Duties of Electrical Officer

Duties of an Electrical Officer (ETO) Onboard Ship

An Electro Technical Officer (ETO) officer is the person who is responsible for the maintenance and handling of all electrical equipment onboard. In this blog we will cover all the duties of an ETO Officer in detail.

Ships in themselves are enormous machines, which consist of numerous small devices, machines and equipment that work together to run the giant machine skillfully. All this technology onboard requires a great amount of electricity to run therefore, ships have huge generators. Ships also have an electrical distribution system specifically designed to distribute this electricity throughout the ship to all the electrical equipment onboard. It is the high level of importance of this system, that makes the role of ETO officers even more important onboard ships. 

Duties of an ETO Officer

electrical officer

How to Become an ETO in Merchant Navy

To become an ETO officer onboard a merchant navy ship, you have to enrol yourself into a pre-sea ETO course. Read the eligibility criteria for Electro- Technical Officer (ETO) in detail here.

ETO course-

eto course
eto course

For achieving the certificate as Electro-Technical Officer (ETO), pre-sea Training for ETO on merchant ships of duration 17 weeks is mandatory along with 8 months onboard training. Only opt for this course once you’ve already got a sponsorship from a good company. Make sure that the college you join is Government of India Approved. 

After the course, you join your first ship as a Trainee Electro Technical Officer with a salary of around $500. Later, you get promoted to the rank of Electro Technical Officer with a salary of 2500 USD- 50000 USD, depending upon the company, size and type of the ship.

Medical Standards-

As per existing MS Medical rules 2000/MLC 2006 applicable to seafarers, a candidate must have good health and be fit for sea service. SCI empaneled DG-approved Doctors do the medical fitness checks.

Click here to know how to find list of DG Shipping Approved Doctors.

Colleges in India Offering ETO courses-

  • Anglo Eastern Maritime Academy, Maharashtra
  • Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies, Maharashtra
  • The Great Eastern Institute of Maritime Studies, Maharashtra
  • Tolani Maritime Institute, Maharashtra
  • Shipping Corporation of India Maritime Training Institute

Click here to read in detail about Top ETO Colleges in India.

ETO Jobs Onboard

eto jobs
eto jobs onboard ship

Daily engine room rounds for machineries-

It includes the following duties:

  • Maintenance of lighting system onboard.
  • Keeping a check on the working conditions of all the motors, their temperature, pump alignments and vibrations.
  • Taking the readings of machineries such as MGPS/ICCP, shaft earthing device, etc.
  • Maintenance of the provisional reefer plant, running generators, accommodation AC, and many other machines.

Engine control room work of an ETO-

After the daily engine room round is finished, an ETO has to complete the following duties in the engine control room-

  • He checks for running motor AMPS, low insulation of 24V/110V/220/440V.
  • An ETO officer has to ensure there are no faults in the alarm monitor.

After completing all the routine jobs onboard, the Chief Engineer as well as the Second Engineer (2E) assign jobs to the ETO in the toolbox meeting.

Saturday Routine of an ETO-

The Saturday routine of an ETO comprises of the following duties and responsibilities-

  • Checking all battery health conditions. 
  • Maintaining record of the due date of battery replacement.
  • Starting the emergency generator both ways, and performing an emergency generator load test once every three months.
  • Checking and maintenance of OWS alarms, emergency fire pumps, fire alarm testing, life saving appliances, etc.

Paperwork Maintained by ETO-

Generally, an ETO has to maintain a written account on all the daily rounds of the machinery. The types of machinery include-

  • Motor record which includes last overhauling and due date.
  • Battery parameters and their expiry date registers.
  • Alarm dates for every machinery.
  • Engine control room and accommodation AC.
  • Shaft earthing device, MGPS/ICCP, etc. to name a few.

Some other duties of a ETO include the following-

eto duties and responsibilities
  1. Working under and reporting to the head of the Engine Department i.e., the Chief Engineer.
  2. Maintenance of cranes, mooring winch, hatch covers, etc.
  3. Responsible for Radio Communications.
  4. Handles the Electronic Navigation System.
  5. Maintenance of fire alarm systems, emergency systems, detectors, etc.
  6. Repair and maintenance of the gyro compass, RADAR Broadcast and Internal Aerial System, Echo Sounders.
  7. Maintenance of all electrical equipment and machinery including electrical propellers onboard ship.
  8. In emergency situations they are in-charge of supervising the free launching of lifeboats also comes under the duty of an ETO Officer.

These days many companies have excluded the rank of ETO from their hierarchy on ship, to cut down the manning costs. As a result, the duties that should’ve come under the work of the ETO officer are assigned to the marine engineers. In most cases it is the third engineer who is handed over the duties of an ETO officer. Still there are many reputed companies which recognize the importance of having an ETO officer onboard. As these companies understand the sophistication involved in the work of an ETO. Therefore, they have not dismissed any rank related to the electrical department.

With advancements in technology, there has been an increase in the electrical equipment onboard. As further advancements will take place, there’ll be greater automation and an increased need of maintenance and overhauling. This will create an even greater demand for ETOs in the future.

Disclaimer :- The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Merchant Navy Decoded. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided and disclaim any responsibility for it. Data and visuals used are sourced from publicly available information and may not be authenticated by any regulatory body. Reviews and comments appearing on our blogs represent the opinions of individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of Merchant Navy Decoded. We are not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on these reviews or comments.

Reproduction, copying, sharing, or use of the article or images in any form is strictly prohibited without prior permission from both the author and Merchant Navy Decoded.

4.4 5 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ankur Mishra


rutik wagh




[…] are many other things that can’t be mentioned as the Duties of an ETO are such a vast topic. So, if you are interested in the duties of an ETO, this blog is for […]

[…] Duties of an ETO, What Do ETOs Do Onboard? […]