Ryan Dort

Third Engineering Officer

Algoma Tankers Ltd.
St. Catherines's, ON

Why did Ryan choose this career area?

Ryan’s had some relatives employed in the oil and gas sector, so they influenced his career choice. Although he initially began a mechanical engineering program at MUN, he quickly decided that a desk job was not what he wanted.

Ryan enjoyed being on the water and chose a marine career because it offered graduates great pay, lots of jobs without having to leave NL, and generous time off.

What’s Ryan’s educational background?

Ryan completed the Marine Institute’s Marine Engineering Technology program. Many courses involved math and physics, so it helped to be good in these subjects.

Ryan completed all program work terms offshore NL on Canship-Ugland shuttle tankers. His strongest memory is arriving on the dock and looking in awe at the ship where he would have his first sea-going work experience. Despite feeling intimidated at first, Ryan quickly felt at home and settled into his engine room responsibilities.

The company offered him a full-time position before he graduated, and he worked with them for a year after finishing the program.

What’s Ryan’s job all about?

Ryan gained offshore experience with Canship. He worked as a motorman, junior engineer, and 4th class engineer on tankers carrying crude oil from NL’s offshore oil installations. He then decided to accept a new position with Algoma Tankers because it offered a promotion.

He is currently a 3rd engineer on a tanker that carries refined petroleum products on Canada’s east coast and on the Great Lakes. Ryan works hands-on with large machinery and enjoys the satisfaction of successful troubleshooting.

Ryan’s duties include monitoring and operating ship systems and equipment; maintaining mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic systems; and doing welding as well as fabricating. Modern ships use a lot of automated computerized systems and digital controls, so it’s necessary to keep pace with new technology.

What are Ryan’s working conditions like?

Ryan drives to the nearest airport and flies to meet his ship, wherever it may be. He works 12-hour shifts and gets the same number of days off as days worked. In Ryan’s case, that means a month at work and a month at home.

Onboard accommodations are very comfortable. Ryan has his own cabin, including a private bathroom. The ship has internet access, making it easy to stay in touch with family and friends. Movies and satellite TV are offered. Crew members play cards, use the gym, and socialize during off hours.

What benefits are associated with Ryan’s job?

Ryan notes that the equal leave-to-work ratio is key. High salaries are another major benefit. Fourth engineers make around $70,000 annually, while chief engineers make $130,000 plus. Companies generally pay for additional training, making it easy for employees to increase responsibilities and salaries.

What’s exciting or cool about Ryan’s career area?

There are jobs available worldwide for people with Ryan’s qualifications. Marine engineers can live wherever they want; they know work is only a flight away.

Ryan has chosen to live in NL. However, in just a few years, his work travels have taken him to Portugal, Turkey, Spain, the UK, the US, and many Canadian ports.

What advice would Ryan give to people considering a marine transportation career?

In Ryan’s opinion, a solid work ethic is the single most important characteristic for a marine engineer. This is true for cadets completing the Marine Institute program, and it’s true for graduates.

Marine engineers are responsible for the safe operation of the ship, its cargo, the environment, and everyone on board. As such, they must be reliable decision makers.

This career would suit people who are dependable, have a good work ethic, and who enjoy making things work.