What It’s Like To Be A Junior Marine Engineer
The role of a Junior Marine Engineer onboard a ship is quite a hands-on position, where he/she is expected to monitor the engine room. Not alone, however, there would be a second or third engineer to accompany.
If you’re looking into the idea of uprooting and taking on an engineering role on board a ship, be it on a cruise or other vessel, we’ve put looked at what it is exactly required to be a junior engineer.
A JME will have quite flexible working hours and a demanding workload as the expectation is that he/she must assist the engineers and there can be as many as four. The normal working day consists of ensuring that the daily routine checks are carried out. There will also be a few months where the JME will be expected to familiarise with the engine room. To take on this position you must be very committed to the workload and be prepared to experience undefined rest hours.
When the JME is on duty he/she would most usually a shift pattern however, there are times where the JME is asked to do ‘day work’. This is essentially doing a normal 8am-5pm job. Also, there will be times where a JME is called for emergency shifts and to extra time. To be passionate about your job as a junior engineer is important because a mistake in this field of work could cause major accidents.
Onboard the ship it is mandatory for a Junior Marine Engineer to be knowledgeable on all aspects of all the systems, especially the engine room. There is a lot of workloads put on a JME, especially when all the engineers order him/her to undertake tasks.
Although, the written rule is that the fifth engineer (Junior Marine Engineer) can only take orders from the second engineer but, this rule is never followed.
The JME should be fully aware of the pipelines on the ship and as a result, he/she is very important when the bunkering of fuel is being conducted as well as giving away sludge. Also, another task to be complete by the JME is to maintain the checks and logs for all the levels in the engine room.
Along with the duties of a junior marine engineer, he/she is expected to know the starting procedures of the machinery onboard, such as the sewage treatment plants and the main engine.
On top of the core tasks handed to the Junior Marine Engineer, there are a number of other essential responsibilities that are expected to be completed too. There are a number of administrative tasks that must be done such as taking readings of the main parameters from different machinery gauges and making sure that they are logged neatly in the logbook. The oil & Marpol logbook as well as the measurements of the tank logbook have to be filled by the JME. These may be supervised by the Chief Engineer.
The position of a Junior Engineer is very demanding and will take a strong-willed individual to undertake many responsibilities. But, the opportunity to work at sea and have a career on a ship is not something to miss out on.