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How to get the first job in the engine department?
Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 1:03 PM
Joined: 13/09/2010
Posts: 9

I need some clues about how to get my first job on the engine department PLEASE without: 1.-Nobody knows me (any Captains, Chiefs, crew). 2.-I don´t have at least one season on yachts. 3.-Don´t have MEOL/Y4. I apply for a LIA,have AEC course, STCW courses, diving ticket, fit, working experience on land, but I´m trying to guess what else should I do? Thanks everybody out there for sharing their experience and knowledge
Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 4:26 PM
Get out and meet people, and keep applying for jobs. . there are a lot of boats that will take on a 2nd or 3rd engineer with an AEC. .
Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 3:50 PM
Joined: 28/03/2010
Posts: 2

The most obvious way is dock-walking and register at the crew agency's. There are more engineers working with only an AEC. I sometimes hire (unqualified) dayworker/engineers for a yard period, so you could try to get into shipyards and ask the boats if they need a (temp) assistance engineer. You will earn some money and you get the experience you need.
Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 9:00 PM
Joined: 24/11/2008
Posts: 20

I was in the same situation as you when I started out in yachting in 2007, little engineering experience and only an AEC for paperwork. I was very lucky and was able to find a 2nd Engineer's position on a 55m yacht within a few weeks of starting out, and all through online agencies while living in England. The advice for starting out in the Engineering department  in pretty much the same for any other department, make sure your CV is great, take as many useful courses as you can afford and have time for, and get out there and meet as many crew, captains and agents as you can. Remember that it may well take months for that first job to come along, but once it does and you get some experience under your belt you'll most likely not struggle to find work for the rest of your career, so it's worth being patient to find that ellusive first job.
   I was very lucky to find a Captain that was willing to take a punt in hiring an inexperienced 2nd, but dont forget that a lot of Captains and Chief Engineer's are not looking for a 2nd that knows everything, or maybe even anything, what they need is someone with a great attitude and a willingness to learn. Don't forget too that a lot of 2nd's jobs in the 55m range will have some deck work involved, so any experience that shows that you know your way around the deck is also to your advantage.
  Another bit of advice is dont take a job that you know you're not ready for. There are jobs out there that dont require any more than an AEC ticket but that can carry a lot of responsibility, if you're not ready to run a private 35m then dont apply for or accept the job, even if they dont need a Y4. Finding yourself in a position that you're not ready for is only going to put yourself under a lot of stress, get you fired or in the worst case get you/someone hurt, and that isn't going to be good for the career or the conscience.
   In short, hold out for a 2nd's or 3rd's job, learn everything you can from the chief engineer, and push him even if he isn't keen on teaching you! Stick it out for as long as you can, read books, study for courses EARLY (even though you can't sit the Y4 oral until you have 3 years on a boat, that doesnt mean that the knowledge contained in a Y4 syllabus isn't incredibly useful to you in those first 3 years!) and make sure that your attitude impresses everyone on board. Once you get a few rungs up the ladder with a few captain's who would always think to call you first for an empty engineer's position, you'll be in a pretty good position within the industry.

Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2011 2:16 AM
Are you looking for a job or a career? If I were you I’d complete marine engineering studies or do an engineering apprenticeship before jumping onto a yacht. Marine engineering covers many disciplines and starting your engineering career without a proper technical education is a definite handicap. As a chief engineer I am responsible for training my assistant engineers, but I can only take a person as far as their ability, education and motivation will go. At the end of the day an engineer must understand the theoretical principals of machinery systems and apply those principals in real life situations, its awfully difficult to troubleshoot a problem or pass written exams when you don’t know how things operate. The difference between education and training is fairly simple: EDUCATION provides people with knowledge and TRAINING builds skill and one without the other is useless when your a marine engineer. The most important thing about education is discovering the principals behind learning and applying this to your everyday. At one point or another you need to pass written and oral exams if you wish to be an engineer. “On the job training” is the slowest way to go, accelerate your career and go to school now because it will make all the difference when its time to solve technical problems and pass your written and oral examinations later on.
Posted: Monday, March 28, 2011 11:23 AM
Joined: 13/09/2010
Posts: 9

Thanks anonymous, Edgar, Dave!!!! I appreciated your answers so I´ll hope to start this season and continue my career. Hopefully find great people with encouraging thoughts like yours.
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