How to add QMED and/or RFPEW to Your USCG License

Want to enhance your USCG license with QMED and RFPNW? Discover the process and requirements for adding these valuable endorsements.

2 mins read・Mar 04, 2022
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Engineers are the crew members responsible for the maintenance, operation, and repairs of the major mechanical systems on a vessel. Similar to other departments, there is a hierarchy of positions within the engine room.

Adding credentials to your MMC like QMED (Qualified Member of the Engine Department) and RFPEW (Ratings Forming Part of an Engineering Watch) will help you advance your maritime career and take on more responsibilities.

You need to have documented sea time on vessels working in the engineering department. For QMED and STCW RFPEW, you need 180+ days of sea service in the engine department.

The common ways to obtain this is to serve as a wiper on commercial ships and tugboats. This is also a great entry point to the professional maritime community for active duty personnel especially those who served as enlisted USCG fireman apprentice (FA) or fireman (FN), as this time is equivalent to sea service as a wiper or coal passer.

In addition to the normal USCG Merchant Mariner Credential application paperwork you would need to satisfy:

QMED - You would need to take the tests or a course.

RFPEW - Have a QA sign off on all of the RFPEW NVIC checklist or take a course. If you are U.S. Navy or U.S. Coast Guard active duty, anyone at your command who is authorized to conduct assessments for the PQS for Engineering Officer of the Watch can also sign off on your STCW RFPEW Check sheet on pages 50 to 56 of this pdf (

We hope this made your life a little easier and if you have other questions the MM-SEAS team is always here to help!

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About the author

Nate Gilman
Nate Gilman

Nate has over 15 years of professional maritime experience and has hawsepiped his way to a 3rd Mate Unlimited Endorsement with full STCW compliance. He is proud veteran of the NOAA Commissioned Corps.

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