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Posted: Wednesday, April 1, 2015 2:53 PM
Joined: 30/04/2011
Posts: 1

I Am a mate/engineer with a 100 ton USCG license and am looking to work towards my engineering. Licensing. I would like to stay USCG due to hopes of one day moving towards commercial. Does anyone have experience with how the QMED Oiler is recieved in the yachting industry as I do not have the time for a DDE. Thank you for any and all advice.
Posted: Wednesday, April 1, 2015 9:04 PM
Joined: 19/10/2010
Posts: 11

I have met a couple of QMEDS in yachting, and I looked into getting it myself. Please take my advice and call the coast guard to make sure you meet the qualifications before you sit for the exam. The requirements are actually not that easy fulfill on yachts, especially smaller yachts- you need 180 days of sea service in the engine room on a vessel of >1000hp, which can take a while if your vessel isn't that active. If you are a mate/engineer or sole engineer you can be like me and a couple of my friends and realize pretty far into the game that your time won't count at all because the yacht's engines don't meet the hp requirements. Also keep in mind that whatever sea days you have counted towards your deck license cannot be applied to the engine room as well- coast guard does not recognize split roles. 

As for how the QMED is received?? Well, I think most chief engineers appreciate the QMED as progress towards a commercial engineering license. Anyone familiar with the QMED will know that the test questions are very basic. Testing is not nearly as rigorous as the Y4 or even the MEOL. (The plus side of this is that you should not need to sit through an expensive course to pass the exam, self study should be enough.) If a vessel was looking to hire someone with the knowledge level of a Y4 or MEOL, the QMED in itself wouldn't demonstrate that. Also the QMED is not equivalent to Y4, meaning if there is a job that needs a Y4 engineer to satisfy manning requirements, a QMED won't suffice. (MEOL I'm not sure). I can't imagine you will encounter a yacht that has the QMED as a requirement for hire, because there aren't many US flagged yachts and certainly not many yachts large enough to require ER support personnel. My sense is that on yachts it merely functions as proof that you have passed a basic engineering test, have ER experience, and are serious about obtaining a license. I also think it would give you an edge over AEC engineers who have not sat for any Y4 modules in the international market.