Junior Marine Engineer or Engine Cadet is a trainee onboard a ship for 6-9 months contract.
His basic duties as defined in any company SMS would be to assist his seniors and complete his assignments or TAR Book (Training and Assessment Record book).
Junior engineer works under the supervision of the Second Engineer and reports to Chief Engineer about the progress.
A junior engineer is not responsible for any operation on the ship, but they should get involved in every activity to learn as much as possible.
The Cadetship time is the best time to learn anything onboard a ship as you are a newbie, and you can ask anyone about anything on the ship.
Well, that was about your duties mentioned on the company SMS, but on the ground Zero, you need to work really hard to learn most out of your 6-9 month contract.
Duties of Junior Engineer onboard a Ship
- To obey the instructions of your seniors.
- To get familiarized with all the escape routes from the engine room,
- To get familiarized with the location and working principle of all the machinery onboard the ship.
- To get familiarized with all the safety equipment and related procedures to be followed in case of an emergency.
- To fill the engine logbook correctly,
- To get familiarized with all the paperwork of all the engineers, especially the fourth Engineer.
- To get familiarized with all the tools and their use,
- To get familiarized with the spare parts inventory and spares management system,
- To complete his assignments given in TAR Book and get them signed by the second Engineer and chief Engineer periodically,
- To clean the specified areas as per the order of Second Engineer.
- To learn the basic operations on board a ship like sounding, transferring oil or sludge, run incinerator, garbage management,
Now I am going to discuss the working hours of a junior engineer on manned as well as on UMS class ships. Consider this as a general overview of your working hours, it may change from ship to ship, and with Crew to crew.
Working Hours of a junior engineer on Manned Ship
On a manned ship, duties are divided into a watch system; it’s typically like
- Fourth Engineer and one Oiler – 8-12 (Both day and night)
- Third Engineer and one Oiler – 12-4 (Both day and night)
- Second Engineer and one Oiler – 4-8 (Both day and night)
- Fitter and Electrical officer on day work from 0800-1700 Hrs.
With this type of watch schedule, a junior engineer generally works in second engineer watch, means from morning 0400-0800 and evening 1600-2000 Hrs.
Moreover, you have to do overtime also from 0900-1200 hours, Considering 0800-0900 as the break for breakfast.
Daily Routine of Junior Engineer on a Manned Ship
So, on a manned ship, you will wake up around 0330 hours, take a quick shower if you want, go to galley for some quick snacks, and rush to the Engine Room.
There you will meet your boss, i.e., Second Engineer, oilers and Third Engineer.
The first thing you need to do is listen to the taking over of watch conversation between Third and Second engineer.
Then, you proceed with your Engine room round, and after completing the round, report to the second Engineer for any abnormality and ask him about some work.
Most of the time, the second Engineer will not give you any work between 0400 and 0800 hrs. But you should keep yourself busy in some or the other work.
Morning hours are the best to complete your paperwork and other small jobs.
Then you will be allowed to have your breakfast between 0800-0900hours, after which the action starts.
This is the time to do some of the major overhauls or routine maintenance jobs as planned by the second and Chief Engineer.
1200-0400 will be your rest hours, and then you have to report in the engine room at 1600 hours again.
This time, you may expect to complete the unfinished work from morning, or you can assist the third Engineer or follow the instructions of second Engineer as he says.
Dinner time is from 1800-1900 hrs. So you might get a break in between. All this depends on the second Engineer.
Then you finally get a break for the day at 2000 hours.
Note: This was just an overview of working hours on a manned ship. This might be different from ship to ship.
Daily Routine of Junior Engineer on an Unmanned Ship
On an Unmanned ship, working hours are from 0800-1700 hours,
Life is a bit easier onboard a UMS class vessel as compared to a manned ship.
You need to report in the engine room by 0745 hrs. After which, a toolbox meeting will be carried out, and all the personnel are briefed about the work.
Then everyone will start their work, including you, tea break will be from 1000-1030 hours after which you might require to fill up the engine logbook.
The lunch break will be from 1200-1300 hrs. But make sure that you, as a junior engineer, should report 5-10 minutes early.
Then the second phase of the day starts, which ends by 1700 hours or more depending upon the workload and Crew.
Some Do’s and Don’ts for Junior Engineers
- Always try to be punctual,
- Obey the orders of your seniors,
- Never say NO to your seniors, Maybe sometimes your seniors are also wrong at their point, but still say YES, and get yourself out of the discussion ASAP.
- Try to involve in each and every work done on the ship.
- PRO TIP: Write your daily experience in a diary at the end of the day. This will help you a lot in your career.
- Work hard for the first 2-3 months of your contract, and the remaining life will be a lot easier.
- Try to learn the jobs of each and every Engineer, including chief Engineer, before you sign off from your first vessel.
- Don’t hesitate to ask your doubts from your seniors, no matter how silly the doubt may be.
- The best way to go ahead with your learning is to start filling your TAR Book. Keep doing the assignments, and start learning about the same.
- Don’t do politics, nor leak the matters of the engine room to other people onboard.
So, guys, that was all about the duties of junior Engineer onboard a ship,
I have only shared what I experienced in my sea life; the situation on your ship may vary in some or the other form.
Do share this post with your friends who want to know about the duties of junior Engineer onboard a ship to clear their doubts to some extent.