Marine Engineer Class 1 (MEC 1)

Find information on training, sea service and other requirements for the MEC 1 certificate, including how to apply and pay for your certificate, and where to find more help.

Your MEC 1 certificate is valid for five years.

With this certificate, you can perform the functions and duties of a chief engineer on ships of any main propulsion power in any operating area. A chief engineer is the senior engineering officer responsible for the ship’s mechanical propulsion, and for the operation and maintenance of its mechanical and electrical installations.

MEC 1 is the most senior engineering officer certificate.


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:

  • prove you hold a current certificate of competency for Marine Class 3 (MEC 3) or Marine Class 2 (MEC 2), MEC 2 endorsed chief engineer, or MEC 2 on ships <3000 kW or equivalent OR
  • prove you hold a current certificate of competency for Marine Class 3 (MEC 3) or Marine Class 2 (MEC 2) or equivalent.
  • prove you have met the minimum sea service requirements
  • complete and pass the approved qualification for Marine Engineer Class 1
  • have the required ancillary certificates
  • pass Maritime NZ’s final exam
  • prove that you are a fit and proper person
  • be medically fit and have good eyesight
  • choose to specialise in steam-powered or motor-powered propulsion systems, or both.

You must also have English conversation, reading and writing skills appropriate to the responsibilities and functions for the level of your certificate, so that you can satisfactorily complete training, pass examinations and discharge your duties.

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

Marine Engineer Class 1 (MEC 1)[PDF: 201Kb, 24 pages]


The application fee for this certificate is $368, which includes goods and services tax (GST)

Application process

This is the application process for this certificate of competency.

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

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