Ship engineers must be licensed by the US Coast Guard and must possess a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). There are different requirements depending on the position and type of craft. To qualify for an engineering officer's license, applicants usually must:
- graduate from the US Merchant Marine Academy or state academy;
- pass a written exam;
- pass a physical exam, vision exam, and drug-screening test;
- be a US citizen or hold a green card;
- hold certificates in first aid and Certified Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR); and
- spend a certain number of hours working on watercraft.
The required number of hours on watercraft depends on the type of license applied for. Those who want to work on ocean vessels must put in more hours than those for lake or river vessels. In addition, more hours are required for work on large boats than on small boats.
Those who have at least three years of sea experience can be licensed if they pass the written exam. It is difficult to pass the exam without training or independent study.
For more information about licensing, contact: