Electro-Technical Officer (ETO)

Electro-Technical Officer (ETO)

Last updated on September 4th, 2023 at 05:04 pm

electro technical officer monitoring machines in engine room
electro technical officer monitoring machines in engine room

As per Section A-III/6 of the STCW Code Electro-Technical Officer (ETO) is a licensed member of the engine department on board. For the efficient functioning of every electronic element on merchant navy vessel an ETO is responsible. Electronic elements range from huge and complex engine room control systems to electronic charts and radars installed on the bridge. ETO is responsible for the generation of power and distribution systems for other systems such as lifts, reefers, and much more. ETO’s working range depends upon the type of vessel, they can also be witnessed indulged in cargo operations.

An ETO directly reports to the Chief Engineer and also plays a major role in the senior management team. Unlike other marine engineers onboard, an ETO does not go for any engine room watch. The better functioning of electrical and electronic equipment under the supervision of an ETO accounts for the maximization of operational safety and efficiency of the vessel.

Epaulette of an electro technical officer
Epaulette of an electro technical officer

The promotions are given based on the qualifications and experience. After completing sea-time a trainee electrical cadet becomes eligible for giving Certificate of competency (CoC) examinations.  With a higher post comes more responsibilities. Electrical cadet is the starting rank onboard and goes way up to senior ETO. On the large and sophisticated DP offshore vessel, large cruise ship, etc. understanding the complexity of electrical machines the rank system of an ETO becomes broad. In such situations, a ship can include a lead ETO, chief electrical engineer, First Electrician, chief electrical officer, and more if required. For senior Electro Technical Officer there are three stripes on the epaulettes. The salary of the senior Electro Technical Officer on a tanker ship can range up-to 7000 dollars.

General rank structure of ETO department and respective salaries
General rank structure of ETO department and respective salaries


Complex electrical communication system operated by electro technical officer (ETO)
Complex electrical communication system operated by electro technical officer (ETO)

Generally, the job of an ETO is to find fault searching and repairing if any also installing and testing newly electronic and electrical types of machinery. Maintenance of complex electronics and electrical is also accomplished by Electro-Technical Officer (ETO). Somewhere senior ETOs are also appointed to supervise the electronic and electrical work on large scale onboard ships.

How to Become an Electro-technical Officer (ETO) in Merchant Navy

Minimum academic qualification to become an Electro-technical Officer (ETO) is –

  1. Passed in 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and the English with a minimum of 50% marks at class 10th and 12th in English Language in standard exams.
  2. After passing three years Diploma with 60% marks or four year’s Degree including lateral entry, with 50% marks in Electronics Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, or Electronics and Instrumentation Electronics and Telecommunication, Communication Engineering, or equivalent courses.
  3. Candidates who were admitted in Diploma course based on the Matriculation only and went to complete their B.E./ B. Tech degree course as a lateral entry in the 2nd year of the degree based on the Diploma, and has secured the degree in the disciplines mentioned at (II) of the above, are also permitted to be admitted in the ETO course.
  4. Diploma in (EE/ ECE/ EEE/EIE) with 60% or B-Tech in (EE/ ECE/ EEE/EIE) with 55%. The diploma or the degree courses should be recognized by any State or Central Government or the AICTE.

Name of the 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.

Electro-technical Officer (ETO) Maximum Age Limit-

For general category candidates the maximum age is 30 years as of 30.09.2021. For Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates the maximum age relaxation of 5 years is applicable, a maximum 3 years relaxation applies to OBC (NCL) candidates and 2 years for female candidates as per the directives of the Government of India.

Electro-technical Officer (ETO) 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.

Colleges in India Offering Electro-technical Officer (ETO) courses-

  • Anglo Eastern Maritime Academy, Maharashtra
Anglo eastern maritime academy

This institution offers the 17-week pre sea training course which inculcates skill and knowledge in an electro technical cadet. Fees for the ETO course is 3.3 lakhs. For further queries, visit Admissions – ETO (aema.edu.in).

  •  Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies, Maharashtra
Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies

SIMS provides four months pre sea training and 8 months of onboard training. This provides balanced training which includes practical knowledge, safety teachings, theoretical knowledge with high efficiency. SIMS demands 3.99 lakhs for certification courses. Visit Pre Sea Facilities (samundra.com) to enroll.

  • The Great Eastern Institute of Maritime Studies, Maharashtra
The Great Eastern Institute of Maritime Studies

The fee is supportive with higher standards of teaching. Admission process includes physical and theoretical exam including an interview with the total fees of 4.10 lakhs for entire course. Contact Great Eastern Academy (geinstitute.com) for further information.

  • Tolani Maritime Institute, Maharashtra
Tolani Maritime Institute

You must make up mind to join TMI only if, you want flexibility in age. The standards are well and the job is secure. 3.15 lakhs is the fees for the ETO course in TMI. Visit ETO Course – Tolani Maritime Institute

  • Shipping Corporation of India Maritime Training Institute
Shipping Corporation of India

Being India’s premier shipping line situated in Powai, this institute offers only 40 seats for Electro-technical Officer (ETO) course. SCI offers ETO course in 4.1 lakhs for male candidates and 3.8 lakhs for female candidates. Visit Electro Technical Officer (ETO) – SCI (shipindia.com) for additional information.

