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Marine Engineer Officers are the Navy’s experts on ship’s structure, propulsion, power generation, hydraulic and habitability systems.

  • Service
    Navy
  • Specialisation
    Engineering and Technical Trades
  • Location
    Devonport
  • Starting Salary
    $57,122
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About the role

On board a ship you will lead a team of skilled technicians who operate and maintain this diverse range of equipment. You will also be the critical incident manager in the ship’s response to fire-fighting and damage control situations.

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

With shore based positions, located in both Auckland and Wellington, you, as a Marine Engineer Officer will ultimately be responsible for the through-life maintenance support of naval ships, procurement projects, as well as the management, welfare and training of our officers and sailors. 

Your career will be managed so that you are exposed to a diverse range of positions such as project management, equipment procurement or upgrades, system performance analysis and maintenance planning.  Rotating regularly through these roles, you will develop a broad experience base of marine engineering tasks. Additional specialised training will be provided in fields such as project management, to ensure you have the skills set required for each job.

Job on deployment

Once qualified you will lead a Ships Marine Engineering Department with a team of up to 35 skilled technicians. You will be responsible directly to the Ships Commanding Officer for the performance and availability of the systems, equipment and personnel under your charge, including their welfare and training. In this position you will be part of the ship’s senior leadership team, responsible for achieving the government’s objectives. While deployed there are always excellent opportunities to experience different ports and environments in New Zealand and explore exotic international locations and cultures overseas.

Career progression and training

Career Progression
Basic training
Job Training
Ongoing Training

After graduating basic Officer training and six months experience on-board a ship, you will complete the Systems Engineering and Management Course (SEMC) at the Royal Naval School of Marine Engineering in Portsmouth, UK; or complete the Marine Engineering Application Course at the Royal Australian Navy's Engineering Training Facility in Melbourne, Australia, 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, on board a naval vessel, under the supervision of a senior Marine Engineer, where you will be mentored to achieve the Marine Engineer Officers’ Charge Qualification (MCQ). This qualification recognises that you have the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills required to take sole charge of a ship’s Marine Engineering Department.

You will then rotate through various shore based engineering positions, to broaden your experience before returning to sea as the senior Marine Engineer.

Initial OfficerTraining

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

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.

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.

Two development streams are offered on completion of basic officer training.

  1. Scholarship Entry: (see education) Where candidates without tertiary engineering qualifications are sponsored to complete either a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), or a Bachelor of Engineering Technology. 
  2. Direct Entry: Where candidates with an appropriate tertiary engineering qualification, will be promoted to Sub-Lieutenant, and begin the next available SEMC 

Systems Engineering and Management Course (SEMC) or Marine Engineering Application Course (MEAC)

Location: Defence School of Marine Engineering, Gosport, UK; or the Royal Australian Navy's Engineering Training Facility in Melbourne, Australia. (6-8 months)  SEMC / MEAC training is recognised as professional development towards registration as a Chartered Engineer.

On return to New Zealand you will be assigned to a New Zealand Navy ship to gain further experience and training towards the award of the Marine Engineer Officers’ Charge Qualification (MCQ), 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.

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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.

$39,781

Recruit

$75,487

Starting Salary

$146,250

Higher Rank

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

Entry requirements

Basics
Education
Fitness and Medical
Citizenship
Period of Service
  • You must be at least 17 years of age.
  • Meet the citizenship and security requirements to gain SV security clearance for this trade.
  • You must be free of any criminal convictions.
Direct entry

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.

Scholarship entry

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.

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

  • 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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