Mechanical to Marine Engineering

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NickP
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Mechanical to Marine Engineering

Post by NickP »

Hi everyone, I was hoping someone would be able to help me out. I'm a student in Canada (Alberta) finishing up my bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in the next few months and I'm really interested in becoming a marine engineer and I have some questions about the process. Please excuse my incorrect use of terminology if there is any, I'm learning and there's a lot to take in!

As far as I understand, the best (and only?) course of action to take would be obtaining the STCW 111/4 certificate since I never received an education specifically for marine engineering. Then, after some more work, I could obtain the 4th class engineer certification once I met the qualifications. How should someone go about getting the STCW 111/4? As outlined in the MPR sec. 172, you need 6+ months qualifying experience, with at least 3 in engine room ratings, correct? I'm not really sure how to go about getting a job that will put me into a position to gain this necessary experience. I believe that I need to take MED STCW V1/1, V1/2, and a marine basic first aid course before I even think about finding a job. Hopefully someone can give me some advice!

Thanks in advance for your help.

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The Dieselduck
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Re: Mechanical to Marine Engineering

Post by The Dieselduck »

The short answer is that your experience and training as a mechanical engineer, will not assist you in any defined way towards becoming a Certified Marine Engineer in Canada - in the terms of operation ship's marine engineer. Your training will certainly help you in the theoretical part of the exams (Part As), especially as you may want to progress through the ranks, but in practicality, this theoretical training is rarely applied in the day to day onboard, and more of a memory exercise.

The quickest way to your objective of becoming a Marine Engineer holding a Certificate of Competency (CoC) is to sign up for the Engine Room Cadet Program at BCIT, Georgian, Rimousky, NSCC, or Memorial. It's a four year program, maybe three now, but its the best way to achieve your aims quickly and predictably. Essentially, your prior training will certainly make the classroom parts easier, and depending on your actually duties in prior positions as a mechanical engineer, may be of some benefits (shortcuts); but these are far and few and entirely up to the interpretation of the Transport Canada examiner.

The cadet program will get you a watchkeeping engineer CoC, and will accelerate your track to Second Class, but time spent at sea is an important component and cannot be interpreted - you have to go to sea for at least 36 months. Once finished the official program, you may start finding work, that pays around 80-90k a year; best case scenario is that you are at this level for at least 2-3 years, before being able to move to second class, which can earn 100-130k per annum.

So depending on your age and social circumstances (and assuming your are a citizen of Canada or landed immigrant), I would carefully evaluate if it can fit into your lifestyle. In the Ships' Library and Training Page area of the main website, i believe is sufficient information to help you assess the viability of the job and the training to your situation. If you have more questions, feel free to contact me, and i will provide insight if I can.
Martin Leduc
Certified Marine Engineer and Webmaster
Martin's Marine Engineering Page
http://www.dieselduck.net

NickP
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Re: Mechanical to Marine Engineering

Post by NickP »

Thanks for your time and detailed response, it was very helpful!

Shame_on_TC_2017
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Re: Mechanical to Marine Engineering

Post by Shame_on_TC_2017 »

Hi there Nick. I had an oiler / mechanical assistant who was a civil engineer and last year was credited with all part A exams for their 4th class at transport canada in Quebec. However this was considered a domestic certificate, and not a STCW cert. He got his 4th class now.

It means that you must get your first aid, marine emergency duties, ship security duty certificate etc and before getting a 111/4 ticket you go to sea without the engine room rating certificate which is not required as long as there are other crew who have it. You are considered training for the first period and you can sail without the engine room rating certificate. After 3 months (I think) you will have the seatime for the engine room rating cert.

Then you need to get enough seatime to challenge for 4th class. 36 months. It helps if your on a 12hr per day watch which reduces the 36 months by a factor or 1/3rd.

I suggest that you take your degree and detailed sylabus and course outline information to transport canada marine safety and ask for an evaluation. Present all that information as credit towards your part A's. Then you can just challenge general and motor exams (easy multiple choice) and then an oral exam. This will take you several years to get the seatime and complete all that.

I think one more requirement is that you take a short welding or workshop course. This may be a few weeks. I think some of the marine colleges are offering it.

In the mean time get all your safety certificates, apply for a discharge book and CDN number at transport canada. Go to the SIU union hall or another unlicensed crew union hall in canada and get a job as a mechanical assistant. Get your sea time and then go back to transport canada with that.

The only real authority on this is transport canada and they evaluate on a case by case basis. I think you may have a path forward without going through a cadet program because my M/A just did it and is now working in canada as a jr engineer officer in charge of a watch.

EDITED: I changed 24 months as engine room rating to 36 months as Diesel duck said.
Last edited by Shame_on_TC_2017 on Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JK
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Re: Mechanical to Marine Engineering

Post by JK »

just as a thought, try calling the Canadian Coast Guard and having a chat with them on what they need as a minimum to hire. They are crying for engineers. If you have your MED, ERA Course and Mariner First Aid they may give you a job, but I can't swear to it. It will give you some idea what to work toward. Click on each link and at the bottom should be contact info.
Oh, and be nice. Government workers take a lot of crap but if you are nice with them, they are usually quite free with that kind of info. (Not saying you won't be nice, just stating a fact.)


https://emploisfp-psjobs.cfp-psc.gc.ca/ ... &log=false

NickP
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Re: Mechanical to Marine Engineering

Post by NickP »

JK and Shame_on_TC_2017, thanks for your responses as well. It's nice to know there may be a path forward without the expensive and time-consuming path of going back to school. I'll definitely take a look into both of your suggestions!

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JK
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Re: Mechanical to Marine Engineering

Post by JK »

I missed the ERA comments from SoTC. So yeh, give them a call, you might find that you are hireable with the other 2 courses.

Shame_on_TC_2017
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Re: Mechanical to Marine Engineering

Post by Shame_on_TC_2017 »

https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/reg ... l#h-729965

Look at the marine personell regulations: 147(1), Item 2, C, XV

(xv) a credit of 12 months of service for successful completion, at an institution recognized by a provincial government or foreign administration, of a training program in mechanical or electrical engineering.

So if you can get your mechanical engineering degree approved by transport canada you would only have to do 24 months of seatime. 36 months is the standard if your coming off the street. If you can get a job on a ship with 12 hour days on watch you would only have to do 16 months on the ship approximately.

Also XIV:

(xiv) a credit of up to 3 months of service for each of the following courses that has been successfully completed, at an institution recognized by a provincial government or foreign administration:

(A) applied mechanics,

(B) thermodynamics,

(C) machine design,

(D) electrotechnology, and

(E) naval architecture, and

In my earlier post I was talking about how my mechanical assistant got credited for these 4 exams. The above section XIV is how he got in with his civil engineering degree if im not mistaken. In fact his degree was from Europe, so you can see there is some flexibility.

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