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Marine Mechanical Technician

Learn about marine engine systems and quickly start your career at sea.

A man wearing ear protection and orange coveralls examines a ship's engine room with a flashlight.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year

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Marine engines are some of the most powerful in the world and this program introduces you to them.

Learn the fundamentals of marine engineering systems operations, including:

  • Safe watchkeeping
  • Operation of auxiliary machinery and associated controls
  • Marine diesel engines
  • Steam turbine plants
  • Marine boilers and main steam systems

Sea time

  • You study on campus from September to May, you then complete a 90-day sea internship.
  • International students must find a work placement on board a foreign vessel. Once you secure your work placement, we'll coordinate details with your employer.

Choose NSCC

  • You learn in a state-of-the-art nautical training facility with simulators.
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. To prepare for employment, you will participate in safety awareness courses.
  • For more detailed information specific to the marine industry, visit Careers at Sea.

Other info

  • Successful program completion requires students maintain an attendance standard of 90%, a pass mark of 70% in practical examination and 60% in written examination.
  • You receive Transport Canada's Engine Room Rating (ERR) Training certificate when you complete this program.
  • You receive Transport Canada's Practical Skills Training for Engineers (PSME) training certificate.

2022-23 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2022

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Strait Area Campus Classes at Nautical Institute Full time In-class In-classDelivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Seats available

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • A valid Marine Medical Certificate (to meet Transport Canada's requirements for approved marine/cadet training programs) is required. Details are provided with your acceptance notification.
  • A current, official criminal record check is required to complete work placements (such as field work, internships, co-ops) in this program. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to complete program requirements. Information on this process will be provided at the beginning of your program.
  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


2022-23 tuition will be announced in the late Spring once approved by the government of Nova Scotia. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional. Amounts below were for the 2021-22 academic year.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Funding available for women and Indigenous peoples
To help meet the marine industry demand and diversify the workforce, the federal government is providing $2.5 million in bursaries for women and Indigenous peoples.

  • As a woman or Indigenous person, you may qualify for a $5,000 annual bursary for your education. View funding details
  • As an Indigenous person, you are automatically considered for additional funds (up to $10,500) to help with living expenses.

Career options

Graduates work nationally and internationally on marine vessels as:

  • Engine room ratings
  • Oilers
  • Mechanical assistants conducting engine room support, workshop duties and equipment monitoring, and tool and system maintenance

Future study options

  • Students who complete the Marine Mechanical Technician certificate may apply for advanced standing into the second year of the Marine Engineering Technology diploma program.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you can apply to earn credit. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

COMM 1021 - Communications & Maritime English
This course deals with maritime terminology and the use of written and verbal English sufficient to allow the use of engineering publications and the performance of engineering duties concerned with the ship's safety and operation.

MANT 1121 - Vessel Personnel with Security Responsibilities
This course is intended to provide the knowledge required for seafarers with designated security duties in connection with a Ship Security Plan (SSP) to perform their duties in accordance with the requirements of Chapter XI-2 of SOLAS 74 as amended, the ISPS Code and Section A-VI/6 and Table A-VI/6-2 of the STCW Code, as amended.

MEDC 1811 - Marine Basic First Aid
This course provides learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to recognize an emergency, provide appropriate first aid at the scene, notify emergency medical services and promote a safety oriented life style for the prevention of accidents. This course meets the requirements for first aid training as set out by Transport Canada and Workplace Occupational Health and Safety.

MEDC 1821 - STCW Basic Safety
This course provides all Seafarers with the basic understanding of the hazards associated with the Marine Environment and their own vessel; the prevention of shipboard incidents, including fire and procedures for abandonment. It provides Seafarers with the knowledge necessary to raise and react to alarms and to deal with emergencies. The course will ensure that all Seafarers are able to provide assistance in fire and abandonment in emergency situations. It will provide Seafarers with the knowledge and skills which will enable them to assist in their own survival and rescue. The course content meets Standards of Training and Certification of Watchkeeping Seafarers, MED with respect to STCW Basic Safety (MED BST). This course also aligns with Transport Publication 5562 of the Transport Canada certification standard for officer cadets.

