QMED (Qualified Member of the Engineering Dept.)

Career Path Requirements

Looking to obtain your QMED License from the US Coast Guard? Take your courses with Northeast Maritime Institute and follow this guide. QMED’s are qualified ratings in the engineering department on board a vessel. It is the starting point for any merchant mariner engineer’s license.

Minimum Age Required

  • 18 years

Sea Service Requirements

  • 180 days of service in a rating at least equal to that of a wiper or coal passer.
    • Electrician/Refrigerating Engineer
    • Oiler
    • Fireman/Watertender
    • Junior Engineer
    • Pumpman/Machinist
    • QMED – Any Rating (must hold all 5 ratings to be endorsed) Approved training programs, other than those classified as a school ship, may substitute for up to one-half of the required service. OR
  • A graduate of a school ship may qualify for a rating endorsement as QMED, without further service, upon satisfactory completion of the program of instruction. For this purpose, school ship is interpreted to mean an institution that offers a complete approved program of instruction, including a period of at-sea training, in the skills appropriate to the rating of QMED. (Please refer to COAP for approved school ships and the scope of their approvals.) (2) 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. (Please refer to COAP.)

Application Requirements

  • Completed USCG Application including sea service documentation
  • USCG Physical Examination
  • USCG Drug Test
  • Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC)

Training Requirements

  • STCW Basic Training
  • QMED Course
  • Proficiency in Survival Craft (Lifeboatman) Course


  • Original single ratings of Pumpman, Machinist, Electrician or Refrigerating Engineer will no longer be issued. Mariner can only be issued combined ratings of Pumpman/Machinist and/or Electrician/Refrigerating Engineer.
  • Mariners holding a single rating that is now combined and request the combined rating will need to pass the appropriate exam.
  • Original endorsements of Deck Engineer, Deck Engine Mechanic or Engineman will no longer be issued.
  • Mariners may renew any previous endorsement as is.
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