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Fall 2021 delivery mode: in person

  • This program will be delivered in person for the fall term.
  • We have put measures in place for your safety and well-being, ensuring that all safety protocols are addressed. Please see the BCIT COVID-19 page for details on the procedures that have been implemented.

Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.

Do you see yourself working on the largest engines in the world crossing the seas as a Chief Engineer of a cruise ship or oil tanker? This program is your first step towards a career as a Chief Engineer in the commercial marine industry.

Marine Engineers are trained in the efficient operation and maintenance of the propulsion plant and other mechanical systems found in all oceangoing ships. The main responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining and repairing propulsion, electrical, and auxiliary systems
  • Equipment diagnostics and problem-solving
  • Conducting daily watchkeeping duties

This Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security (TCMSS) accredited program provides graduates with a solid background in the principles of construction, operation, and maintenance of diesel propulsion plants on a variety of ships.

The Canadian marine industry is experiencing a shortage of qualified Marine Engineering officers; and thus, making Marine Engineering one of the most in-demand professions in Canada. With over 95% of BCIT Marine Engineering graduates employed, there are plenty of employment opportunities available.

The program

The Marine Engineering diploma program is a three-year cadet co-operative program. BCIT Marine Engineering students (Cadets) are trained in all mechanical, electrical, and structural aspects of ships; from main engines to auxiliary systems found in all ocean-going vessels ranging from supertankers to cruise ships, cargo ships, and more.

This program is designed to provide hands-on, theoretical, and technical knowledge in the following areas:

  • Propulsion plant operation and maintenance
  • Electronics and electrical technology
  • Ship construction
  • Fuel systems
  • Engineering science and knowledge
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
  • Naval architecture
  • Thermodynamics

Upon successful completion of the program, you will be eligible to write the Transport Canada examination for the Fourth Class Marine Engineering Certificate of Competency. This certification will allow you to work as a qualified Marine Engineering Officer on any commercial vessel of any size worldwide.

Learn more about Transport Canada exemptions in the Marine Engineering program.

Entrance Requirements

Advanced Placement

Costs & Supplies

Check out the required and optional textbooks for each year of the program:

Textbooks can be purchased through the BCIT Bookstore or by calling 604-432-8379 or 877-333-8379 (toll-free within Canada).


Program Details

Graduating & Jobs

Career overview

A Marine Engineer is responsible for all mechanical, electrical, and structural aspects of the ship, from main engines to auxiliary systems. Cadets are trained in the operation and maintenance of the propulsion plant and other mechanical systems found in all ocean-going ships ranging from super tankers to cruise ships, bulk carriers, cargo ships and support vessels. These skills could be readily applied during sea phases in Canada, Asia, Western Europe, Australia, South America, and more.

Lifestyle & nature of work

The marine industry requires its Cadets and Officers to be at sea operating in nearly every ocean, aboard a variety of vessels. Depending on the schedule of the shipping company, a Marine Engineering Officer or Cadet can be away from home for months at a time. The work conditions can be demanding, however, there are opportunities to meet crew members and travel around the world.

Job opportunities

Graduates of the program can work internationally as the program is recognized by the International Maritime Organization through Transport Canada. Co-op placements in the Marine Engineering program typically end up becoming permanent positions as many of the Co-op employers seek lifetime employees. We work with employers such as Algoma Central Corporation, BC Ferries, Canada Steamship Lines, Canship Ugland, McKeil Marine, Princess Cruises, Rigel Shipping, Seaspan, Teekay Shipping, Transport Desgagnes, and more.

Upon successful completion of the Marine Engineering program and obtaining your Fourth Class Marine Engineering Certificate of Competency, a licensed Marine Engineer Officer can expect to earn between $5,000 and $10,000 per month.

Transport Canada Exemptions

Note: The Marine Engineering Program has undergone a program review. The new Marine Engineering Program is a three-year diploma program that includes two co-op terms starting in September 2021. Upon successful completion of the three-year diploma program, students will be eligible to write the Transport Canada (TC) examinations for the Fourth-Class Marine Engineering Certificate of Competency (CoC).

The three-year diploma program graduates holding the Fourth-Class Marine Engineering CoC are eligible to continue onto an Advanced Diploma program whose graduates receive TC exemptions for the First-Class Motor CoC examinations. If successful, candidates obtain the First-Class Motor CoC which is recognized internationally.

Marine Engineering Diploma Program

4th Class Engineering Officer of the Watch Certificate of Competency

After successful completion of program, and after obtaining six months of TCMSS approved sea time through co-op, students will be issued a letter indicating that they have successfully completed the three-year program. Students will be eligible to challenge the TCMSS oral examination for a Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW), at the Operational Level, 4th Class Engineering Officer of the Watch Certificate of Competency (CoC).


Contact Us

BCIT Marine Campus Registration Office
Tel: 604-453-4111

Serhat Beyenir
Department Head
Tel: 604-453-4115

Jeff Otto
Co-op Education Coordinator
Tel: 604-453-4124

Sheena Clarkson
Program Assistant
Tel: 604-453-4108

Questions or comments?


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