Oregon Public Universities


Classification Specifications


Classification Number: 4547


  Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9 Step 10
Salary Range 33 $5670 $5949 $6233 $6451 $6857 $7193 $7540 $7916 $8294 $8692

The SHIP'S CHIEF ENGINEER is responsible for the operation, maintenance, and repair of the machinery and equipment of a research vessel.


This is the third level of a three-level series. This class is distinguished from the lower First Assistant Engineer level by the responsibility for all engineering operations and direction of engineering staff, and, at sea, is on call 24 hours per day, seven days per week for emergencies and major engineering problems.


  1. Equipment Maintenance. Typical tasks: maintains an adequate supply of fuel, lubricating oil, and water; keeps maintenance records, including a history of component failures, for mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic systems; identifies, recommends, and plans any modifications in those systems.
  2. Equipment Repair. Typical tasks: assigns repair work on shipboard and scientific equipment such as diesel engines, pumps, winches, hydraulic systems, refrigeration equipment, and compressors to subordinate engineers; repairs or replaces broken parts using hand tools, precision tools, arc and gas welders, and lathes.
  3. Watch Standing. Typical tasks: stands watch as the roving engineer; assumes responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the engineering plant, including constant checks on pressures and temperatures, fuel consumption, and conditions of operating machinery to ensure economical, safe, and efficient operation; keeps engineering logs and records.
  4. Miscellaneous. Typical tasks: directs subordinate engineers in firefighting and maintenance of firefighting equipment; performs first aid; prepares requests for capital outlay items and for parts and materials for repairs of equipment; trains new engineering personnel; schedules watches for engineering department; assigns daily duties to engineering staff; approves staff time reports for payroll; assists Ship's Master in completing performance appraisals and recommending appropriate action.


Employees in this class have daily contact with research scientists and students while at sea to repair research equipment and assist in projects. All other contact is with the ship's crew. Duties are assigned and completed on board the ship.


Employees in this class are responsible to and supervised by the Master of the vessel, for functions relating to command of the vessel and research activities. Employees are responsible to and supervised by the Port Engineer, for functions relating to technical details of operation, maintenance, and repair of machinery and equipment. Work is evaluated upon completion for conformance to Federal, State, and agency rules and regulations.


Positions in this class are found on ships conducting research at sea for extended periods of time. They require the willingness to work within the environment associated with the position's location.


    High School Diploma and 5 years of vessel engineering experience in assigned area of responsibility.

    • Chief Engineer-Limited (Oceans) license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard
    • STCW endorsements appropriate for the position.
    • Meet Coast Guard drug testing requirements
    • Ability to obtain a passport
    • Ability to speak, read, and write English

Revised May 2004