How to get an ETO CoC – Electro Technical Officer – A promising future in Marine Industry

Elector Technical Officer A promising future in Shipping and Offshore Industry

I am a certified ETO (Electro – Technical Officer) with more than 15 yr of experience in Maritime, Offshore, Oil & Gas, Mining & Electrical Industry. I feel the need to educate the younger generation on the role of ETO and whether or NOT to choose a Electrical career in shipping. Below guide shall serve as an encyclopedia for those who want to make ETO as a career choice. I have carefully all latest information & put together all resources you will need to become a successful ETO. More importantly this post is updated regularly to serve as a ETO’s Bible

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  • What is ETO (Electro Technical Officer) rank in Merchant Navy ?
  • A Look at a successful ETO’s  RESUME / C.V
  • Benefits of having a ETO CoC (Certificate Of Competency) STCW III/6
  • How to get your ETO CoC ?
  • Certified ETO vs Electrician , Whats the difference ?
  • ETO salary – How much you can earn as ETO ?
  • Role of ETO in Offshore Oil & Gas Industry
  • Why ETO will have a Bright Future in coming years
  • Benefits of ETO over Deck Officers
  • ETO FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions
  • How to Connect to Me for more Info !

What is ETO (Electro Technical Officer) rank in Merchant Navy

ETO or Electro Technical Officer is an important member of technical team onboard a ship. Electro-technical Officer is an officer qualified in accordance with the provisions of regulation III/6 of the STCW Convention. 

The 2010 Manila revisions to the Seafarer Training Certification and Watch-keeping (STCW) Convention and Code brought in a Certificate of Competence (CoC) for Electro-Technical Officers (ETO). Most companies have now made it compulsory for ETO to hold a CoC, or be employed as ELECTRICIAN, often on lower wages.

How to get your ETO CoC ?

Lets see what are the STCW Requirements to Obtain a Certificate of Competency as an Electro Technical Officer (ETO)

Electro-technical officers serving on a seagoing ship powered by a main propulsion machinery of 750 kW propulsion power or more must be:

Download the PDF guide for ETO CoC

  • Age: not less than 18 years of age.
  • Seagoing Service: have completed not less than 12 months of combined workshop skills training and approved seagoing service of which not less than six months shall be seagoing service as part of an approved training program or; not less than 36 months of combined workshop skills training and approved seagoing service of which not less than 30 months shall be seagoing service in the engine department. This must be documented in an approved training record book.
  • Education & Training: have completed approved education and training program meeting the standards of competence specified in section A-III/6 of the STCW Code.
  • Note: Seafarers may be considered to have met requirements of this regulation if they have served on board a ship for a period of not less than 12 months within the last 60 months preceding the entry into force of this regulation and the competence specified in section A-III/6. Notwithstanding the above requirements, a suitable qualified person may be able to undertake certain functions of section A-III/6.

Download a Free Electro-Technical-Officer-ETO-Guideline

Benefits of having a ETO CoC (Certificate Of Competency) STCW III/6

  • Major boost in confidence & moral. Formal recognition as a Important team member onboard.
  • Certified ETO’s can negotiate higher wages than a normal electrician..Generally 20% higher
  • ETO’s with CoC have an option to work toward their MEC 3 CoC as Watch keeper
  • ETO holding dual CoC as ETO & Engineer is most sought after in Offshore Industry, in a downturn, can work as either.
  • Upgrade to Senior ETO or SETO CoC, when introduced in 2025 by UK MCA.
  • Paid at par with 2E when promoted to Chief ETO on some DP3 vessels,Mega Yachts & drill ships.

Benefits of ETO over Deck Officers

Ok, you are NOT going to sail on a ship all your life. Eventually you will want to settle for a lucrative onshore job or even want to immigrate to a country of your choice e.g Australia,Canada ,Norway,UK or New Zealand.

Being a ETO has a edge over other Engine & Deck Officers, as outlined below

  • You will most probably hold a Bachelor in Engineering degree, which is highly sought after when you plan to immigrate, most countries like Australia, give you 15 points when applying.
  • Electrical opportunities are abundant throughout the world, and its much easier for an ETO with shipping experience to convert their experience to gain Onshore electrical licenses as I got mine here.
  • ETO can work as normal Electrician on shore. In case of a medical condition, which prevents you work offshore, you can easily get jobs as Electrician onshore and decent salaries in first world countries where electrical trade is very well rewarded.


