Can An ETO Earn More Than a Chief Engineer ?


deck cadit

In the Merchant Navy, two important jobs are the Electro-Technical Officer (ETO) and the Chief Engineer. The ETO takes care of all the electrical and electronic systems on the ship, while the Chief Engineer manages the ship’s engines and mechanical systems.

Now, here’s an interesting question: Can an ETO earn more money than a Chief Engineer? It’s a question that makes us wonder because usually, Chief Engineers are higher up in the hierarchy.

To answer this question, we’ll look at two main ways ETOs can earn more money. These are like two different paths they can choose to follow, depending on their goals:

  • Option 1: If he is becoming a Marine Engineer.
  • Option 2: A person is always learning and getting better at his job. 

The Current Situation Salaries for ETOs

No Onboard Incrementation for ETOs

  • One of the significant challenges faced by Electro-Technical Officers (ETOs) in the Merchant Navy is the lack of onboard incrementation. Unlike some other positions, ETOs often encounter difficulties when seeking regular salary increases or promotions. 
  • This issue stems from the traditional hierarchy within the maritime industry, where incremental career progression can be slow and limited.
  • The impact of this limitation on ETO salaries is noteworthy. With a fixed income and minimal room for growth, ETOs may find it challenging to achieve substantial pay raises over time, hindering their financial aspirations within the industry.

Challenges on the Path to Higher Earnings

ETO officer
  • In their pursuit of higher earnings, ETOs face several notable challenges. First, the maritime industry’s competitive nature means that opportunities for salary increases are not always readily available. 
  • Second, the demanding nature of their work often requires ETOs to maintain a high level of technical competence, which can be both time-consuming and financially burdensome, especially when they have limited support for professional development.
  • Additionally, the evolving technology and increasing responsibilities placed on ETOs mean that they must continually adapt and expand their skill set, which can be demanding and necessitate considerable effort.

The current scenario for ETOs is marked by a lack of onboard salary incrementation, which has tangible consequences for their earning potential. Additionally, the challenges they encounter on their journey towards higher earnings underscore the importance of exploring alternative avenues for career advancement and financial growth within the Merchant Navy.

How An ETO Can Earn Similar to Chief Engineer ?

To earn handsomely you must know your work and to assist you with that we have launched a package that will guide you throughout the journey of ETO i.e. ETO Excellence Package

GME Excellence

Becoming a Marine Engineer and Unlocking Career Advancement and Salary Growth

how to become a marine engineer

Becoming a Marine Engineer involves clearing competency exams in countries like the UK, New Zealand, and Singapore. To do this, you’ll need to meet their respective requirements, which often include acquiring relevant sea-time experience, completing necessary training courses, and passing rigorous exams. 

As you progress from a 4th Engineer to Chief Engineer, your salary potential increases significantly, thanks to your growing expertise and experience, making this path a promising one for those seeking higher earnings in the maritime industry.

Leveraging Knowledge and Skills and Growing an ETOs

eto in engine room

This alternative path revolves around the power of knowledge and skills, offering ETOs the opportunity to elevate their financial prospects. Instead of relying solely on hierarchical promotions, ETOs can actively shape their careers and income by proactively improving their expertise and marketability.

The Importance of Continuous Improvement

  • Continuous improvement in knowledge and skills is the cornerstone of this alternative path. ETOs should embrace a mindset of lifelong learning and development. 
  • Staying up-to-date with the latest technological advancements, maritime regulations, and best practices is crucial. 
  • Regularly attending training sessions, workshops, and seminars can significantly enhance an ETO’s competence.

Steps to Enhance Earning Potential as an ETO

eto working onboard ship
  1. Exploring Private Company Ownership
  • ETOs can consider investing in or establishing their private maritime technology companies. This offers the potential for substantial financial growth by providing specialized services to the industry. 
  • As owners, ETOs can tailor their services to meet specific needs, potentially securing high-value contracts and significant financial returns.
  1. Pursuing Additional Courses for Knowledge Enhancement
  • Continual education is key. ETOs should seek out courses that enhance their skills, including those related to new technologies, automation, and cybersecurity in the maritime sector. 
  • Courses may cover topics like electronic navigation systems, shipboard communication, and electrical power management. By being at the forefront of industry trends, ETOs become more valuable assets to employers and can command higher salaries.
  1. Searching for Better Job Opportunities
  • ETOs should actively look for better job opportunities both onboard and ashore. Positions that offer more responsibility, management roles, or niche specializations often come with higher pay.
  •  Networking and staying connected with industry professionals can open doors to these opportunities. Don’t hesitate to explore different roles within and outside the Merchant Navy to find positions that align with your career goals and income aspirations.
  1. Targeting the Best Shipping Companies for Improved Salary Prospects
  • Not all shipping companies offer the same salary packages. ETOs should aim for employment with reputable and high-paying shipping companies known for their commitment to technology and safety. These companies often reward skilled ETOs with competitive salaries and additional incentives.


lng tankers

We’ve talked about two ways for Electro-Technical Officers (ETOs) in the Merchant Navy to make more money. The first is by becoming a Marine Engineer, which involves exams and promotions. The second is to focus on improving your skills and knowledge, which gives you more control over your career and income.

Your decision should depend on what you want and what suits you best. Think about your goals and what you’re good at. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer; it’s about what’s right for you.

No matter which path you choose, being proactive is key. Keep learning and growing, explore different job opportunities, and build a strong network. In the rapidly changing world of the Merchant Navy, those who take charge of their careers are more likely to earn more and succeed.

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