This article discusses about the responsibility and duties of fourth engineer on board. Since this is more of an experience sharing article, difference can occur in opinion. But obviously the basic duties and work ‘is and will’ remain the same. 4th Engineer being the first promotion in engine department is stumbled upon by lots of responsibilities. But they have been trained to do so in their cadetship.
The only difference now is that, they have to implement all what they have learnt at that time, to present. As per experts, 4th engineer should do his or her work, and side by side, needs to learn what other engineers are doing. But this case is valid for all engineers, because of the very basic fact that, machinery are different every time (Yes basic background remains the same), thus one cannot be utmost sure about everything.
Although there are handfuls of manufacturer of machinery in the world, but they too strive for making something different every time, so that, best output can be obtained from the machines.
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4th Engineer Work On ship
Pumps, Compressors, Purifiers are some of the machines, that a 4th Engineer needs to be expert of or we can say that these are the common ones that are handled by this rank officer. As we will go down in this discussion, we will try to give brief information about these machines. Considering the fact that reader who is reading this piece of information is having some experience in shipping, we will not start from scratch as what these machinery stands for.
Bunkers or oil that we take onboard is not in a condition to be readily used. It contains lot of unwanted impurities like water, dirt etc. But we cannot put this type of oil into our main engine and auxiliary machinery. To refine and make it up to a level, where we can use it for burning, we need purifiers. Purifier uses the centrifugal force to remove the contaminants and other liquid that may be present in the heavy fuel. Regular maintenance of these machines makes sure that they are working properly, and hence we are having clean fuel to run our engines.
like centrifugal, screw, gear and reciprocating types are also under the working area of 4th engineer. Engine room of a ship is nothing or you cannot imagine it without pumps. A regular maintenance on them and also, repairing them time to time as per the running hours is quite necessary. Mostly we use centrifugal pumps, but reciprocating pumps and other positive displacement pumps are also used in places, where there need is.
The major role that 4th Engineer plays onboard is taking of bunkers. Bunker involves lot of pre planning and him or her with chief engineer being responsible for carrying out the bunker operation properly, a thorough study of how much to take and where to take is quite necessary and imperative. During time of bunkers, he or she needs to take constant soundings, so as to have correct knowledge level of oil in the tanks.
In most of the ships, fourth engineer is a part of the fire team that go first, in case of emergency. So, he or she has to make sure that, they are competent to achieve this task.
How to become 4th Engineer in Merchant Navy
You have to first take an approved course from a maritime college. They will train you as Engine Cadet and after successful completion of course, you will board ship as trainee that will last for specific months. Depending on the country and company policy, you have to go for a training period of 6-12 months onboard.
Note: In some ships fourth engineer is not there or may 2-3 fourth engineer can be there.
Which Rank after 4th Engineer
You will be promoted by the company as 3rd Engineer, when you have sufficient experience to take responsibility of 3rd engineer on your shoulders. Generally you need to have a sea time of 12-18 months as 4th engineer before being promoted to 3rd engineer. After sufficient experience as third engineer, you will be promoted to 2nd Engineer job.
Salary of 4th Engineer in Merchant Navy
He or she earns a respectful amount to pay which can vary from 2300$-3600$ per month depending on the company and nationality. Plus, you have other facilities like insurance, scholarship for your further studies etc.