MEDC 1822 - Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats Other Than Fast Rescue Boats
This course is designed to provide seafarers with the basic understanding and knowledge of survival craft and rescue boats, other than fast rescue boats. It meets STCW 6.2 and Canadian requirements under Crewing Regulations for training of marine personnel - MED with respect to Survival Craft and Rescue Boats Other than Fast Rescue Boats (MED SC). Participants will advance their knowledge of marine survival craft and associated equipment as well as prepare to manage crew and passengers during abandoning of a vessel, surviving at sea, and being rescued. The course includes: Introduction and Safety; Emergency Situations; Principles of Survival; Use of Personal Survival Equipment; Helicopter Rescue; Survival Craft and Rescue Boats; Launching Arrangements; Lifeboat Engine and Accessories; evacuation; Signalling Equipment and Pyrotechnics; Action Aboard a Survival Craft; Launching and Recovering Lifeboats; Life Raft Launching; Launching and Handling Survival Craft in Rough Weather; Radio Equipment.

MENG 1111 - Applied Mathematics I
This course is designed to provide a review and strengthen the students’ knowledge of mathematical concepts as they apply to the work entry level ship’s Engineering Officer. Topics include, order of operations, arithmetic simplification of numbers and fractions, algebra that involves one or more variables, functional notations and expressions, graphs in the rectangular coordinate system, how to define range and domain for any graphs, variation, exponents, radicals, logarithms. This course will provide the necessary tools for solving problems in the theoretical subjects in marine engineering. This course is a prerequisite for MENG 1112 Applied Mathematics II.

MENG 1121 - Industrial Chemistry
Fundamental chemical concepts which form the basis for understanding of: water composition and water chemistry, water testing and treatment with particular emphasis on maintaining appropriate water characteristics for boiler feed water and preventing the formation of scales and sludge. Also included are: the chemistry of fuels and lubricants and characteristics of marine fuels and lubricants (in storage and during transfer), the chemical reactions leading to corrosion and corrosion prevention with differentiation of processes leading to pitting corrosion, fretting corrosion, and corrosion fatigue in materials exposed to sea water and generally used aboard ships.

MENG 1131 - Applied Mechanics I
This is a basic course exposing the learner to basic concepts of mechanics and thermodynamics. It starts with mass and volume, speed, acceleration, and force concepts, introducing vectors in the process and their difference with respect to scalars. Energy, work, power in mechanical systems are then discussed including the principle of conservation of energy. Fluids are treated next, with the introduction of the concepts of pressure and temperature scales. Next, basic heat transfer is discussed including conduction, convection and radiation. The course closes with an introduction to the concept of static equilibrium which will be expanded upon on Applied Mechanics II.

MENG 1210 - Technical Drawing I
This course covers the theory and the practical applications needed to effectively communicate graphical technical concepts including engineering drawings reading, interpretation and sketching skills.

MENG 1315 - Skills Training I
This course will develop the learners’ proficiency in the safe use and care of all common hand tools, power tools, metal fasteners, adhesives and bonding materials normally used on board ships. This will be accomplished through the completion of bench fitting shop projects, which utilizes all the skills covered by the classroom instruction. This course will also develop the learners’ proficiency in machining processes and machine tools usage normally carried out on board ships. There will be appropriate balance of theoretical and practical aspects to this course with various projects to enhance learners’ practical skills.

MENG 1511 - Engineering Knowledge, General I
This course focuses on definitions, characteristics and description of positive displacement and dynamic pumps including review of working principles and construction features of different kind of pumps. The course will also introduce central priming systems, ejectors, various hydraulic systems used on board ships and oily water separator requirements and operation.

MENG 1512 - Engineering Knowledge, General II
This is second in the series of practical marine engineering courses that introduces the learner to certain equipment and systems found in almost every sea-going vessel. Working principles, running and maintenance of various fresh water generators, air compressors and oil separators and various requirements of their systems are described in this course.

MENG 1521 - Engineering Knowledge, Motor I
This is the first course in marine diesel engineering courses that describes the basic principles of design, construction and operation of two-stroke and four-stroke diesel engines and their application to ship propulsion and power generation. The course topics include Definitions and Terms; Theory of Four-Stroke and Two-Stroke Cycles; Constructional Details of Two-Stroke and Four-Stroke Diesel Engines; Methods of Scavenging and Supercharging.

