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Engineering Degree
Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 11:13 PM
Joined: 16/11/2011
Posts: 2

After working on land for the past 6 years in the marine industry i have decided to go work onboard a boat. I have been working as a design engineer for a windlass manufacturing company since i graduated from university with a batchelor of engineering (Mechanical). I would like to go onboard as a 2nd or assistant engineer as this is where my interests are and also so i can use the knowledge i have obtained over the past 6 years working in the marine industry. I have just recently obtained my STCW95 at the end of last year and plan to obtain my ENG1 before i head over to Antibes in april. My question is this, with my mechanical engineering degree do i still need to get an AEC certificate? Also how does my degree compare with a Y4 qualification or any of the other engineer qualifications?

Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 2:11 AM
Look mate here's the deal, can you TIG weld copper nickel together in a pinch, re-charge a refrigeration system, deal with AV gear, tenders, solve a PLC problem without drawings and change the strainer of the fuel separator in 3 meter seas when it's your watch. A degree tells me you can do math, but can you hold a wrench, deal with stressful situations and get day workers with no clue clean the bilge without hurting themselves or the boats? What you did before you came onto my boat as a second engineer amounts to zero, I want to know what you can do for me today when it all goes tits up and your mommy is 1000 miles away, the boats tied up to a dock and the chief is on vacation. A true marine engineer can turn things around with whatever resources he/she has on hand. I live and work in a practical world, not a theoretical one and most certainly not one that has outside people on hand to solve problems that require real skill and dexterity. Every good second I've had had something inside them that enabled them to do more than people thought they were capable of doing and also had the drive to be and do more, every crap second engineer I have employed had a degree and an ego that was exponentially larger than their worth.
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 6:50 AM
Joined: 03/07/2009
Posts: 44

Nothing like giving a guy some positive encouragement Mr Anonymous.. Everyone has to start somewhere or were you born with a TIG welder coming out your butt ? By posting anonymously, I'm guessing you can't do any of that either but like to shoot your mouth off !! Biggs, write to the MCA requesting a Letter of Initial Assessment and they will be able to tell you exactly where you stand. AEC might help you secure your 1st position but there are plenty jobs that don't require any tickets, more a positive attitude and willingness to learn. Go for it and good luck..
Captain Andy
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 5:45 PM
Joined: 17/09/2008
Posts: 93

Hi Biggs! Follow the link to get to the Initial Letter of assessment .... it's a huge form with instructions to complete attached towards the rear of it! Please note that the MCGA will require approx 6 weeks to turn around the application. Can I suggest you complete it as soon as possible to take advantage of your Degree!
Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2012 6:50 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

I'm sure an engineering degree will stand you in good stead, but there is much more knowledge an experience required for a full engineers certification on board a vessel. As for the MCA/yacht path of certification I'm not sure, but for most commercial unlimited rating programs you will likely be assessed with quals for entry level engineering officer licensing to work under a chief engineer; if you have prior experience on vessels they may give you sole authority on limited vessels as well.
Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012 11:58 PM
1st thing, if your an American then stick with your USCG Ticket As a Commercial Ticket is much better than having a Yachting Ticket because Commercial Tickets can be crossed over to MCA Yacht Ticket and your not just stuck working on yachts... 2nd thing, you will have to talk to the USCG/MCA or what ever agency that you are trying to get a Ticket with and they will tell you your path in the Engineering World. Good Luck!
Posted: Sunday, January 29, 2012 1:44 AM
Joined: 25/10/2011
Posts: 3

Hi Biggs,
You will need to get intouch with the MCA and send your quals to them. I did a Uk marine engineering apprenticeship, and the MCA have exempt me from taking the AEC and MEOL and have issued me with An NoE combined Y4/Y3, I am currently studying for my exams.
For them to issue this NoE you will need to have enough seatime, and I understand there is a catch 22 situation, but like cornish carlos says, everyone needs to start somewhere, it would also be good if you can take the AEC as it will give you more of a chance to land a 2nd/assistant job.
First off as a 2nd engineer you will learn alot from the chief, and to be honest common sense prevails.
Take care

Posted: Sunday, January 29, 2012 12:00 PM
Joined: 19/01/2010
Posts: 36

[Comment edited by moderator] Biggs has good advice from anonymous at 27 January 2012 23:58. Getting a US ticket will allow you to work commercially or onboard a yacht. If you want the Y4 notes to compare with your degree, I have them. It is a tri-moduled distance learning course essentially and not highly regarded commercially (as 'Chief' always reminds us).
Posted: Sunday, January 29, 2012 10:34 PM
Joined: 16/11/2011
Posts: 2

Thanks for all the info and encouragement guys, well except for mr anonymous who posted on the 25th Jan. Its a bit unfait to stereotype someone without knowing any more about their background or skills etc.
I will get in contact with the MCA and ask about how my qualifications transfer. Unfortunatly there is nowhere in australia that offers an AEC course so i would have to look into getting this overseas somewhere.
UKEngineer i would be interested in looking at the Y4 notes that you have.
Thanks again guys.

Posted: Monday, January 30, 2012 1:29 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

Anonymous on the 25th may not have been nice, but he was accurate. Being a mechanical engineer is a very different thing from being a marine engineer.

jonny angus
Posted: Monday, January 30, 2012 9:14 PM
Joined: 30/04/2009
Posts: 1

Your story sounds a little like mine a couple of years back. I to have a Marine Engineering Degree and decided that it was time to work offshore. My best advice would be to obtain your AEC. Then approach the MCA with Written testimonials from (all) your previous Engineering employers showing (all) workshop Hours spent. (MCA/EGN 156) As mister Anonymous Did point out there is a great deal to learn, but if you are keen to learn and have the luck of working with a CHEIF that is willing to pass down some of his knowledge then you shouldn’t have a problem. Best of luck to you Biggs