Did you know that over 18% of Canada's oil and gas production
comes from offshore operations? Marine vessels and their crew play
an integral role in oil and gas production. These vessels are the
workhorses of the industry. All of them need engineering room crews
with strong character, good technical skills and plenty of stamina.
Imagine yourself playing a vital role in maintaining the safety,
integrity and stability of such a vessel and the services it
There are many different specialized vessels involved in
offshore operations. These vessels may include large oil shuttle
tankers, floating production platforms, floating production storage
and offloading vessels, tugboats, drill ships, fireboats and supply
What do members of an Engineering Room Crew do?
There are certified and non-certified engineering crews working
on each vessel. The certified crew consists of a Chief, Second,
Third, Fourth, and Marine Engineer Trainee. Responsibilities
increase as one progresses from a Trainee level to Chief Engineer.
The crew operates, troubleshoot and monitor all mechanical,
electrical, hydraulic and propulsion systems on the vessel. They
also keep watch on deck.
The non-certified crew consists of Junior Engineers, Pumpmen,
Oilers, and Wipers. Their duties involve basic maintenance and
operation such as keeping all equipment lubricated and clean.
The number of different certified and non-certified engineering
jobs aboard each vessel will depend on the type, size and
complexity of that vessel.
How do I become a member of theEngineering Room Crew?
You must first become certified by Transport Canada. There are
fourlevels of certification issued and the level you pursue depends
on theposition you want to obtain. These levels are:
- First class level
qualifies you for Chief Engineer of any vessel.
- Second class, for
Chief Engineer of small to medium sized vessels or Second Engineer
of large vessels.
- Third class, for
watch keeping duties on large vessels or ChiefEngineer of small
- Fourth class, for
watch keeping duties.
All certification requires a combination of coursework, testing
andexperience. Many employers prefer a technology diploma or
degreein marine studies coupled with relevant experience for
engineeringleadership jobs. For non-certified engineer jobs, high
schoolgraduation is the minimum requirement for entry level
What are the working conditions like?
Conditions at sea including varied weather conditions can be
harsh; however, safety protocols are strictly adhered to. Many
companies operating platforms provide crew quarters and meals.
Everyone works as a team. Watch keepers from the engine and deck
departments work four hours, then have eight hours off with the
possibility of overtime. This cycle is every 24 hours while the
vessel is at sea. Time away from home for prolonged periods,
sometimes up to three weeks can be expected.
Do I fit the bill?
Do you think you have what it takes to become a valuable
member of an Engineering Room Crew?
- I am good at solving problems under
- I am a great
- I have good concentration skills and
am not easily distracted.
- I can understand and relay technical
- I enjoy seeing how related processes
come together to achieve an outcome.
- I am innovative and enjoy finding out
how things work.
- I have the stamina and enthusiasm to
work at sea on ships and platforms.
- I can follow safety rules and
precautions, and understand their importance when dealing with
potentially hazardous material and equipment.
- I can handle physical exertion and
exposure to heights.
- I am capable of working rotational
shifts, long hours and changes in routine.
- I am a good swimmer.
- I can cope with helicopter travel and
possible basket transfer between vessels.
- I can work and live in confined
quarters with limited privacy.
- I can be absent from home for
prolonged periods, sometimes up to three weeks.
- I believe in team work to get the job
done and for survival.
- I believe that I have what it takes
to be an excellent member of a marine engineering room
Quick tips and next steps!
- Research offshore oil and gas
industry's major projects off the east coast of Canada. In
particular, check out the informative websites for the Hibernia,
Sable Offshore Energy, Terra Nova, White Rose Oilfield Development,
and Cohasset-Panuke offshore production projects.
- Visit career fairs and talk to
offshore petroleum operation employers. Check with employment
centres, educational institutions, newspapers, petroleum-related
magazines and the internet for information on career
- Check Transport Canada's website at
www.tc.gc.ca to learn more about
certification standards for this occupation.
- Check the websites of marine colleges
and universities to learn about the topics taught in their
- Ensure that you are comfortable with
marine working conditions before beginning your certification
- Look for summer jobs that involve
being on a vessel out at sea.
Want more info?
For information on other industry occupations check