Trainee marine engineers, also famously known as junior or 5th engineers on board ships, come on merchant vessels as part of their learning process and also to gain practical knowledge in order to qualify for competitive exams. Every professional, irrespective of the field, start his/her career from an internship position, an on-site learning process. On ships, the junior engineer is an intern, who is not only excited of this new wonderful world called “ship” but is also equally naive, both professionally and personally. Marine engineers are responsible for the internal systems of a ship, such as the propulsion, electrical, refrigeration, and steering systems.
BE in Marine Engineering / Nautical Science and PG Diploma in Mechanical Engineering are the basic qualifications to become a Marine Engineer. The minimum educational qualifications for pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Engineering or Nautical science is plus two or equivalent with high percentage of marks in science subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. These courses are of 4 years duration. Chennai School of Ship Management offer Alternate Training Scheme (ATS) of three years to become a Marine Engineer.
Good health is required to be a good Marine Engineer. Physical fitness is a must and there are certain medical norms that need to be met to get entry into the Marine Engineering courses. The minimum height should be 150cms with correlated weight and proportionate chest with minimum 5-cm expansion. He should also pass a medical fitness test for sea service under standard norms and with eyesight 6/6 with no colour blindness.
A course in Marine engineering deals with the training leading to careers in ship repair and ship operation. The candidates are given a knowledge of fairly high standards in fundamental engineering sciences, specialised knowledge of theoretical and practical marine engineering and also a basic knowledge of social sciences and humanities. In addition to this, the course entitles the trainees to acquire the competencies prescribed by the Standards of Training, Certification and watch-keeping for sea-farers.
In order to become a Marine engineer, a person should possess some essential personal attributes. Good English language proficiency and physical fitness is a must. They should have excellent technical knowledge, math and IT skills.