Duties of Fitter in Merchant Navy

Last updated on September 6th, 2023 at 04:12 pm

Fitter in the merchant navy is a crucial rank in the engine department of a ship. The fitter comes under the 2nd Engineer because of which he is responsible for assisting Engineers with maintenance and fabrication work as per the requirements and instructions of the 2nd Engineer. The fitter is not a watchkeeper and hence is a day worker. Normally, only one fitter is present onboard. In some ships where a lot of fabrication work is required, the company assigns an additional fitter to work on deck, and the assigned rank for them is Deck Fitter.  

fitter in merchant navy
fitter in merchant navy

Responsibilities of a Fitter

A Fitter in the Merchant Navy is responsible for the following things onboard – 

  • Obtaining work schedule and orders from the 2nd Engineer.
  • Obtaining work schedule and orders from the Chief Officer (if delegated for specific work on deck).
  • Carrying out tasks and working with other ship staff as per instructions received. 
  • Upkeep and safety of all mechanical working tools onboard.
  • Upkeep, safe use, storage, and handling of welding and gas-cutting equipment (including oxygen and acetylene bottles)
  • Assisting in mooring/unmooring operations, if required.
  • Carrying out the assigned work in a safe and efficient manner.

Note: When also serving as a Pumpman, in addition to the above, the job responsibilities of a Pumpman will apply.

duties of fitters
duties of fitters

How to Become a Fitter in the Merchant Navy

In order to become a Fitter in Merchant Navy one has to pursue the 6 monthly GP Rating course. 

The eligibility for the GP Rating course is- 

Qualifications in AcademicsMedical/Physical StandardsAge regulations
For individuals who have passed their tenth classA minimum of 40% from a recognized board is required in English, Science, and Mathematics in the 10th or 12th grades.As per Merchant Shipping guidelines, candidates must be physically and medically fit. They must be capable of seafaring. Both eyes must have a vision of 6/6. (Unaided vision). Furthermore, the candidate should not be colorblind.It must be between the ages of 17.5 to 25.
For individuals who want to do a pre-sea GP rating course for Fitters/WeldersPass a two-year Industrial Training Institutes course certified by DVET (Department of Vocational Education and Training) / NCVT (National Council of Vocational Training) as a Fitter / Machinist / Mechanic / Welder / Turner with a least 40 percent total mark in the final year of ITI and a minimum 40 percent in English in 10th / 12th.Candidate must be physically and medically fit. Both eyes must have a vision of 6/6. (Unaided vision)Between the ages of 17.5 and 25

After completion of the GP Rating course from some of the top colleges for GP Rating, you will join a ship as a Trainee Fitter. After completing a certain period of sea time, the Company will promote you to the rank of Fitter. Typically, a Trainee Fitter in the Merchant Navy must complete at least three contracts to earn promotion to the rank of Fitter. After completing 36 months of sea-time as a Trainee Fitter or Fitter, the candidate can also apply for the Class IV Certificate of Competency to become a Marine Engineer. 

The journey to become a Fitter is anything but not an easy one hence to support and guide you we have launched a GP Rating Package that will help you brush up on all the necessary topics required in GP Rating:

Salary of a Fitter in the Merchant Navy

As mentioned above, Fitter is one of the most important parts of the engineering department of a ship. Therefore, their hard work onboard earns them a handsome salary. However, like every other seafarer, the salary of a Fitter in the Merchant Navy varies according to the Shipping Company and the type of vessel. For instance, on average, the salary of a Fitter in the merchant navy ranges between 1200$ – 1500$.    

salary of fitters in Merchant Navy
salary of fitters in the Merchant Navy

 Like every other seafarer, the job of a Fitter is also not an easy one because, like other ratings, they sail for extended contracts of 9 – 11 months. They usually have a lot of experience and hence know a great deal about engines.

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[…] However, before joining as a Fitter, you should familiarise yourself with the Duties of Fitter. […]