Rank Of Wiper

Rank Of Wiper

The Wiper position which forms part of the engine rating staff whose major duty is to clean the engine room and machineries. It is the lowest rank in among the the engine ratings. The position of the wiper is equivalent to the Ordinary Seaman (OS) on deck.


A Wiper is considered a novice in the engine department and as such is an apprentice. For a Wiper a Basic Safety Training for International Covention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) is needed with travelling documents and other special certification depending on the kind of vessel (e.g Oil/Chemical Tanker Familiarization Certificate) for working on a tanker vessel.
After twelve 12 months of sea experience the person is qualified to sit for a licence examination for the Certificate of Proficiency (CoP) to be certified as an “Ordinary Seaman Engine” in accordance to ‘Regulations III/4’ of International Covention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).

By Raymond Vinluan


There’s always room for growth in the shipping industry. A wiper can be grow to become an Engine Officer of the Watch (EOOW) but this would need a lot of experience, training, certification and licensing to attend that height.
After get the Certificate of Proficiency (CoP) for Regulations III/4, the wiper is expected to have at least twelve (12) months to get qualify to sit for a licence examination to get Certificate of Proficiency (Cop) for Regulation III/5 which promotes the wiper to the oiler (Motorman) position.


The major duties and responsibilities of a Wiper is to keep the engine room, machinery spaces and machineries clean but other duties can be assigned to the wiper by the second engineer who he reports directly to. Duties like but no limited to;

  • Chipping & Painting
  • Sweeping, Mopping & Wash Painting
  • Washing & changing Air filters
  • Cutting rags
  • Arranging & securing tools after work
  • Assisting as required in maintenance & repairs, bunkering operations, carrying engine supplies from deck etc
By Raymond Vinluan

The Wiper who is experienced and licensed can standing for the Oiler in watchkeeping operation if the oiler is carrying out a special task or not available.


Since a wiper is not a watchkeeper, the wiper works as a daysman within the workings hours of 0800H-1700H including a one (1) lunch break at 1200H-1300H and two (2) coffee breaks of 30 minutes each in the morning and afternoon. By 1700H-1800H is dinner time after which is relaxation. Sometimes an extra working hours (over time) of 1-2 hours maybe added depending on the operation of the vessel or job been done in the engine room.


The wages of the wiper may differ depending on the type of vessel, company policy and state policy. The ITF-IMEC International Collective Bargain Agreement (CBA) rate the total wages at $1356 excluding extra overtime pay.

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