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I'm looking for information about how to become a Merchant Marine Engineer.

I'm looking for information about how to become a Merchant Marine Engineer.

(OP)
I'm finishing up my BSME and am very interested in becoming a MME due to the 6 months on 6 months off nature of the work. I've heard I need to get my TWIC, but don;t know what else I need to do to become a MME. Will i need to take the FE. Andy advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

RE: I'm looking for information about how to become a Merchant Marine Engineer.

The Coast Guard issues licenses and administers tests for engineers. I think I'd check there as a start for requirements. I think you'll have to sail in an unlicensed capacity for some length of time first (seaman, wiper, oiler, etc..). You might also check with MEBA (Marine Engineer's Union) too.

The six on, six off sounds appealing but it depends on actually getting a steady job doing that. US flag shipping has dropped so competition for jobs will be high. I would urge you to do your homework on job prospects. There are a lot of young engineers each year that come out of schools like NY Maritime, Mass Maritime, Maine Maritime, USMMA, that don't sail and I think it's because jobs aren't there.

RE: I'm looking for information about how to become a Merchant Marine Engineer.

Ironically, a friend of mine recently retired from the merchant marine. Several things that I learned from him were 1)he had to take some stringent tests in Washington DC to be on the bridge; he was not a captain, though 2) he had to go to NYC and check on availability of posted jobs which sometimes he stayed there for several days for good or bad news about impending jobs 3) he was out to sea for several months and then back at home for that same amount of time 4) when he entered service some 30/ 40 years ago he had to buy his own sextant which became outdated with GPS 4) shipping owners are tight with their money and would not have invested into GPS installations until the owners realized how much money they could save 5) circumnavigating the globe has allures but there are spots in this world where heat and humidity are oppressive in such places as Qatar and Dubai 7) while he had to wear a uniform most of the time, in those oppressive place, he just wore shorts, T shirt and a towel around his neck 8) I guess the money was good as he seems comfortable in his retirement but that came at a cost of not seeing his kids and of course his wife for sustainable periods of time 9)and now that my friend has retired, he has no interest in sailing. I will find out in the next few days more details about educational requirements and any other applicable details and I'll let you know, perhaps in a week.

RE: I'm looking for information about how to become a Merchant Marine Engineer.

The Merchant Marine is divided into roughly two camps: The Deck Department, which is in charge of navigating and driving the ship and the Engine Department, which employs the engineers who keep the machinery turning for the Deck Department.

The Engine Department is not in charge of navigating or driving the ship, so you don't need to worry about purchasing sextants, GPS, and all that navigation crap.

The standard off duty uniform is usually khakis, and while you are working in the Engine Department, a boiler suit (coveralls) or some other casual clothing which can get dirty is acceptable.

It's too bad you've already gone thru a BSME program and now decide you want to be an engineering officer. There are schools where you could have trained to be a marine engineer from the get-go, places like the Merchant Marine Academy, SUNY Maritime, or the Mass. Merchant Academy, all of which award degrees, provide opportunities to work aboard ship while in school, and help you find a job after graduation.

You only need to take the FE if you want to become a Licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer. The licensing requirements to become a merchant marine engineer are a bit different.

As it stands now, you'll have to start at the bottom and get your seaman's documents, starting with the Oiler/Seaman Wiper card. You should contact the nearest office of the US Coast Guard or check out the website for the National Maritime Center at www.uscg.mil/nmc/ for more information.

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