Unlicensed Engineer vs QMED

Greetings all,
What is the difference between an Unlicensed Engineer & QMED at GOM in regards to job description and pay? I just got hired by one of the companies in GOM as a QMED but when i got here i’ve been assigned to a tugboat as an Unlicensed Engineer.

I came from MSC and I have my QMED Refrigeration Engineer/Electrician but apparent what they mean by QMED in GOM is actually just an Oiler and i don’t have my oiler so the company is going to sail me as an Unlicensed Engineer until i get my oiler. Sent my oiler application to CG on Friday.

I’m wondering what the difference is with respect to job description, pay and sea time towards getting my license either as DDE or 3AE. Is Unlicensed Engineer higher and better than QMED in pay and duties? My priority is being able to learn different things that will help me to know my stuff before i get my license. I just don’t want to get my license without knowing anything and i don’t want to waste my time on something that will not count towards my DDE or 3AE. Thanks in advance for helping a newbie at GOM.

To be honest I’ve always considered Unlicensed Engineer to be a step above QMED.


You can use exclusively unlicensed engineer time towards a dde. I know guys who have done it…pretty sure for the 3rd you will need at least 50% qmed time. I’d refer the checklists or Mr cavo can clarify.

Thats great to know. Is it higher responsibilities than QMED? Is it same as Unlicensed Junior Engineer at Deep Sea and bigger ships?

I’m glad i can use it towards DDE. It’s actually temp assignmenr until i get my oiler from the CG so i dont mind doing about two 28/28 hitches until then. Is the pay supposed to be higher than QMED?

That varies on the company. I know some tug companies pay unlicensed engineers anywhere from 400-550 a day. On OSVs QMEDs are in the high 300s low 400s these days.

I’m glad i can use it towards DDE. It’s actually temp assignmenr until i get my oiler from the CG so i dont mind doing about two 28/28 hitches until then.

You’re like a freshman academy guy with pay now. Work, keep your nose in books for the next few years and you’ll be fine. Without nose in books you’ll never progress, better start now.

I’m a little confused by your terminology and use of Unlicensed Engineer as your current position. It’s still weird that MSC and Gov service titles the position as Unlicensed Junior Engineer rather than actual credential rating title of QMED-Junior Engineer. Junior Engineer, Oiler, and Refer Engineer/Elect are just three of the QMED ratings. (Jr Engr actually requires all of the Oiler exam subjects plus more).

What does your vessel manning/COI require for unlicensed ratings?

Regardless, if the company you work for requires the QMED-Oiler rating endorsement then you should get it. Even if they don’t you should get it if it’s just a matter of taking the exam modules, so you can ensure you are sailing as QMED. That being said if you were sailing as QMED with MSC then that time should count already towards your 3rd A/E per the CFR:

Three years of service in the engineroom of vessels, 2 years of which must have been as a qualified member of the engine department or equivalent position;

I think they’re just saving a few bucks with you. for lords sake man. You’ve all ready got 90 days in the engine room, (which i belive made you a oiler) tested endorsements for electrician, reefer and?, krimany, you may as well just test for Jr. Engineer!!, // 3 yrs. of sea days after that and you’re a licensed guy (with test)!!
You should go back to msc because you can sail as a 3rd with a jr. engineer endorsement.
Where are the ‘old salts’ here? … giving this guy some advice?