Home United States USCG MMC › You are here


Translate to Your Language

Chief Engineer (Steam / Motor / Gas Turbine / MODU / OSV / STCW) General, Sea Service and Other Requirements by U.S. Coast Guard

uscg chief engineer

The Chief Engineer is the manager of the engineering department and is responsible for the engine room’s efficient operation and the operation of all mechanical and electrical machinery and instruments on board a ship. The Chief Engineer shoulders the responsibility for safe and continued running of the ship. Like other seafaring roles, the Chief Engineer can often be onboard a ship for about 24 weeks at a time. The Chief Engineer credential allows the holder to serve as Chief Engineer on vessels of any tonnage, any horsepower and on any waters. The credentials include:

uscg chief engineer merchant marine

You may also read: International Maritime Organization (IMO) STCW requirements for Chief Engineer


USCG General Requirements for Chief Engineer

  • Age: 21 years of age.
  • U.S. Citizenship
  • TWIC (Transportation Workers Identification Card)
  • Medical Certificate
  • Drug testing compliance (within 6 months)
  • Sea Service letters or discharges
  • Mariner must hold the equivalent national endorsement (in case of STCW Chief Engineer requirements)

USCG Other Requirements for Chief Engineer

  • First Aid
  • Valid CPR
  • Approved Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting course
  • Completion of a Coast Guard approved course

USCG Chief Engineer of Steam / Motor / Gas Turbine Requirements

  • Recency: 90 days in the past 3 years on vessels of appropriate horsepower
  • Sea Service: 360 days of service as an 1st Assistant Engineer, OR 360 days of service while holding a MMC as 1st A/E, of which A minimum of 180 days must have been as first assistant engineer, and the remainder must be as assistant engineer AND Service as an assistant engineer accepted on a 2 for 1 basis.
  • Propulsion: At least 1/3 of the minimum service requirements must have been on the particular mode of propulsion (steam, motor and/or gas turbine) for which applied; OR Completion of a Coast Guard approved course (sea service) - Steam or Motor or Gas Turbine
  • Note: All applicants who began service before March 24, 2014 may qualify for an endorsement valid for gas turbine propulsion based on the previous method of service or training until March 24, 2019.
  • Horsepower: Unlimited Horsepower: At least 50% of the required service on vessels of 4000 HP/3000 kW or more, OR Limited Horsepower: Max HP that 25% of the required service was obtained or 150% HP on which at least 50% of the required service was obtained, WHICHEVER IS GREATER.

USCG Chief Engineer (Limited) of Steam / Motor / Gas Turbine Requirements

  • Recency: 90 days sea service in the past 3 years on vessels of appropriate Horsepower (deck service may be used for recency) - Service gained in the deck department on vessels of appropriate tonnage may substitute for up to 25% or 180 days (whichever is less) of the required service (may be applied towards recency)
  • If service started prior to March 24, 2014: 1440 days of service in the engine room, of WHICH 360 days as an engineer officer while holding an engineer officer endorsement, AND 720 days as a QMED or equivalent position
  • If service started after March 24, 2014: 1800 days of service in the engine room, of WHICH 720 days as an engineer officer while holding an engineer officer endorsement, AND  900 days as a QMED or equivalent position
  • Propulsion: At least 1/3 of the minimum service requirements must have been on the particular mode of propulsion (steam, motor and/or gas turbine) for which applied.
  • Note: All applicants who began service before March 24, 2014 may qualify for an endorsement valid for gas turbine propulsion based on the previous method of service or training until March 24, 2019

USCG Chief Engineer of Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) Sea service Requirements

  • Recency: 90 days in the past 3 years on vessels
  • Chief Engineer MODU: Six years of employment assigned to MODUs including three years of employment as mechanic, motorman, subsea engineer, electrician, barge engineer, toolpusher, unit superintendent, crane operator or equivalent, WITH Eighteen months of that employment must have been assigned to self-propelled or propulsion assisted units OR Two years of employment assigned to MODU’s as an assistant engineer (MODU), WITH Twelve months of that employment must have been assigned to self-propelled or propulsion assisted units
  • Chief Engineer MODU Limited: If applicant successfully completes examination, AND possesses the total required sea service for endorsement as chief engineer (MODU) but does not possess the required sea service onboard self-propelled or propulsion assisted units, the Coast Guard may issue the applicant an endorsement limited to non-self propelled units.
  • Chief Engineer MODU Limited NOTE 1: The Coast Guard may remove the limitation upon presentation of satisfactory evidence of the required self-propelled sea service.
  • Chief Engineer MODU Limited (more): Six years of employment assigned to MODUs including three years of employment as mechanic, motorman, subsea engineer, electrician, barge engineer, toolpusher, unit superintendent, crane operator or equivalent, WITH Eighteen months of that employment must have been assigned to self-propelled or propulsion assisted units, UNLESS If mariner does not have Eighteen Months service on self-propelled or propulsion assisted units, will be issued Chief Engineer Limited MODU, upon obtaining the eighteen months on self-propelled or propulsion assisted units, the limitation will be removed.

USCG Chief Engineer (OSV) Requirements


  • Recency: 90 days in the past 3 years on vessels of appropriate horsepower
  • Chief Engineer (OSV): 1440 days of total service in the engine room of vessels AND 360 days of this service must have been as an engineer officer while holding an engineer officer endorsement AND  720 days of the service must have been as QMED or equivalent position.

chief engineer osv before mar 24, 2014
Table: Chief Engineer (OSV) Requirements if service prior to March 24, 2014 Credits: USCG 

STCW Chief Engineer 3,000 KW/4,000 HP or More Management Level Requirements

  • 1080 days of service as OICEW on ships powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 KW/ 1,000 HP propulsion power or more; however, this period may be reduced to not less than 720 days if the applicant has served for not less than 360 days as second engineer officer on ships powered by propulsion machinery of 3,000 kW/4,000 HP or more.

Chief Engineer 3,000 KW/4,000 HP or More
Table: STCW Chief Engineer 3,000 KW/4,000 HP or More - Assessments Credits: USCG 

STCW Chief Engineer 750 kW/1,000 HP and 3,000 kW/4,000 HP Management Level Sea Service Requirements

  • 720 days of service on seagoing vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of not less than 750kW/1,000HP, of which not less than 360 days must be served while qualified as Second Engineer Officer (1st A/E). AND Provide evidence of meeting the requirements for certification as OICEW.
  • Experience gained in the deck department may be creditable for up to 60 days of the total sea service requirements.
  • An engineer officer qualified to serve as Second Engineer Officer (1st A/E) on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 3,000 kW/4,000 HP or more, may serve as Chief Engineer Officer on vessels powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW/1,000 HP or more and less than 3,000 kW/4,000 HP provided the certificate is so endorsed.

ce 750kw assesment
Table: STCW Chief Engineer 750 kW/1,000 HP and 3,000 kW/4,000 HP - Assessments Credits: USCG 

USCG STCW Chief Engineer Approved Training (STCW Endorsement)

  • Engine Resource Management (ERM)
  • Leadership and Managerial Skills
  • Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment
  • Advanced Fire Fighting within 5 years of application or continuing competencies
  • Basic Training within 5 years of application or continuing competencies

  For more details on STCW Chief Engineer requirements, please visit our STCW section

 

5 1 1 1 1 1 (1 Vote)