Marine Engineer Officers are the Navy’s experts on ship’s structure, propulsion, power generation, hydraulic and habitability systems.
- SpecialisationEngineering and Technical Trades
- Starting Salary$57,122
About the role
Marine Engineer Officers are the Navy’s experts on ship structure, propulsion, power generation, hydraulic and habitability systems.
Onboard a ship you will lead a team of skilled technicians who operate, maintain and repair this diverse range of equipment. You will also be the critical decision maker in the ship’s response to fire-fighting and damage control.
Leadership and the ability to communicate effectively in a multi-disciplinary environment will be your key qualities. You are also likely to be a logical thinker, work well in a team, and seek challenging work environments.
Job on base
In shore based positions, most of which are based in Devonport Naval Base (Auckland), Marine Engineer Officers perform duties in support of the fleet. You are responsible for the procurement and through-life support of our ships, as well as the training and management of our officers and sailors.
A diverse range of positions are available such as project management, equipment procurement and upgrades, system performance analysis and maintenance planning. Your career will be managed so that you rotate regularly through these roles, ensuring you develop a broad understanding of marine engineering tasks. Further specialist training will be provided in fields such as project management, to ensure you have all the skills required for the job.
Job on deployment
Onboard a ship, once you're fully qualified you will lead the Marine Engineering Department - a team of up to 35 skilled technicians.
You will be responsible directly to the Commanding Officer for the performance and availability of the equipment under your charge, and the welfare and training of the people under your leadership. You will hold a senior position onboard, and will work closely with the other members of the senior leadership team to achieve the ship’s objectives.
Career progression and training
After graduating JOCT and six months experience on-board a ship, you will move to either the Royal Navy School of Marine Engineering near Portsmouth, UK; or the Royal Australian Navy's Engineering Training Facility in Melbourne, Australia. Here you'll complete the Systems Engineering and Management Course, learning the principles of marine engineering and management of a ship’s engineering department.
The next phase of your career will be on-the-job training conducted under the supervision of a senior Marine Engineer. You will be mentored to achieve the Marine Engineer Officers’ Charge Qualification (MCQ), which indicates you have the theoretical and practical knowledge required to take sole charge of a ship’s Marine Engineering Department.
You will then rotate through various shore based engineering positions every 18 to 24 months, to broaden your skills before returning to sea as the senior Marine Engineer. You will be offered continuous internal and external training opportunities for professional development. You will be able to complete your Masters degree, and you'll benefit from a streamlined route to becoming a Chartered Engineer through the IMarEST or IPENZ.
Upon successful enlistment into the Navy you will complete the seven week Joint Officer Induction Course (JOIC) at RNZAF Base – Woodbourne. Once you march out of the JOIC you continue with the remaining 15 weeks of Junior Officer Common Training course (JOCT), which is back at the Devonport Naval Base. You will be exposed to various subjects and find out if you’ve got what it takes to be an officer in the Navy!
Joint Officer Induction Course (JOIC)
All NZ Defence Force (NZDF) Officer Cadets and Midshipman are required to complete this course which is designed to introduce the basic individual military skills required to continue on to your respective service Officer training courses. The course will give you a basic level of military skills including field-craft, weapon handling, navigation, drill, sea survival, battle-craft, seamanship, communications and an introduction to leadership. It is during JOIC that you will be introduced to the standards and discipline demanded of all members of the NZDF and the ethos and values required to be an Officer in the NZDF.
Junior Officer Common Training (JOCT)
The following are just some of the subject areas covered on JOCT:
- RNZN customs
- Drill and parades
- Military law
- Weapons training
- Basic mariner training
- Defence and strategic studies
- Communication skills
- Command, leadership and management
Upon successful completion of the JOIC, you will be posted to Officer Training School, Devonport to complete the JOCT Course. The JOCT course is 22 weeks in duration (which includes the 7 weeks JOIC) split over three phases:
PHASE ONE – NAVY INDUCTION
Trainees are instructed in basic service knowledge, discipline, parade and kit preparation. There is a focus on ‘followership’ and teamwork and on developing a high level of physical and mental fitness.
The aim of this phase is:
- To ensure that trainees can perform as effective team members
- To instil the Navy Core Values
- To develop the competency behaviours required of a Junior Officer
- To provide the basic skills and knowledge for service in the Navy
PHASE TWO – SEA QUALIFICATION AND ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT
Phase two is focused on fitness for sea and academic development. The training provides trainees with the minimum knowledge and skills necessary to safely post to sea on a Navy Ship. The Sea Qualification Deployment is designed to give trainees an insight into life at sea and for staff to assess trainees in the sea going environment.
