Engineer/Chief Engineer

Engineer/Chief Engineer Job Description

A yacht Engineer manages all engine room operations and is the ideal position for problem solvers that enjoy autonomy.   Yacht engineer jobs require applicants to be responsible for all mechanical, electrical, electronic, plumbing and computer systems aboard.

The Engineer reports to the yacht Captain and on larger vessels, Engineers report to the Chief Engineer.  Naturally, whatever the yacht size in this luxury service industry, the engine room must be pristine.

As a yacht Engineer, you have expert technical knowledge of the engineering systems on board such as diesel, refrigeration, hydraulics, plumbing, AV/IT or electricals.  You are proficient in safety, planned maintenance, repairs, inventory of spares, along with people management, if applicable. You offer project management skills requisite for shipyard periods.

The yacht Engineer role can be dual on smaller yachts where the Captain or First Mate may also double as an Engineer.  On very large yachts, the engine department can be substantial with a Chief Engineer, 2nd and 3rd Engineer and Motorman along with qualified, specialist AV/IT and ETO teams.  On superyachts a Chief Engineer’s leadership and management skills are therefore crucial.

Of all the positions on board a yacht, Engineering is the surest department to guarantee life-long employment; licensed Engineers have been in higher demand than supply for several years.  It is also the position which is most likely to offer rotation to Engineering heads of department on the larger yachts.

Yachting Engineering qualifications begin with a basic AEC up to a Y1 Chief Engineer (RIII/2 <3000GT, <9000kw).  Merchant Engineering tickets culminate in the RIII/2 Chief Engineer Class 1 and are unlimited.


Entry Level Yacht Engineer:

  • Basic engineering, including outboard motors
  • Diesel knowledge
  • General refrigeration and AC
  • Basic plumbing
  • Basic electrical and electronics
  • Troubleshooting
  • STCW

Chief Yacht Engineer:

  • All of the above at an advanced level
  • Appropriate licenses/certificates
  • Shipboard wiring
  • Hydraulics
  • Ship sanitation
  • Management skills, ability to direct/teach others in the engine room
  • Inventory control
  • Planned maintenance