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General Requirements, STCW Certificates & Training Required for Electro-technical Officer

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The Electro Technical Officer (ETO) or Electrical Officer is a licensed member of the engine department of a merchant ship as per Section A-III/6 of the STCW Code and is the most vital in the technical hierarchy of modern advanced ships with automated and conventional electrical and electronic systems. Unlike other marine engineers, the ETO does not carry out an assigned engine room watch and instead they generally work on daily shift carrying out electrical and electronic maintenance, repairs, diagnosis, installations and testing.

Electrical Officers are responsible for monitoring all electronic and electrical equipment onboard to maximize the operational safety and efficiency of the vessel under the Chief Engineer’s overview. An electro technical officer is one of the most important people on a vessel, especially when it comes to the expertise of handling electrical equipment of the vessel.

An ETO work in close association with deck and engineering officers for all electrical and hydraulic technology and machinery related challenges. Safe operations and routine maintenance of the vessel’s power, propulsion, auxiliary, and other electro-mechanical and electronic systems is part of the duty and they are responsible for power generation and distribution systems and for other equipment such as lifts, reefers and electrical bus systems.

ship electrical systems

Electro-technical Officer is an officer qualified in accordance with the provisions of regulation III/6 of the STCW Convention


General Requirements to Obtain a Certificate of Competency as an ETO

Electro-technical officers serving on a seagoing ship powered by a main propulsion machinery of 750 kW propulsion power or more must be:

  • Age: not less than 18 years of age.
  • Seagoing Service: have completed not less than 12 months of combined workshop skills training and approved seagoing service of which not less than six months shall be seagoing service as part of an approved training program or; not less than 36 months of combined workshop skills training and approved seagoing service of which not less than 30 months shall be seagoing service in the engine department. This must be documented in an approved training record book.
  • Education & Training: have completed approved education and training program meeting the standards of competence specified in section A-III/6 of the STCW Code.
  • Note: Seafarers may be considered to have met requirements of this regulation if they have served on board a ship for a period of not less than 12 months within the last 60 months preceding the entry into force of this regulation and the competence specified in section A-III/6. Notwithstanding the above requirements, a suitable qualified person may be able to undertake certain functions of section A-III/6.

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STCW Certificates & Training Required for ETO

eto stcw certificates
  Table: ETO certificates and training requirements. Credits: ITF

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