The aim is to:
- Cement and build upon communal living skills
- Gain an appreciation of the roles at sea
- Confirm the trainees commitment to life at sea
Phase two also focuses on academic development. Trainees are lectured in Defence Communication topics such as service writing and oral communication. Officers are expected to have an understanding of wider national and defence policies, international relations and maritime doctrine.
PHASE THREE – LEADERSHIP
The final phase of JOCT has a strong leadership focus covering both theoretical and practical aspects. The trainees are put through a number of assessments. The assessments are scenario driven and provide the trainees with the opportunity to display their individual and combined skills.
On completion of JOCT, those without tertiary engineering qualifications will be sponsored through a scheme to complete either a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), or a Bachelor of Engineering Technology. If you join with a tertiary engineering qualification, you’ll be promoted to Sub-Lieutenant, and usually start the next available SEMC.
Systems Engineering And Management Course (SEMC)
(14-19 months) Location: Defence School of Marine Engineering , Gosport, UK; or the Royal Australian Navy's Engineering Training Facility in Melbourne, Australia.
The SEMC is a professional application training course in Naval Marine Engineering, which will complement your academic training and prepare you for the next step of your professional development. The course covers the theoretical and practical aspects of marine engineering, before you post to sea to gain practical experience in charge of the operation of all propulsion and auxiliary systems.
SEMC training is recognised as professional development towards registration as a Chartered Engineer.
On completion of SEMC you will be posted to a ship to gain the further skills and experience necessary to manage the entire Marine Engineering Department. During this time you will by supervised and mentored by the senior Marine Engineer Officer onboard. Once you have achieved the required qualifications you will be promoted to Lieutenant.
Once you return to New Zealand you will be posted to a New Zealand Navy ship to gain the further experience necessary to manage the entire Marine Engineering Department.
The Navy supports Marine Engineering Officers to become Chartered Engineers. There is also a streamlined Masters programme available through the University of Portsmouth.
Salary and benefits
Careers in the Navy are well-rewarded, as well as being diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, you will see your salary rise accordingly.
Benefits and allowances
There are many additional benefits to being in the Defence Force, that will make your money go further.
For example, on top of your basic salary you can expect ‘Military Factor’. This provides you with significant extra financial rewards because of the commitment you’ve made to serve your country.
Free medical and dental
Access to subsidised equipment on base
Subsidised food on base
Competitive superannuation, up to 4% with KiwiSaver
Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels
Fitness and Medical
Period of Service
Direct Entry applicants need to hold, or be or be in their final year of, a BE(Hons) or BEngTech. Typically applicants specialise in mechanical, electrical or mechatronics engineering, however, applicants from most engineering specialisations will be considered, including Chemical, Process, Materials and Electronics.
The Navy offers graduate and undergraduate scholarships for engineering students who demonstrate the qualities required to become a Marine Engineer Officer.
The minimum educational requirement to apply for a scholarship is NCEA Level 3 with 18 credits in Level 3 Mathematics and Physics and University Entrance.
The scholarships are:
- Salaried (Tangaroa) Scheme: Become an Officer in the Navy and be paid to study at the University of Auckland, Massey University (Albany Campus), or the Auckland University of Technology on a ‘year for a year’ return of service basis. There will also be an opportunity for one Tangaroa Scheme MEO per year to study naval architecture through the conjoint AUT and University of Tasmania maritime studies programme.
- Bursary (Chatham) Scheme: Study at the university of your choice while the Navy covers your fees and a living allowance on a ‘year for a year’ return of service basis.
- Graduate (Amakoura) Scheme: Study at the university of your choice and, on completion of your degree, you will have approximately a quarter of your course fees reimbursed annually for every year you serve for up to four years. No return of service incurred.
- You must be medically fit for service.
- Colour perception restrictions may apply.
There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required SV security clearance for this trade.
Find out if you’re eligible here.
There is no minimum period of service you are required to commit to the Navy.
The exception to this is the salaried and bursary university scholarship schemes which incur a year for a year return of service. Therefore, if the Navy pays for one year of your tertiary qualification then you will have to give a one year return of service. If they pay for two years you will have to give two years return of service and so on. The SEMC also incurs a two year return of service, however, this occurs concurrently with any return of service from your tertiary qualification (they do not add together).
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