Joining the Merchant Navy is the start of an exciting and rewarding career, but before you apply it is crucial that you have a firm understanding of the different departments and job titles entail. This is to help ensure that you’re matched to the perfect department for you.
This article aims to give you an overview of the Electrotechnical department, and exactly what the team does aboard ship.
What is the Electrotechnical Department?
The electrotechnical department is a crucial team a board any vessel, as they monitor and maintain all electrical equipment on board- from large control systems in the engine room to radios and radars on the bridge.
Ensuring all of this is running smoothly is paramount to running a safe and efficient modern vessel.
What is an Electro-technical Officer?
Members of this department are known as Electro-technical Officers, or “ETO’s”. The team reports to the chief engineer and can be composed of Electro -technical engineers and ETO cadets, and work to monitor all of the electronic equipment, being on call to quickly address any issues.
How to Become an ETO
To enter into an ETO position aboard a vessel, the STCW convention states you must be over 18 and have previous experience and education in all core duties. Gaining this experience usually comes through cadet training programmes.
If you’re interested in jump-starting a new career as a Merchant Navy electrician, then an ETO cadetship is the perfect place to start. Merchant Navy cadetships consist of in-class learning through colleges, practical skills and at Sea placements, sponsored by a marine charity or commercial organisation. This means that, similar to an apprenticeship, cadets get paid to be trained in their field and earn practical experience alongside schooling.
By the time you have completed your course, you will be a confidant and well-prepared electro-technical engineer, ready to join a team aboard any vessel ranging from large trading ship to a private yacht.
Applying for an ETO Cadetship
There are different qualification streams you can apply for through Chiltern, including an HND or a foundation degree in Marine Electrical Engineering.
The entry requirements for the HND course are GCSE grades of 5 or above in maths, physical science, English and at least one other subject. These entry requirements also apply to the foundation degree course, in addition to applicants requiring a minimum of 48 Tariff points through A-Levels or equivalent.