An electro-technical officer (ETO) is a fairly new role to the Merchant Navy that offers a wealth of opportunities.  If you’re interested in a career at sea it’s certainly an option worth considering.  Here is some handy information that will help you decide if it’s right for you:

An ETO is responsible for the maintenance and repair of all the electrical and electronic equipment on board the ship such as complex engine room control systems, radio communications, radar equipment and electronic chart systems.  It’s a big responsibility.

Not all ships have an ETO – it’s sometimes merged with the engineering officer’s job depending on the size of the vessel.  However, this is changing.  As ships become more sophisticated there is a greater need to have a dedicated ETO on board which is opening up even more job opportunities for the shipping industry.


Like all Merchant Navy roles, there is a ranking system in place and you will start from the bottom and work your way up from ETO cadet to senior ETO.  Experienced officers can earn anything up to £65,000 so it’s very well-paid and offers great career prospects.  However, the biggest appeal for most is the adventure.  You’ll get to travel the world and meets lots of new friends along the way.

Qualifications & skills

You’ll need to hold a relevant qualification as well as an STCW 2010 certificate and an ENG1 seafarers’ medical certificate.  As part of an entry level cadetship, you’ll be enrolled onto a suitable ETO course but don’t worry there are various entry routes and your tuition fees will be covered.

It’s not an easy job and it’s not for everyone.  As well as the technical skills that you’ll learn on the job you also need to be physically fit and willing to work away from home for long intervals.

This role is still evolving so it’s an exciting time to join the Merchant Navy.  If an ETO officer sounds like a suitable career option then apply now for our next intake.