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ETO or Engineering?

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  • ETO or Engineering?

    Hi everyone,

    First off, thanks for the advice on the whole age and cadetship thing. Feel a bit more reassured about applying at 31.

    However I have a new dilemma (I?m honestly not a drama queen).

    When my friends joined the cadetship in 2000/2001 I?m pretty sure all you had was deck or engineering and so I have assumed that engineering is the route for me. That said there is now the ETO route.

    Ive worked in IT for years and I like the idea of this but I am worried as most sites advise that it?s an emerging role.

    Would I be shooting myself in the foot for career progression, are the opportunities just as good, are there as many jobs available, are there too many ETOs out there, would I be limiting myself to just certain companies and types of ships.

    Any advice appreciated.


  • #2
    As you say, it's an emerging role, and as such I think there's going to be a lot of opportunities coming up. The MNTB has been pushing deck and engineering cadetships for the last few years but I've heard much less about ETO cadetships. So, I would hazard a guess that if you get into it now there will be a better chance of finding a job you want in 3 years time, as opposed to people like me, who have watched people I met at college who have qualified struggle to find work because of a saturation of newly qualified officers in the deck department at least (Fleetwood doesn't do engineering, well, I think it starts this year, so I have no idea how the newly qualified engineers have found the job market).


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    • #3
      I thought it was another name for the old Electrician's role.


      • #4
        As an ETO i shall shed some light, depending on what sort of ship you work on it is either a very technical role in which case your more likely to have a department so think cruise ship, 6000volts, electric drive, million sof cabins with things plugged in and 10-15 people. the other aspect is that itsa cargo or roro where theres still a fair bit of technical stuff but its a one man job where you do everything with wires.
        both have different points on a cruise ship then you get a progression although at the bottom it will be less challenging, with a roro you get paid more for what you can do than what you will actually do day to day but when theres a **** fan interface you need to be able to do something useful about it.

        To some degree the ETO isnt a new role and other countries have an ETO ticket so with this its just the uk catching up as for ships it depend son how they are managed if they can justify a dedicated role. As for job options there does seem to be a fair number of adverts all the time and to a certain degree there is supply and demand, theres 5 colleges pumping out engine cadets 2 courses (hnd/fd) and 2 intakes a year so theres maybe 150-200 qualified cadets each year compaired to 20 ETO's and if you consider deck the numbers get even worse. so while there may not be as much of a career progression it still is a well paid job and your likely to spend most of your career fixing stuff as opposed to getting to a position of managing other people but again nothing is fixed.
        you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky


        • #5
          Thanks everyone.

          So if there is less ETO's in the cadetship, does that mean its harder to get into with the limited spaces available? Would it be tougher for me at 31?

          Now money isnt my main reason for joining, i earn a very good salry just now, my main reason is for a lifestyle choice, escape the 9-5 office environment and to do a career i have regretted not doing for years. That said, money is a necessity to live so does anyone know the starting salary and the salary average once in the ETO job for a while? Does it differ from the egineers by a huge margin?

          ETWhat? so what made you decide the ETO route was for you? What type of ships does your sponsor operate? and if you dont mind me asking who is your sponsor? oh and how you finding it, any regrets on the choice or anything you've only become aware of since starting and wished you had known?

          Thanks once again everyone.


          • #6
            Theres a good range of ages in my class, going up to 40, i think it will depend on who you apply to, certainly all of the carnival cadets are younger, but not the youngest. as for starting salary its really very hard to get a clear idea, i think for the cruise ships it follows fairly closely with the engineers so 4th eto gets the same money as the 4th eng. outside that it does vary so anything from 25k up to 30k as a starting salary and theres more after that would be my educated guess.

            As for what made me choose this, by 25 i was master of nice big yachts with upto 18 of a crew to direct, and i know that the deck side of a merchant ship would give me very little of what i enjoyed and a lot of the tedious side so that only left engineering, out of the two choices its generaly electrics that are least well understood and an area that i have more interest in. my sponsor operates pretty much every ship going from drilling to roro, with the exception of cruise ships which is an area im not overly fussed about, for my own reasons. As for regrets i dont really have any the course and sea time will do what i need and there is no tie in afterwards which was a consideration when i applied.

            I think the only slight concern about this is that as its a new qualification there will be a certain need to prove yourself, as the level of competency will be less established, but again that makes in a slightly more interesting area.
            you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky


            • #7
              @Jonny, It is the electricians role, but instead of people who have trained and worked shoreside as 'leccys coming into the shipping industry and figuring out the shippy bits for themsleves, as most of the current 'leccys working on ships did. It's given people who want to get into the industry a route with training, and hopefully also brings a bit of standardisation to the level of training received in this area. From what I've made out, part of the reason for this is the ever increasing role of computers on ships, the last cruise ship I was on, the ETO was almost constantly and exclusively sorting out computers and internet issues, radars and TVs!


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