Being an Electro-technical Officer (ETO) is a tough and responsible job onboard. He must have adequate experience and must be an expert in his fieldwork of installing, testing and maintaining the wide range of electrical equipment onboard. An Electro-technical Officer (ETO) also performs many tasks except from looking after the electronic and electrical equipment such as-

Sophisticated electrical structures onboard looked after by an ETO
Sophisticated electrical structures onboard looked after by an ETO

Major Jobs of an Electro-technical Officer (ETO) onboard

Taking daily engine room rounds for machineries which includes-

  1. To check all running motors their temperature, pump alignments and vibrations.
  2. An Electro-technical Officer (ETO) is accountable for the well working condition of all the lightening system onboard.
  3. He takes reading of machineries such as, shaft earthing device and also MGPS/ICCP.
  4. The Electro-technical Officer (ETO) maintains the provisional reefer plant, accommodation AC, running generators and many other machines.

After daily rounds Electro-technical Officer (ETO) engine room controller work includes-

  1. He checks for running motor AMPS, low insulation of 24V/110V/220/440V.
  2. He ensures no fault in alarm monitor.
After completing all the daily basis jobs second engineer(2E) and sometimes directly chief engineer assign jobs for an Electro-technical Officer (ETO) in the toolbox meeting.

Saturday routines of an Electro-technical Officer (ETO) includes-

  1. Checking all battery health conditions maintain account of due date of battery replacement.
  2. He starts emergency generator with both ways, and perform emergency generator load test once in every three months.
  3. OWS alarms, emergency fire pumps, fire alarm testing,  life saving appliances also come on the weekly visit of an Electro-technical Officer (ETO).

The paper work maintained by an Electro-technical Officer (ETO) onboard includes

Generally, an Electro-technical Officer (ETO) has to maintain registers of mainly all machines of which he takes daily rounds. The types of machinery include,

  1. Motor record which includes last overhauling and due date.
  2. Battery parameters and their expiry date registers.
  3. Alarm dates for every machinery.
  4. Engine control room and accommodation AC.
  5. Shaft earthing device, MGPS/ICCP.

Nowadays, the scenario in the field of the electrical department has changed. As some shipping companies do not think that it’s compulsory to carry Electrical Engineer Officers (ETOs) on their vessel to cut short the manning cost. As a result, the duties of the electrical and electronics department are assigned to the marine engineers and more specifically to the third engineer. Although keeping the money factor aside, many companies have recognized the importance and sophistication involved in the work of an Electro-technical Officer (ETO) and have not dismissed any rank related to the electrical department.

Final input by Chief Engineer Praneet Mehta:

I have been working onboard Ship for the last 14 years. From the very beginning, I found an Electrical Officer’s job to be a tough one. Taking care of any electrical problem existing anywhere on Ship and then handling it single-handedly is never easy. The reason I say, ‘single handedly’ is because in case there is a mechanical problem or navigation problem, we have people to help each other from top ranks to crew members but in the case of electrical, sadly the knowledge is very limited and so even if others want to help, it is of limited means.

My advice to all aspiring Electro-technical Officer (ETO) officers-

  1. Physically fitness is very important because there is a lot of climbing on ladders and hard work involved.
  2. Be good with your basic concepts and learn practical knowledge as much as possible. Remember you are a fighter who fights his battles alone. Sometimes a small wiring issue can take hours to solve the problem, so be good at your work and be an asset for the team.
  3. Learn to be patient with your work and courteous in your behavior because you will be getting jobs from all the corners of the Ship, and a smile would make it easy for you as well as for others.
  4. Please do read the blog on the best colleges for Electro-technical Officer (ETO) in India , published on the website as well.

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Nitish Kumar Verma
Nitish Kumar Verma
1 year ago

Nice and informative👏

1 year ago

SIR, how can an ETO become a 4th engineer and subsequently climb the ladder up to chief engineer and is this really worth doing.

1 year ago
Reply to  Praneet Mehta

Really waiting for your insight on this topic.

1 year ago


1 year ago

Sir good morning,IAM shanmukha Rao from India IAM interested ETR posstion I have experience in land side like chemical industry,and manfatchring industry sir please guide to me how to join cruseship in marchntnavy sir these is my number 8828606266

Nikhil Priyadarshi
Nikhil Priyadarshi
1 year ago

can a diploma holder in mechanical engineering apply for ETO course?? Plese tell me!!

Tushar Shetty
Tushar Shetty
5 months ago

No but you can apply for GME

3 months ago

I have diploma in electrical engineering through Lateral entry 2 years can i eligible for ETO

Bhagyashree Nair
Bhagyashree Nair
1 month ago
Reply to  AJAY

we are currently recruiting for ETO and 3rd and 4th officer