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Required: Co-op work terms are mandatory as per the program schedule illustrated below.

This intensive hands-on program prepares graduates for a successful career as a Marine Engineer. 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 super tankers to cruise ships, cargo ships, and more.

The knowledge and theory acquired in the classroom are applied to real-life situations aboard ships during Co-op terms.

Cadets alternate between three terms of academic study and two Co-op terms to enhance the educational experience.

For more information on the program, including an overview of the curriculum, please visit Marine Engineering Diploma Program.

Program schedule

The Marine Engineering Diploma Program is three years in length with three academic terms and two Co-op terms that are 19 weeks in length.


Academic Term Co-op Terms
First Year Term 1 (Sept-Jun) Term 2 (Jun-Oct)
Second Year Term 3 (Oct-Jun) Term 4 (Jun-Oct)
Third Year Term 5 (Oct-Jun)

1All dates are approximate and subject to change.

Student profile & capabilities

This three year full-time program in Marine Engineering is designed to jump start your career and 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 third year, 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.

Co-op job title examples

  • Engine Cadet or Marine Engineering Cadet (as a trainee)
  • Marine Engineering Officer (after 3rd year and once they have their License)
  • 4th Class Marine Engineer (after 3rd year.  This in the name of their License)

In our programs (Nautical Sciences and Marine Engineering) the students can obtain their first Transport Canada Certificate of Competency or License after 3rd year. For Marine Engineering, it is referred to as a persons 4th Class Marine Engineering Certificate of Competency.

One becomes an Officer once they get their first Certificate of Competency (COC). Once they have their COC they are never referred to as a Cadet. As an Officer they can obtain higher COCs after the first one, up to Chief Engineer for Marine Engineering.

Employers will post for Cadet positions for those trying to obtain their first COC. For those with their COC, job postings would be for the COC they hold.

Job opportunities

Co-op placements in the Marine Engineering Diploma Program typically end up becoming permanent positions as many of the Co-op employers seek lifetime employees. We work with employers such as BC Ferries, Canada Steamship Lines, Princess Cruises, Algoma Central Corporation, Seaspan, Transport Desgagnes, Teekay Shipping, Rigel Shipping, Lower Lakes Towing, McKeil Marine, Royal Caribbean Cruises, 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 up to $12,000 per month.

The Canadian marine industry is experiencing a shortage of qualified Engineering Officers making Marine Engineering one of the most in-demand professions in Canada. With over 95% of BCIT Marine Engineering graduates employed, employment opportunities are boundless.