Marine Engineer Class 3 (MEC 3)

Find information on training, sea service and other requirements for the MEC 3 certificate, including how to apply and pay for your certificate, and where to find more help.

Your MEC 3 certificate is valid for five years.

With this certificate, you can perform the following functions and duties for the vessel propulsion type you specialise in, on ships powered by main propulsion machinery, in any operational area:

  • officer in charge of an engineering watch at an operational level in a manned engine room
  • designated duty engineer in a periodically unmanned engine room.

From MEC 3, you can progress to MEC 2 (second engineer) and MEC 1 (chief engineer).


Before you spend time doing sea service and training, we recommend you check that you can meet the medical fitness and eyesight standards (including for colour vision), and that you understand the fit and proper person requirements.

To get this certificate, you need to prove that you meet all of the requirements. In summary, you need to:

  • be at least 18 years old, medically fit and have good eyesight
  • be of good character and a fit and proper person
  • choose to specialise in steam-powered or motor-powered propulsion systems, or both
  • meet the combined training, workshop skills and sea service requirements
  • have at least six months’ experience in engine room watchkeeping under the supervision of engineering officers who hold MEC 1, MEC 2 or MEC 3 certificates of competency or equivalents
  • complete an approved marine engineer’s training record book
  • prove that you meet the minimum sea service requirements
  • attend and pass a MEC 3 training course
  • obtain certificates for the required ancillary proficiencies
  • pass MNZ’s final exam.

Each of these requirements and how to prove that you meet them is explained in the full guideline below.

Marine Engineer Class 3 (MEC 3)[PDF: 223Kb, 30 pages]


The application fee for this certificate is NZ$1,105, which includes goods and services tax (GST).

If applicable, the sea service pre-assessment fee is NZ$398, including GST. With pre-assessment, the application fee is reduced to NZ$710, including GST.

There is an additional fee of NZ$111, including GST, to pre-assess any previous qualifications and/or workshop skills for your MEC 3 certificate.

How to apply

These steps provide a basic overview of how to apply for MEC 3.

To complete an application, you need to provide all of the information and documents we require.

If you do not provide all of the required information we cannot process your application and we will return it and your other documents to you.

Contact us for more help

If you have any questions about seafarer certification, please contact our Personnel Certification team.


New Zealand (toll free):
0508 SEACERT or 0508 732 237

Call Personnel Certification now

Tell us what you need help with and remember to include your contact details (email address and phone numbers).

Transitioning guideline

For more help about moving your old certificate into SeaCert, download and read this guideline

Transitioning to new certificates

[PDF: 241Kb, 15 pages]