Fueling Dreams: The Role and Responsibilities of an Engine Cadet

Engine Cadet

An Engine Cadet on a boat is an apprentice, or trainee, seafarer who is from the very start of his or her work in the maritime field. They are simultaneously onboard to work. To understand so that they can progress through the various seagoing ranks found in the engine room of a vessel.

Cadetships are all the rage in the merchant marines/merchant navy. Alternatively, you usually follow one of two paths: Working as a deck cadet or working as an engine cadet.

A Deck Cadet is the last rung of the deck department, with a chance that the cadet will climb up the work ladder to become an Ordinary Seaman. A Bodied Seaman, a Bosun, a Third, Second also, Chief Officer, and maybe even one day the commander (Captain) of a ship.

Of course, not all Deck Cadets make it to the rank of head, with many remaining happily in AB, Bosun, or one of the lower-ranking Officer positions.

Meanwhile, an Engine Cadet, as the name tells us, is starting in the engineering department. These may have their sights eventually set on promotion to Chief Engineer after they have risen through the ranks of Junior Cadet Engine, Senior Engine Cadet, and finally Junior Engineer and Fourth, Third and Second Engineer.

Also, working in the engineering side of things on many ships will be entry-level cargo ship jobs for instance Motorman, Oiler and Wiper.

Everything you require to know about Engine Cadet jobs

As a cadet on a boat, you are there to soak up every bit of knowledge you can about your desired profession. You will be expected to ask questions, complete your training. Learn about all the different aspects of the engine room. Also, in particular, to learn the duties and responsibilities of the seafarer rank straight above you. Usually, a Third or Fourth Engineer (depending a lot on the size of the ship and the ranks onboard.)

Tasks will usually be set to the Engine Cadet by the Second Engineer, working on behalf of the Chief Engineer. This person is ultimately responsible for the engine room and team.

Again, depending on the vessel, as well as the owner/boss and the senior crew onboard, Cadets will mostly only be working a day shift.

The main things of the job will be the maintenance of the bits of equipment and systems in the engine area. Although you may be required to assist the engineer on work in engine room watches.

Let’s break down what those things are and what maintenance you will be expected to do.

What are the duties and authority of an Engine Cadet?

You should expect to remain busy while one is onboard and be prepared to take orders and handle any of the following duties:

  • Assisting with any planned maintenance work.
  • Assisting in operating pump and fuel systems, distribution and electrical making equipment, air conditioning plants, refrigeration systems, and cranes and lifts.
  • Stripping engines and checking their components.
  • Tracing out (following) the ways of oil, water, or steam as they move through the ship’s systems.
  • Taking note of daily entries from the equipment in the engine room.
  • Taking soundings (checking how much fluid is in a tank.)
  • Helping to keep watch in the engine area.
  • Cleaning, painting, and greasing equipment.

What skills and personal capacities does an Engine Cadet need?

All jobs at sea demand attention to detail, the ability to be able to understand and work upon orders, punctuality, and good communication skills. You have to be able to work as part of a team and to not be scared of hard work. A lot of seafarer jobs are physically demanding so a certain degree of physical fitness will be demanded.

The engine room can be very hot, sweaty, and noisy, so you will have to be able to stay unflustered in, at times, uncomfortable conditions. Therefore a good sense of humor and the ability to handle tight pressure. Thousands of miles away from home and buddies and family are important too.

Does an Engine Cadet have to go to college?

As a cadet is a maritime kind of apprentice, the life of a cadet is split into two parts: The time expended working on a vessel, gaining that all-important hands-on experience and ocean time. And the time spent studying all the various aspects of the job, which will take area in a classroom environment.

As an Engine Cadet, normally, you will be learning about the following subjects at the time in maritime college:

  • Marine electrical systems
  • Engineering technology
  • Marine diesel systems
  • Analytical systems for engineers
  • Instrumentation and management principles
  • Pneumatics also hydraulics
  • Naval architecture
  • Workshop ability
  • Thermodynamics also management
  • Engine room auxiliary equipment
  • Engineering design

You will also cover more general maritime topic such as:

  • Marine law and control
  • Dealing with accidents and happenings, such as the ship running aground or colliding with a different vessel
  • Port operations and cargo agreements

An Engine Cadet training course can be anywhere from 18 months to three years, with a lot of this time being spent on a vessel for real life experience.

How do I become an Engine Cadet?

You need to apply straight to shipping companies alternatively manning / crewing agencies in the hope of discovering work. For instance, here at Martide, our seafarer jobs list at times includes vacancies for Engine Cadets.

It might be a great idea at the start of your career in the maritime field to keep your options on the table. There is a wide range of companies that offer cadetships, not just those in the merchant navy/marines.

For instance, cruise ship companies hire Engine Cadets, as well as different entry-level ship jobs that don’t require diplomas or degrees, such as ship plumbers, entertainers, retail staff, waste operators, wait staff, and carpenters.

As such, you may find that working on a passenger boat, a cargo or container ship, a bulk carrier, a heavy lift ship, or a chemical or oil tanker, the place you will be dealing with one of the lesser-known jobs on the oceans, the Pumpman.

One word of warning: when you’re working with, never pay anyone to find you a job at sea. There are scams out there going younger seafarers. Any reputable company or job agency will not charge you money to find a job. Being a cadet, we should be paid for our work, and if you’re under a cadetship, a company acting as your sponsor will normally handle your training fees.

What are some other jobs on the ocean?

There’s no answer to the query ‘What is a seafarer’s job?’. Jobs on the ocean are spread across various vessels, different areas, and even different teams. There are jobs on boats, jobs in ports, and maritime work ashore in this huge industry.

You could work your way up to end up as a Steward and then a Chief Steward or Chief Stewardess on a big yacht or cruise ship for instance. Or how about putting your welding abilities to the test by training as a Shipfitter? One could even become an excavator worker on a merchant vessel.

If you know your way around a cooking professional, the ship’s cook is an important position on whatever type of ship they’re working on – at least they are to the crew, who are mostly hungry after a hard morning or afternoon’s work!

Also working in the galley (the cooking on a ship) is the Mess guy – an entry-level ship job that is about washing dishes, serving meals, and keeping the place and crew area clean and tidy.

Meanwhile, if you have a liking for all things electrical, there are quite a few positions you may pursue, from Electrical Cadet and Junior Electrician to Marine Electrician to Electro-Technical professional.

If you choose a career at sea, you will experience a job unlike any on land and will have opportunities to meet people from diverse backgrounds, witness breathtaking sights, intimately interact with nature, travel the world, and receive payment while doing it all!

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