Skip to content

Assistant Engineer, R/V Rachel Carson

Assistant Engineer, R/V Rachel Carson

Founded in 1987 by the late David Packard, MBARI is a nonprofit oceanographic research center advancing marine science and engineering to understand our changing ocean. Located in Moss Landing, California, the heart of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, MBARI offers ready access to the open ocean and deep sea. Ongoing research programs range across autonomous and remotely operated underwater vehicle systems, control technologies, ocean physics, chemistry, geology, biology, ocean instrumentation, and information management. MBARI hosts approximately 200 employees, with shore facilities that include state-of-the-art science and engineering laboratories, manufacturing and electrical fabrication shops, and dock facilities for MBARI vessels.

The institute operates three research vessels, the R/V Rachel Carson is MBARI’s 135-foot coastal vessel. The vessel supports multi-purpose operations revolving around AUV deployments, offshore instrument deployments, and diving tasks. When switching between these activities, mobilization and reconfiguration of the vessel in port is required. Most vessel operations are completed in one day.

Reporting to the Chief Engineer, the Assistant Engineer provides assistance in the maintenance, efficient operation, and safety of the engine room and all machinery spaces of the research vessel. The individual assists in ensuring operational readiness of all mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic systems. The individual supports the safe operation of the vessel as it pertains to the mechanical functions required to perform all normal research operations.

Our permanent roles are full time positions that do not offer rotations. Therefore, leave is granted on an ad-hoc basis and positions are backfilled from a relief pool. 

Primary responsibilities:
• Responsible for daily engine room start-up and shut down procedures of main engines, generators, electrical equipment and all related shipboard systems along with engine room maintenance and regular engine room inspections while underway.
• Performing all duties required for normal research operations in the absence of the Chief Engineer.
• Due to the small crew size of the vessel, the Assistant Engineer position at times doubles as a deckhand performing vessel maintenance, housecleaning tasks, and bridge watch standing rotations.
• On deck, the Assistant Engineer assists in the deployment and recovery of the vessel’s ROV and AUV and deployment and recovery of CTD rosettes, sediment traps and a variety of other oceanographic experiments.

Required qualifications:
• A high school diploma and relevant maritime experience.
• The candidate must possess the ability to operate knuckle boom cranes and oceanographic winches.
• A U.S.C.G. DDE (Designated Duty Engineer) 4000 HP or better rating is acceptable when a proficiency in operating and maintaining a variety of mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic systems is displayed to the Chief Engineer and determined to be qualified by the Master.
• Ability to work in hazardous marine environment.
• Ability to step up 3 feet.
• Heavy lifting is required (up to 50 lbs.)
• Although the vessel normally returns to Moss Landing the same day it goes to sea, the individual may be required to work up to one month continuously away from home port and be able to work in foreign ports.

Desired qualifications:
• A 3rd Assistant Engineer (Unlimited Diesel) License.

Ready to apply?

Job Code: Assistant Engineer, Carson

Prospective applicants should send a current curriculum vita and required licenses to or by mail to the below address.

Jessica Chapman
Job Code: Assistant Engineer, Carson
7700 Sandholdt Road
Moss Landing, CA 95039 

Salary range: $30.00 – $42.00/hour

MBARI is an Equal Opportunity Employer. MBARI considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, age, disability, covered veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

MBARI Welcomes Diversity