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Marine engineering training

Marine engineering officers are responsible for the safe operation and maintenance of all equipment and structures aboard Canadian Coast Guard vessels. They keep the main engines and auxiliary systems of the ship in good working order under the supervision of the vessel’s chief engineer.

This program prepares you for a career as a marine engineering officer. The College has a number of modern, well-equipped labs, simulators and a large teaching machine shop that permit you to apply the theory you learn with practical experience. You’ll learn to operate numerous engineering systems aboard a vessel and develop your leadership abilities. You’ll also learn about:

Training topics

Marine engineering officers must be able to effectively respond to mechanical and electrical defects and failures while at sea. Officer cadets studying marine engineering learn crucial operational skills, such as:

Course curriculum

First year classes
Second year classes
Third year classes
Fourth year classes

Training phases

You’ll receive in-class training and hands-on training at the college. You will also receive sea phase training where you will gain practical experience aboard a ship to ready you for your career as a marine engineering officer. Sea Training for officer cadets in marine engineering is divided into 5 phases:


Within the 4 years of training in the officer training program, the time spent training aboard a Canadian Coast Guard vessel is called "sea phase". The sea becomes your new classroom. During sea phase, you will gain experience in the care, maintenance and operation of the ship you are assigned to.

As a marine engineering officer cadet, you will spend close to 9 months working on Coast Guard ships. These months are grouped into two separate sea phases.

First sea phase

Your first sea phase will start at the beginning of the second year of the officer training program. You will be placed on a vessel anywhere across Canada for 4 months. Sea phase assignments takes place late August through to December. Officer cadets resume classes at the College in early January, after a brief vacation during the holidays.

The goal of the first sea phase is to introduce you to life on board a Canadian Coast Guard ship. You will spend your time working under the supervision of an officer. As a marine engineer in training, you will learn how to maintain and operate shipboard engineering systems. You will learn the basic layout of the ship your on and its functions through interaction with officers and crew. For more information of the elements covered in sea phase please see the course 242 Sea phase.

Second sea phase

Your second sea phase as a marine engineering officer cadet will take place during your third year of training. You will be placed on a Canadian Coast Guard Ship anywhere across Canada for 4 to 5 months, from April to August. Typically, you will leave the vessel sometime in August, and enjoy some vacation time during the summer. You will then return to the college in early September to begin your final year of study.

This sea phase further develops your engineering skills and knowledge to prepare you to work as an engineering officer upon graduation. It requires you to think in a more global sense as an engineer in charge of a machinery plant. This includes working closely with the engineer-on-watch and participating in planned and unplanned maintenance and repairs. For more information of the second sea phase see course code 342 Sea phase.


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