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  • Writer's pictureNate Gilman

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

Updated: Jan 19

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!

We do prefer to answer questions live with screen sharing to make both of our lives easier. We hold free live virtual master classes Monday and Wednesday from 5:00 - 5:30 pm PT inside of under License Guidance and then Daily Master Classes. Pro MM-SEAS members get access to our daily live master classes and office hours Monday thru Friday from 5:00 - 5:30 pm PT. You also get access to unlimited live 1 on 1 calls with one of our USCG Licensing Specialists. Pro MM-SEAS members can access these features inside of under License Guidance.

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