Duties of Electrical Engineer Officer On Board Ship

All the machinery onboard ship is a combination of mechanical and electrical systems. The modern day shipping is more reliable on automations and electronics whose knowledge and maintenance can only be handled by an engineer expert in the electrical field. Marine electrical officer engineers are perfect for such jobs and that’s why they hold an important role on ship and in offshore industry.

Electrical engineer is one of the most vital positions in the technical hierarchy of a ship and engineer is responsible for his assigned work under the chief engineer’s instructions.

Electrical Engineer

Some shipping companies do not carry electrical officers on their ship to cut down the manning cost and the electrical duties are carried by some one from the engineer’s side, normally third engineer. However, many companies realized that electrical and electronic system requires some extra attention and therefore require an expert to attend them.

As the technology is advancing, more and more automations and electronic circuit is replacing conventional and electrical systems. Hence the international Maritime Organisation (IMO) amended STCW 95 on 25th June 2010 known as Manila amendment, to introduce a certified position of Electro-technical officer in place of electrical officer.

The general duties of electrical engineer or Electro-technical officer are:

  • He is responsible for maintenance of all the electrical motors on ship i.e. in engine room and on deck.
  • He is in charge of maintenance of all switchboard including main switchboard and emergency switchboard.
  • He is responsible for maintenance of fire detectors and fire alarm system.
  • He is responsible for the electronic system fitted onboard ship.
  • He is responsible for the ship’s navigational lights and other navigational equipments.
  • He is responsible for all the batteries that are connected to machineries onboard. It includes:
  • He has to take care of air conditioning unit of the vessel.
  • He is responsible for cargo and engine room cranes electrical system.
  • He has to carry out routine maintenance for main engine alarms and trips along with the chief engineer.
  • During the time of manoeuvring, he has to be present in the engine room along with other engineers to tackle any kind of electrical and other emergencies.
  • Electrical officer can assist in watch keeping routines at desired time by the chief engineer.
  • He has to assist ship’s engineer and deck officer in all kind of electrical problems.

Even the post of electrical officer is not a compulsion on a ship, but due to technicalities and complex knowledge requirement of the electrical and electronic system, they are extensively present in the shipping industry.


  1. Hello Sir/Madam
    Your help to us in our studies is very helpful. Thanks alot for it.

    Can you also say me
    10 things for a 4th engineer to call chief engineer to engine room while he is on watch.

  2. Perfect… You will get an answer to your question with appropriate article within few days.. Thanks. If there is something else that you would like to read/ know… just let us know.

  3. @ Vikas Singh:

    Great!! If you want to add your own points, you are most welcome. Just let us know…

  4. Is there a IMO Model course for electrician officer or ETO? or somewhat similar? I need Lesson plan, Syllabus, timetable, exercise plan, whatever you can share.

    Thank you!

  5. @ Marina: Will send you attachment for detail requirement of ETO in Merchant Ships.

  6. now i am doing 3rr year electrical engineering… after complete degree can i do marine engineering? what should i do for that? any entrance exams are there for that?

  7. just tell the truth. marine engineers were not good in electrical compare to electricians. we studied most of us 5 years with pure electrical theory, actual and design. and those marine engineers are studied only with basic electrical. this is a common sense. do you think that marine engineers are capable to do electrical jobs. most of them is acting only that they know the electrical system but when the problem arise. they dont know what to do. if it is very hard to electrican to troubleshoot and understand some electrical problems onboard who studied 5 years in pure electrical, what more this stupid marine engineers can! most of them have BIG PRIDE only that they dont want the electricians to give way to become higher than marine engineers. In philippines, most of electrician were electrical engineer license. we studied 5 years in electrical compare to 3 years only with marine engineering. they become 4 years coures after get onboard experience. but while onboard, most of the cadets perform there duty as a worker not as a student.

  8. I am electrical engineer(1st class electrical engineer license).I have 15years seagoing expirience on board of bulk carriers & container carriers vessels.Last years come more clever engineers,who learn electricity well,but any way electrical engineer(electrician)should to be on board for more safety operation &maintenance electrical equipment.

  9. Hello sir/madam

    I am engineering final year student of ece department, I am looking for jobs in ships which sail for long days for different countries. Any suggestion about that sir/madam. I am thinking to do course of ETO suggest me plz sir/madam where can do that course to get that kind of job to sail for long days in ship… Plz help me sir/madam.

  10. help pls. i am a new eto can anyone help me on how to synchronize a sperry marine gyro repeater.. thanks in anvance

  11. Is there a IMO Model course for electrician
    officer or ETO? or somewhat similar? I need
    Lesson plan, Syllabus, timetable, exercise
    plan, whatever you can share.
    Thank you.

    I studied EEE in MAN ORON, NIGERIA, am working onboard as Electrician. I want also to know how I can get my classing.

  12. sir i ll completed in DEEE i have INDIAN CDC rank ELECTRICAl and ELECTRONIC OFF I like to work in ship.but i dont know to next step. what can i do sir .any exams are there for it?i have 3 yrs experience in onshore field.pls say something sir

  13. i need a job on a vessel.i’m an electrical engineer but now i have my stcw basic certificate.please i need an assistance.thank you.

  14. Respected Sir,
    I have been working since last 5 years in the Electrical Industry in India.
    I have worked in power plants (Thermal, Diesel & Gas Engine) and manufacturing units and have a good knowledge of the electrical equioments in these indusries. I a willing to make my career in Ship Industry.
    Can you assist me in knowing what are the current Job opportunities available for me.


  15. For an ETO (Electro Technical Officer) job onboard ship you have to do ETO course of a duration of four to six month. For existing EO it is for sixteen days.

  16. Hello my friends,

    please I have plenty of electronic cards for vessels types as liebherr, siemens etc.
    i want to sell them. i have a list of some…please if someone interested please send me e-mail
    and contact with you.
    thank you

  17. I am btech final year student in the trade of EEE I am eager to do the my job in ships which are sailing. so please tell me what is my next step?I have read the posts in that I got my next step is ETO .so please tell where I can do that courses ?please sir/mam.i hope that you will give information as fast as you can thank you

  18. I m in Electrical Dip.Sy . I want to join shipping so in what should be i good in.

  19. Hello sir/madam
    I am engineering final year student of the Regional Maritime University Ghana, Marine Electrical /Electronic Engineering department and i will be completing next year in Jully, I am looking for jobs in ships which sail for long days for different countries.

    The ETO course is been taking in my school but they need one year sea going experience before you be allow to take the course.

  20. Hi Anish we appreciate your words about ETO.

    I Need some information if anybody help that will grateful to me ,

    Iam a Oiler with holding indian CDC and COP ,my company promoted as trainee electrical officer and i have 12 month experience on tr.EO and 100 months in Oiler

    Can you give me the procedure for EO CDC requirement and how do i get in to ETO?

  21. @Pranav: Have you completed your ETO course? you need to sail as a trainee and then apply for ETO COC.

  22. Thanks to my fellow job seekers. Surely we have so many issues in common.This forum is a good tool to educated all those who have pursued marine related courses and can not find jobs in this sector.
    I am also looking for a job as an electrical Technician in the ship.

  23. @Mohammad Abdullah: Thank you so much for your support. Please do share and spread the knowledge ??

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