MCA Approved Engine Course (AEC)

The size and capabilities of today's superyachts demands a team of skilled engineers to live and work on board. This provides a great opportunity for these skilled workers to enjoy time on some of the world's most beautiful boats.

Find approved engine courses.

Engineer Training

Gaining a job as an engineer on a superyacht is a dream for many, and, with high demand for such positions on board, there’s never been a better time to get trained up!

If you plan on getting a job as a yacht engineer, you’ll need to obtain your STCW Basic Safety training and ENG1 medical certificate (mandatory for all crew working on board), as well as the internationally recognised skills and required qualifications to get ahead, such as those listed under the MCA Engineering Officer training scheme.

What is the Approved Engine Course (AEC)?

The Approved Engine Course (AEC) is the entry-level qualification to work aboard commercial yachts. It's widely recognised as the first step on the ladder for those seeking jobs within the deck and engineering departments on board a superyacht, or those who wish to skipper a smaller yacht. It’s also the first-level qualification for those wishing to undertake the MCA Officer of the Watch Certificate of Competency (MCA OOW CoC).

The AEC is a four-day course totalling 30 hours. It provides the practical hands-on training and theoretical knowledge of diesel engines and associated systems to enable you to work on board a superyacht (24 metres and above) as an engineer or dual-deck engineer.

Engineering Training

The course is not compulsory. However, it is advised for a career in marine engineering and costs between £550 and £875 – a fee that can be quickly recouped given a yacht engineer's expected salary.

After obtaining the MCA Approved Engine Course certificate, crew are able to fill the positions of:

  • Assistant engineer on vessels over 200gt within 60miles from a safe haven (under the Large Yacht code LY2)
  • Chief engineer on sailing yachts over 24m in length and less than 200gt and 750 Kw within 60 miles from a safe haven
  • Chief engineer on motor yachts over 24m in length and less than 200gt and l500Kw within 60 miles from a safe have

What's involved in the Approved Engine Course (AEC)?

The course includes practical sessions as well as all the theory requirements and will cover:

  • The principles of two and four-stroke engine operation
  • The construction of engines
  • The role of air in the combustion process
  • Fuel systems
  • Cooling systems
  • Lubrication systems
  • Engine-electrical systems
  • Power transmission
  • Hull fittings
  • Fault-finding and rectification
  • Safe working practices
  • Bottled gas installations
  • Pollution prevention

Marine Engine

Prerequisites for the AEC

All AEC students must:

AEC examination and assessment

Continual practical assessments with theory-based examinations will take place throughout the course.


Find crew-training companies providing the Approved Engine Course (AEC), or research your next engineering qualification.


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