This article is devoted to acknowledge the growing demand of having a ETO or Electro Technical Officer in Merchant Shipping and Offshore . Traditionally Merchant Ships used to carry Electricians who didn’t had any CoC ( Certificate of Competency), but with implementation of Complex control system in E/R machinery and SMART instruments, time has come to make ETO a specialized rank aboard ships… the age of ETO has begun……

I wish to touch on importance of having a competent  ETO in Maritime Industry.

Merchant Navy Ships

  • Oil Tankers – VLCC,Aframax ,Product etc
  • Gas Carriers – LNG / LPG
  • Bulk Carriers
  • Container Ships

Passenger Ships

  • Passenger Ships – Cruise liners & Large Ferries.
  • Super Yacht ( typically larger than 80m)

 Specialized Offshore Vessels

  • Dynamic Positioning Vessels – DP 1/2/3
  • Deep water Drill Ships – DP enabled
  • Seismic research Vessels – 2D/3D or 4D
  • AHTS – Anchor Handlers
  • Accommodation Barges
  • FPSO – Floating Production Storage and Offloading
  • DSV – Diving Support Vessels
  • ROV – Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle

and the list goes on…………………………………………


Traditionally a ship’s Electrician or “Batti Saab ” used to take care of ship’s electrical system which was quite basic in terms of Generation,distribution and conversion. With time a whole new concept of ETO has evolved. Having sailed on variety of Offshore Vessels, I can assure you that Electrical,Electronics & Control systems are so complex, that a need for Qualified,Educated and Competent ETO is a MUST on these ships.

  • DP3 ships have complex control system circuitry
  • Thrusters are driven by High Voltage ( normally 3.3kV/6.6kV/12kV ).
  • Electric Propulsion is the future , Diesel Propulsion could phase out in nxt 20 yrs
  • Boiler Combustion systems now involves new generation PLC Logic and DCS

Its quite evident that in order to handle a million dollar DP system aboard a DP ship or a Honeywell Experion DCS system on board a Drill Ship, you need somebody who has extensive knowledge in control engineering and instrumentation.

Uncertified ETO seafarers’ route to Qualification with CoC

The STCW 2010 amendments brought in a CoC for Electro-technical Officers. The CoC was introduced to give those working in this capacity a formal route to gain recognition of their technical abilities and provide an international standard.

There is no formal programme for experienced seafarers, with the expectation being that most candidates will already hold many of the required short course certificates and only need to fill in the gaps where necessary.

For experienced candidates to qualify for a ETO CoC, the candidate will need to:

  • Have documentary evidence of at least 12 months service in the last five years as ETO or carrying out the functions of an ETO on board ship.

Hold the following certification:

  1. Personal Survival Techniques.
  2. Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting.
  3. Elementary First Aid.
  4. Security Awareness.
  5. Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities.
  6. Survival Craft and Rescue Boats (other than fast rescue boats).
  7. Advanced Fire Fighting.
  8. Medical First Aid.


  • Complete the MNTB Electro Technical Officer Competency Record (similar to the Training Record Book that the ETO cadets are required to complete).Each competence must be signed off by the Chief Engineer, or Ship’s Superintendent.In order to sign off on competencies, the Chief Engineer or Ships Superintendent most hold either a UK STCW Reg III/2 Chief Engineer CoC, or UK Certificate of Equivalent Competency (CEC) endorsing a non UK STCW Reg III/2 Chief Engineer CoC.Tasks may be signed off retrospectively providing the person signing has personal knowledge that the task was complete.
  • Complete a MNTB/MCA High Voltage (Management Level) course or have your CoC endorsed as not permitted to carry out maintenance on High Voltage Systems.
  • Complete an AMERC Electronic Navigation Equipment Maintenance (ENEM) course or have your CoC endorsed as not permitted to carry out maintenance on Navigational Systems.
  • Complete an AMERC GMDSS Radio Maintenance course or have your CoC endorsed as not permitted to carry out maintenance on Radio Equipment.
  • Complete an MNTB/MCA approved Human Element Leadership and Management (HELM) (Operational Level) course.
  • Pass the following written examinations:
    • SQA Chief Engineer Electro-Technology.
    • AMERC Electronic Principles and Applications.
  • Hold a current Medical Certificate (ENG1 or equivalent).
  • Pass an MCA oral examination.

The budget cost for completing all the above is likely to be in the range of £ 11,000 (including all exam costs) if undertaken in the UK. A measure of Slater funding is available to contribute towards the overall cost for eligible candidates.

Any endorsement may be removed at a later date if the appropriate criteria are met.

SETO CoC – Senior ETO Certificate of Competency :

Certification as a Senior ETO (SETO) was proposed but not incorporated by the IMO in the STCW 2010 amendments. The proposal is curently under consideration to include SETO certification within the UK system, although this is currently not in place.



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