Across the world there’s a huge demand for Electronic Technical Officers (ETO's), both in national and international waters. If you’re working in the shipping industry, you'll probably be aware of the full extension of the ETO - on board of a ship, as well as onshore. For this reason, it might come in handy to get more familiar with the job requirements for this position, to determine if one is eligible or not.
The size of a vessel determines the full scope of the ETO’s role. The right candidate for the job has managed crews of four or more members, either offshore or onshore. Technical officers with experience on board of bigger ships or yachts might qualify a bit easier as ETO. On the other hand, on board of a small vessel, the ETO has to be able to conduct all tasks himself. But, there are also situations in which the main engineer supports the ETO in the execution of his tasks.
In general, the ETO reports to the chief engineer. Next to being able of handling all technical tasks, one has to be good at managing a bigger number of crew members. On board of bigger ships, like DP vessels, the ETO has quite a big crew to support him in the execution of his duties.
There are a few points to keep in mind about ETO vacancies. As ETO, you’re 24/7 responsible for the ships’ electrical and electronic systems; its proper functioning as well as the maintenance and/or repairs. Next to the technical systems on board, the safety of the vessels and the comfort of guests constitutes to the domain of the ETO.
At any vessel, merchant or other, the ETO needs to be excellent at ‘fault finding’. This skill is taught in the main course, while, on the other hand, it’s also trained on board. A good ETO takes care of the main machinery that supplies electric power on board, as well as auxiliary systems. It goes without saying that ETO’s need to have profound knowledge of all the systems on board of the ship. The ETO manages the distribution of electricity, takes care of the switchboards, the maintenance of the equipment on the bridge and ensures the proper functioning of interior services, such as lighting, gym equipment, power, the sauna, the wash room, toilets, and more. Last but not least, he is responsible for the maintenance of the galley equipment and makes sure that jet skis and fire tenders are always operational.
For those aspiring the job, there are numerous ways to find an ETO vacancy. Signing up at a job portal for maritime officers could be an excellent way to go ahead, while networking and taking references from other sources might also be very useful in getting the right job.