroke engines and various auxillary equipment, i.e. boilers, purifiers, cooling systems, etc. There is also quite a bit of safety related questions as well. If you are mechanically inclined, you should have no problem with the actual test. Hopefully this will help you in your efforts.
Keep her on an even keel.............................Sprocket

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