Navy Job: Engineman

These sailors keep Navy craft ship-shape

Pacific Reach 2000
••• Engineman 2nd Class Victor Ramirez from the U.S. Navy''s Deep Submergence Unit''s Diving Systems Detachment tends the umbilical line for the Submarine Rescue Chamber (SRC) (in background). U.S. Navy / Getty Images

In the Navy, an Engineman operates, services and repairs internal combustion engines used to power ships and most small craft. This rating (which is how the Navy refers to its jobs) was first established in 1917 and re-established in 1948 when the Navy consolidated several mechanic and machinist jobs. Engineman is categorized as Navy Occupational Specialty (NOS) B110.

Most enginemen work with diesel engines.

Enginemen (EN) also operate and maintain electrohydraulic controllable pitch propeller systems and steering engines, refrigeration and air conditioning systems, air compressors, desalinization plants and small auxiliary boilers. Enginemen perform their duties in surface ships, not submarines (there's a separate rating for submarine work). 

Despite the somewhat outdated title, the Engineman rating is open to both male and female sailors. 

Engineman Duties in the Navy

These sailors align fuel, water and air piping systems and oversee the operation of diesel engines, which are used to power ships and generate electricity. They clean and maintain the diesel engines and corresponding ship parts such as propellers, gears and air compressors. 

Other big parts of the engineman's job include operating and maintaining desalinization plants used to make fresh water from sea water, operating and servicing refrigeration plants and air conditioning systems; and replacing parts used with diesel engines and gas turbines.

Enginemen are also tasked with tracking repairs and keeping records and reports of any engine maintenance. 

Working Environment for Navy Enginemen

Enginemen work in engine rooms or shops which, at times, may be warm and noisy. They may also work outdoors aboard small craft. The work performed is sometimes physical.

Although enginemen often work closely with others, they may also be required to work alone with limited supervision.

Qualifying and Training for Navy Enginemen

To be eligible for this rating, you'll need a suitable score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests. A combined score of 195 on the verbal (VE) arithmetic reasoning (AR) mechanical knowledge (MK) and auto shop (AS). Alternately, you could qualify with a combined 200 in the VE, AR, MK and assembling objects (AO) segments of the test. 

You'll spend the usual eight weeks at Navy boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois, and 14 weeks in A-school. There's no Department of Defense security clearance required, but you need to have normal hearing. 

In addition, Navy enginemen should be able to work in indoor and outdoor environments, and be able to work as part of a team. Knowledge of power tools and mechanical devices is helpful. 

Sea/Shore Rotation for This Rating

  • First Sea Tour: 60 months
  • First Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Second Sea Tour: 60 months
  • Second Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Third Sea Tour: 48 months
  • Third Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Fourth Sea Tour: 48 months
  • Forth Shore Tour: 36 months

Note: Sea tours and shore tours for sailors that have completed four sea tours will be 36 months at sea followed by 36 months ashore until retirement.

There's an ongoing need in the Navy for Enginemen, so job prospects are usually excellent.