What you can expect as an assistant engineer
The Assistant Engineer is directly responsible to the Master for the proper operation and maintenance of all mechanical equipment on the vessel. The primary responsibility of the Assistant Engineer is to safely operate and efficiently maintain the vessel machinery. The Chief Engineer directs the operational maintenance required of the Assistant Engineer. The following is a general job description of what can be expected of a newly hired Assistant Engineer and is not all inclusive. The Marine Operations Manual and the current labor agreement should be referred to for additional information..
It is preferred that an Assistant Engineer have a minimum of a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officer License as Assistant Engineer – 6000 horsepower or greater; Limited. Designated Duty Engineer (DDE) is not recognized by the Company.
Physical Demands – Assistant Engineer
- Assistant Engineers are frequently required to move equipment that is heavy or awkward. It will frequently be necessary to move equipment that is heavy, large, and awkward from one level to another. Mechanical lifting devices are provided and must be used as necessary. Assistance must be obtained from other members of the crew when appropriate.
- Assistant Engineers must ascend and descend stairs and ladders, sometimes while transporting tools or objects. They must use portable ladders or stools to allow them to work on systems that are located in the overhead section of machinery spaces.
- Repairs may require that engineers reach into small, poorly accessible areas of machinery; work on equipment that has pressurized or hot components; secure or segregate systems to provide an adequate safety margin; troubleshoot equipment that is difficult to reach; work in areas that have high noise levels; work below decks in an area that may experience periods of darkness in unusual situations; and work in confined and restricted spaces.
- The Assistant Engineer must have color vision that allows him/her to safely work on electrical systems that have color coded wires; distinguish between warning, alarm, and normal operating lights; discern system components that are identifiable by color code; and observe basic safety precautions that may be related to color identification.
- An Assistant Engineer’s hearing must be adequate to ensure safety while working in a machinery space with a high level of background noise and detect changes in operating sounds of machinery. An Assistant Engineer must be capable of communicating with the Master or other personnel via portable or fixed VHF-FM radio as well as by intercom systems or voice communication.
- An Assistant Engineer must possess sufficient physical dexterity to manipulate small items in restricted spaces or large objects when using mechanical lifting devices.
- An Assistant Engineer must be capable of reading well enough to comprehend the various manufacturers’ instruction manuals which describe preventative and corrective maintenance procedures for the equipment aboard the vessel. An Assistant Engineer must also be capable of reading and understanding written directives which may affect his job or emergency assignment.
- The Assistant Engineer must be capable of performing assigned emergency duties without undue danger to self or the vessel.
A newly hired Assistant Engineer will be expected to perform the following duties while aboard Company vessels:
- Safely and efficiently operate the vessels engineering plant.
- Oversee the transfer of necessary fuel, water and lube oil to and within the vessel.
- Perform routine and emergency repairs to the vessels main and auxiliary systems.
- Become familiar with Company policies and procedures.
- Become proficient in and assist in line handling operations.