Home STCW › You are here


What is your Language? (Select to translate)

General Requirements, STCW Certificates, Endorsements & Training Required for Second Engineer (First Assistant Engineer)

second enginner ship

A Second Engineer (First Assistant Engineer) is a licensed member of engineering department on a merchant vessel and directly reports to the chief engineer. The second engineer assists the Chief Engineer in vessel technical operations including specific tasks and, in all duties delegated by the Chief Engineer. The primary function of the Second Engineer is to supervise the daily operations and maintenance of all machinery including the ballast system, plant and fire-fighting equipment on-board.

Specific roles include but not limited to - Safety, Pollution Prevention, Engine Room Management, Operation and Maintenance of Machinery, Maintain and Update Documentation, and Personnel Training. The second engineer is the second in command of the engine department after the ship's chief engineer and also replaces the Chief Engineer if the Chief Engineer is not on board or is not any more in capacity to ensure his duty.

Qualifications, training and seagoing service necessary required to become a second engineer is defined under the STCW convention and each country administration would have its own specific regulations. Generally, training under a maritime academy would give an opportunity to start a career in the engine department of a merchant ship and, there are other alternative routes such as apprenticeships are also possible.

You may also read

engine room ships

Second Engineer is the engineer officer next in rank to the chief engineer officer and upon whom the responsibility for the mechanical propulsion and the operation and maintenance of the mechanical and electrical installations of the ship will fall in the event of the incapacity of the Chief Engineer


General Requirements to Obtain a Certificate as a Second Engineer

Second engineer officers on ships powered by main propulsion machinery of 3,000 kW propulsion power or more must:

  • Previous Certificate & Seagoing Service: meet the requirements for certification as an officer in charge of an engineering watch and have not less than 12 months approved seagoing service as assistant engineer officer or engineer officer.
  • Education & Training: have completed approved education and training and meet the standard of competence specified in section A-III/2 of the STCW Code.
  • Note: Second engineer officers qualified for service on ships powered by main propulsion machinery of 3,000 kW propulsion power or more, may serve as chief engineer officer on ships powered by main propulsion machinery of less than 3,000 kW propulsion power provided not less than 12 months approved seagoing service shall have been served as an engineer officer in a position of responsibility and the certificate is so endorsed.
  • Additional Requirements under STCW 2010: See below

Second engineer officers on ships powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW - 3,000 kW propulsion power must:

  • Previous Certificate & Seagoing Service: meet the requirements for certification as an officer in charge of an engineering watch and have not less than 12 months approved seagoing service as assistant engineer officer or engineer officer.
  • Education & Training: have completed approved education and training and meet the standard of competence specified in section A-III/3 of the STCW Code.
  • Additional Requirements under STCW 2010: See below
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS UNDER STCW 2010

Second engineer officers on ships of 3,000 kW propulsion power or more

  • Manage the operation of propulsion plant machinery
  • Knowledge of engine room management
  • Application of leadership and managerial skills
  • Contribute to the safety of personnel and ship

Second engineer officers on ships of 750 - 3,000 kW propulsion power

  • Increased requirements for near coastal voyages

STCW Certificates, Endorsements & Training Required for Second Engineer

second engineeer certificates
      Table:Second Engineer certificates and training requirements. Credits: ITWF

1 1 1 1 1