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QMED (Qualified Member of the Engineering Dept.) Career Track

Looking to obtain your QMED License from the US Coast Guard? Take your courses with Northeast Maritime Institute and follow this guide. QMED’s are qualified ratings in the engineering department on board a vessel.  It is the starting point for any merchant mariner engineer’s license. 

View our complete list of courses, both on-site and online here. 

Minimum Age Required: 18 years


180 days of service in a rating at least equal to that of a wiper or coal passer.  

  • Electrician/Refrigerating Engineer   
  • Oiler  
  • Fireman/Watertender  
  • Junior Engineer  
  • Pumpman/Machinist  
  • QMED – Any Rating   (must hold all 5 ratings to be endorsed)   Approved training programs, other than those classified as a school ship, may substitute for up to one-half of the required service.  OR 

(1)  A graduate of a school ship may qualify for a rating endorsement as QMED, without further service, upon satisfactory completion of the program of instruction.  For this purpose, school ship is interpreted to mean an institution that offers a complete approved program of instruction, including a period of at-sea training, in the skills appropriate to the rating of QMED. (Please refer to COAP for approved school ships and the scope of their approvals.) (2)  Training programs, other than those classified as a school ship, may be substituted for up to one-half of the required service.  The service/training ratio for each program is determined by the Coast Guard.  (Please refer to COAP.) 


  • Completed USCG Application including sea service documentation
  • USCG Physical Examination
  • USCG Drug Test
  • Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC)


  • STCW Basic Training  
  • QMED Course 
  • Proficiency in Survival Craft (Lifeboatman) Course 


  • Original single ratings of Pumpman, Machinist, Electrician or Refrigerating Engineer will no longer be issued. Mariner can only be issued combined ratings of Pumpman/Machinist and/or Electrician/Refrigerating Engineer.  
  • Mariners holding a single rating that is now combined and request the combined rating will need to pass the appropriate exam.    
  • Original endorsements of Deck Engineer, Deck Engine Mechanic or Engineman will no longer be issued.  
  • Mariners may renew any previous endorsement as is 

Frequently Asked Questions about Getting Your Mariner’s License (FAQs): 

How do I document my seatime/sea service? 

  • NMI has a guide to documenting your sea time. Visit our page here to learn how. 

How do I obtain my Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC)? 

  • Visit the Transportation Security Administration’s website here.

Where do I find the application for my Merchant Mariner Credential?

  • Document CG-719B can be found here. 
  • Steps to Apply for and Original MMC can be found here. 

Who do I go to complete the Merchant Mariner Oath? 

  • The oath can be found here and can be administered by a local notary public. 

Contact our Registration Office for more information

32 Washington Street Fairhaven, MA 02719 USA
Tel: 508-992-4025 Fax: 508-992-9184

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