Skip to content

USCG National Qualified Member of the Engine Department (QMED)

License Description

QMED MPT Course #265

The Coast Guard defines a QMED qualified member of the engine department as any person below officer and above the rating of wiper in the engineering department, who holds an MMC endorsed as QMED by the Coast Guard.

QMED is to the engineering department what the AB is to the Deck Department. QMED documents are required of a certain number of the engine department crew on every inspected vessel. QMED is also the entry level (starting point) for any merchant mariner Engineering Officers License. QMED’s are not restricted by the type or size of the vessel. Depending on your career goals and your areas of expertise, you choose the number of and type of ratings that you apply for. You will take a separate exam for each one, however our QMED course will prepare you for all of them. Ratings can be used to meet requirements on certain vessels or simply to indicate your experience and professional abilities.

Each QMED rating must be endorsed separately, unless the applicant qualifies for all QMED ratings, in which case the endorsement will read “QMED—any rating”

The ratings are as follows

  • Fireman/Watertender;
  • Oiler;
  • Junior engineer;
  • Electrician/Refrigerating engineer;
  • Pumpman/Machinist.


  • The Coast Guard will no longer issue original endorsements for deck engineer, deck/engine mechanic, or engineman, or individual endorsements for refrigerating engineer, machinist, electrician, and pumpman. However, a mariner who holds any of these endorsements may continue to renew them as long as he or she is otherwise qualified.
  • If the holder of an endorsement as pumpman only or machinist only seeks the combined endorsement of pumpman/machinist, the mariner must pass the examination as described in Table 1 of 46CFR12.505(c).
  • If the holder of an endorsement as electrician only or refrigerating engineer only seeks the combined endorsement of electrician/refrigerating engineer, the mariner must pass the examination as described in Table 1 of 46CFR12.505(c).

Mariners holding a single rating that is now combined and request the combined rating will need to pass the appropriate exam.

  • After March 24, 2015, we will not issue original single ratings nor will we issue original Deck Engine Mechanic or Engineman.
  • Mariners may renew any previous endorsement as is.



Required Examinations

Successful completion of MPT course #265 QMED Qualified Member of the Engine Department will meet the below OILER testing requirements without further examination.

Additionally, this course will substitute 90 days of the 180 days required seatime, equal to that of a Wiper.

QMED Testing Requirements

Unless additional regulatory references are specifically noted on the ESS, each examination is made up of the required subjects for the particular endorsement found in 46 CFR 12.505 as appropriate.

5 available QMED Endorsements

  • Junior Engineer
  • Electrician-Refrigerating Engineer
  • Oiler
  • Fireman-Watertender
  • Machinist-Pumpman

Junior Engineer

  • Junior Engineer, Part I
  • Junior Engineer, Part II

*An applicant that has successfully completed the modules for Electrician-Refrigerating Engineer, Oiler, and Fireman-Watertender can be issued the Junior Engineer endorsement without testing provided they have met all other service and training requirements.

Electrician-Refrigerating Engineer

  • Electrician
  • Refrigerating Engineer


  • Oiler, Part I
  • Oiler, Part II


  • Fireman-Watertender
General Requirements

Read More

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Pass the prescribed physical and medical examination requirements specified in 46 CFR Part 10, subpart C;
  • Present evidence of having passed a chemical test for dangerous drugs or of having qualified for an exemption from testing, as described in 46 CFR 16.220.
  • Meet the sea service or training requirements in 46 CFR 12.503
  • Pass an examination as QMED
  • Speak and understand the English language as would be required in performing the general duties of QMED and during an emergency aboard ship.
Sea Service Requirements

Read More

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

  • Electrician/Refrigerating Engineer
  • Oiler
  • Fireman/Watertender
  • Junior Engineer
  • Pumpman/Machinist
  • QMED – Any Rating (must hold all 5 ratings to be endorsed)

MPT QMED Course #265 is an Approved training programs, as such substitutes for up to one-half of the required service. So you would only need 90 Days of sea service as described below.

An applicant for an MMC endorsed as a QMED rating must have a minimum of six months of underway service in a rating at least equal to that of wiper. This service may have been aboard government or military vessels or other vessels not required to carry certificated personnel. The NMC shall evaluate such service to ensure that it is the equivalent of service as a wiper. The presence of a "walk in" engine room, generators independent of the main engines and other independent auxiliaries indicates that a vessel's construction may require a crew member performing a wiper's duties.

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.

Sea Service Notes.

Service as a Maintenance Person.

Time served in the maintenance department of a vessel, where a maintenance department is allowed by the vessel's COI, is considered 50% deck service and 50% engine service, unless the certificate of discharge specifies otherwise. The portion of service in the engine department may be credited toward the service required for a QMED rating.

Applicants Examined For Other Ratings At The Same Time.

An applicant for one QMED rating may be examined at the same time for all ratings for which eligible. An applicant being examined for one of the QMED ratings who has previously completed the QMED-General section within the past 12 months is not required to be tested on this section again.

Endorsement for Designated Duty Engineers (DDEs)

Under 46 CFR 12.02-11(d) (2), Designated Duty Engineers of 4000 horsepower and unlimited horsepower qualify to have their MMDs endorsed as "Any unlicensed rating in the engine department." Designed Duty Engineers of 1000 horsepower do not qualify.

Training Requirements

Read More

MPT QMED Course #265 is an Approved training programs, as such substitutes for up to one-half of the required service. So you would only need 90 Days of sea service to acquire the QMED National credential.