MENG 1911 - Sea Service/Onboard Training I
This is the first of two sea terms (resulting in the required 180 days of sea service) designed to provide the learner with practical engine room work experience in the development of the learner’s competencies as a marine engineer officer. The learner will learn the practical skills under a senior engineer officer. These will include safety aboard ship; prevention of pollution; pumps and systems; tanks and enclosed spaces; fire and emergency equipment; bilge and tank pumping; transfer of fuel oil; bunkering. Learners will be required to complete assignments to be signed by the senior engineer officer or Chief Engineer and reports handed in when the learners return to the College in the following term.

MENG 2315 - Skills Training II
This is the second course in skills development intended to provide practical engineering skills for marine engineers. Course content will cover overhauling, maintenance and repair of pumps, valves, air compressors, heat exchangers, diesel engines, turbochargers, boilers, shafting system, refrigerator, fuel and lubricating oil systems, maintenance of pipeline installations, electrical generator, switchboard, motors, starters, and distribution system maintenance and repair.

MENG 2610 - Marine Electrotechnology I(A)
Marine Electrotechnology I is the first of a series of courses on electric theories and fundamental principles of AC and DC circuitry. The fundamentals of Alternating Current such as electromagnetic induction , work and energy will be examined throughout the course. The calculation of impedance, inductance, phase angle will be introduced and further explored in future courses. AC machines (generator and motor) and DC machines will also be introduced.

MENG 2620 - Marine Electrotechnology I(B)
This is the second in a series of courses focused on electric theory and fundamental principles about electric circuitry aboard seagoing vessels. Continuing from the first course, AC and DC concepts will be examined and students will develop the ability to calculate various measures in electric circuits. AC machines (generator and motor) and DC machines will also be introduced?.

MENG 2650 - Seaworthiness
This course covers requirements, codes and regulations to ensure the seaworthiness of seagoing vessels. It introduces ship construction and stability particularly in terms of integrity of the vessel structure, watertightness, systems and procedures to deal with integrity issues.?

MENG 2710 - Legislative Requirements
This course introduces the various legislative and legal requirements for engine room operations and personnel. It introduces the IMO, STCW, SOLAS and MARPOL. It also covers discussion of requirements of Flag State Laws, Seafarers rights, and marine personnel regulations.

PORT 510 - Sea Time Preparation and Reporting I
Sea Service Preparation and Reporting courses are intended to manage learner expectations and standards related to sea service training for navigation and engineering officers. This first course in the series provides basic information about the cadet process and requirements for completing training and sea service in the first year. It will include learning about the various documentation and certification requirements to undertake their first placement, an introduction to Nautical Institute’s industry partners, and the development of a professional portfolio and resume.

PORT 520 - Sea Time Preparation and Reporting II
Sea Service Preparation and Reporting courses are intended to manage learner expectations and standards related to sea service training for navigation and engineering officers. This second course in the series is intended to prepare learners for the upcoming first sea service placement. The focus will be on clarifying expectations and standards, strengthening learners’ abilities in the application process, and understanding the challenges and opportunities of extensive life onboard a vessel.

PORT 2000 - Standard Marine Communication Phrases
This course is designed to cover onboard communications requirements under IMO, particularly competence section 1.3 dealing with internal onboard communications systems. Learners will discuss the need for effective communications on a vessel including use of standard and common marine phrases.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1020 - Introduction to Confined Space
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with confined spaces. The definition and associated hazards of confined space are discussed as well as methods of confined space rescue. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Introduction to Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Introduction to Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces the learner to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the learner is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Introduction to Respiratory Protection
The learner is introduced to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion includes identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The learner will be given the opportunity to select, use and maintain respiratory equipment. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1025 - Certified Fall Arrest and Protection
This course provides participants with an understanding of the hazards associated with working from heights and compliance with Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (2013). Throughout the course, participants will gain experience in the donning of a harness, an overview and presentation of system components involved when working from heights and learn how to complete a fall calculation and emergency procedures.

SAFE 1031 - H2S Alive
This course is an industry recognized and industry certified course that meets the standard set by the H2S Examination and Certification Committee. It is delivered under the Competency-based model of instruction. Learners must satisfactorily complete a written test and demonstrate skills taught. Successful participants are certified by ENFORM.

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