2nd Engineering Officer







What is a 2nd Engineer Officer/Seafarer?

Does a life working at sea and visiting various countries appeal to you? 

One of the few careers that will fully satisfy your spirit of adventure is that of a 2nd Engineer Officer/Seafarer.

A career in engineering could lead you to a life as an Engineering Officer on board a ship whether with the Navy or with a Commercial Shipping Company.

They are responsible for managing the daily maintenance and operation of the engine room. He/she reports directly to the chief engineer.

The job is mentally and physically challenging.  A Engineering Officer’s career may bring about good pay packages and excellent career opportunities for promotion.

What does a 2nd Engineer Officer/Seafarer do?

  • manages engine room
  • manages staff
  • trains staff
  • maintains engines (steam/gas turbine, diesel)
  • overhauls engines
  • repairs engines and its parts
  • installs new parts
  • finds problems and solve them
  • maintains refrigeration systems
  • works in shifts round the clock in the engine room
  • reports to the chief engineer officer

Are you … ?

  • claustrophobic?  If yes, this would not be a good career for you!
  • a person who loves the sea?
  • mechanically minded?
  • interested in travel?
  • hard worker?
  • willing to work unusual hours?
  • technical?
  • team player?
  • organised?
  • confident?

How do I become a 2nd Engineer Officer/Seafarer?

Most shipping companies offer a 3 to 4 year cadetship which includes technical study.  These cadets advance to the higher ranks of their chosen career.

A Diploma in either Engineering or Maritime Studies requires a trainee to do a minimum of 12 months on board a ship during which a Training Record Book is completed.  It is important that during this time, courses, specific to your chosen field, be completed.  You will then take the SAMSA oral examination.  This will be your first qualification as an Engineering Officer.

As a Junior Engineer you will work through the ranks to 4th and 3rd Engineer and so on.


Offers a 3 year National Diploma in Technology

Minimum requirements:

A National Senior Certificate (NSC) with 4 recognised NSC 20-credit subjects with an achievement rating of 3 (Moderate Achievement: 40-49%) or better.

Required subjects:  Mathematics and English

Recommended subjects:  Engineering graphics and Design, Physical Science or Biology

Baccalaureus in Technology (BTech)

Minimum requirements:  Admission to this 1-year course may be subject to additional minimum admission requirements.  This may include a minimum pass mark in the third year of the National Diploma programme.


National Diploma (2 year course followed by a year of practical, on-site learning)

Minimum requirements: A National Senior Certificate (NSC) with 4 recognised NSC 20-credit subjects with an achievement rating of 4 (Moderate Achievement: 50-59%) or better.

Required subjects: Mathematics, Physical Science and English

Minimum APS score of 28 points


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Paramedic or Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic

Is becoming a 2nd Engineer Officer/Seafarer the right career choice for me?