The Marine Engineer Operator’s license, MEOL, and Senior Marine Engineer Operator’s license, SMEOL, are non-STCW marine engineer licenses. These licenses are a lesser version of SV Engineer qualifications. In this article, let’s exclusively talk about the Marine Engineer Operator’s License and Senior Marine Engineer Operator’s License and how to obtain it.

Marine Engineer Operator’s License – A Non-STCW Engineering Certificate

The Marine Engineer Operator’s License (MEOL) will allow you to serve as a marine engine operator on small vessels with propulsion power of between 200 kilowatts and 750 kilowatts. STCW requirements do not apply to these vessels.

Also, right after obtaining this license, you can directly prepare for the Engineer Officer of the Watch position without fulfilling any extra service on vessels. This is done via the Experienced Seafarer Route. Check our Second Engineer SV article for more information.

Is the MEOL certificate valid in South Africa?

Whether this certificate is valid in South Africa is unclear. However, with this qualification, you would be able to work on small vessels of propulsion power between 200 kilowatts to 750 kilowatts in the United Kingdom.

So you may think why would you get the MEOL certification? Well, the industry is telling you that there is a demand for Deck Officers. But it is only a matter of time before the industry will overflow with the supply of deck officers.

Besides that, it is always great to upgrade your skills and learn new things, and MEOL may help you with that. This license may allow you to accumulate more and more experience in the marine engineering field. And with that, you may consider going for the SV Engineering qualifications.

So, regardless of its validity in South Africa, this license will prove useful for you in the long run. Especially, if you are serious about the marine industry.

How to Obtain the MEOL Qualification?

It takes a candidate at least two years to get their MEOL qualification.

To begin with, you will need the Approved Engine Course (AEC) I & II qualifications.

This qualification may allow you to work in the engine department for small vessels. This is crucial since you have to provide proof of at least 24 months of engineering service on a small vessel of minimum 200 kW power. Alternatively, you may show 36 months of service as a dual-purpose deckhand and engineer. Here, a minimum of 6 months of service should be on a seagoing vessel.

You have to be at least 19 years of age and must possess a valid ENG1 medical fitness certificate.

Also, you must hold the applicable ancillary certificates. This list is in section 6 of the MSN 1904 Marine notice.

Once you meet these requirements, you have to pass the MEOL Y oral examination.

How to Obtain a Senior Marine Engine Operator’s License (SMEOL)?

The Senior Marine Engine Operator’s License may allow you to perform your duties on a very small vessel as a Chief engineer. You will be in charge of the engine and other system operations on the vessel. To obtain this vessel, you will require the MEOL qualification first.

Let us see the requirements to obtain the SMEOL qualification.

The candidate must have a record of 6 months of seagoing service as an MEOL on vessels of at least 200 kW power.

Once you have the record, you have to pass the MCA oral examination for SMEOL qualification and that’s it. You will obtain your SMEOL license upon passing your oral exam.

Final Words

Whether to go for the SMEOL license or the SV Engineer route is up to you. While exclusively not required for MEOL and SMEOL, we highly recommend you take the basic STCW training. This will especially help you if you are planning to for the SV Engineer route someday.

While it is optional, having an engineering or apprenticeship background in the mechanical field is useful. If you are trying to obtain MEOL while having the background above, you should contact MCA to check your eligibility for any exemptions.

If you are looking to go abroad for a marine career, Skipper Training SA has some interesting courses for you to prepare for the journey. Feel free to check out our website or give us a call for more information.

How to Obtain MEOL & SMEOL Qualifications?