About the engineers (duties, ranks, schedules)

Ana Florencia Pinton

Ana Florencia Pinton

I was wondering about the Engine crew... Their ranks seem quite complicated. Here is what I found on the crew list:

- Chief Engineer
- Senior Second Engineer
- Senior Assistant Second Engineer
- Junior Second Engineer
- 2 Junior Assistant Second Engineers
- Senior Third Engineer
- Senior Assistant Third Engineer
- Junior Third Engineer
- 2 Junior Assistant Third Engineers
- Senior Fourth Engineer
- Senior Assistant Fourth Engineer
- Junior Fourth Engineer
- Junior Assistant Fourth Engineers
- Senior Fifth Engineer
- Junior Fifth Engineer
- Extra Fifth Engineer
- Extra Assistant Fifth Engineer (Refrigeration)
- Senior Sixth Engineer
- Junior Sixth Engineer
- Engineer
- Writer / Engineer's Clerk

Can someone correct me on the ranking? For example, was a junior assistant second engineer higher in rank than then senior fifth engineer?
Also, what was the role of the one listed only as "Engineer"?
Why was there an extra assistant fifth engineer if there wasn't even the assistant fifth engineer?

From the information I've gathered so far (please correct and add!):
- the Chief Engineer stood no watch (like the ship's Captain)
- the Senior Assistant Second Engineer worked 4 hours on and 4 hours off
- the Junior Second Engineer and the Junior Assistant Second Engineer worked 8 hours on and 4 hours off (I find this hard to believe!)
- the other two watches of 8 hours on and 4 hours off were headed by one of two junior second engineers and one of two junior assistant second engineers
- it's unclear about the Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Engineers and assistants
I also read that the Second Engineers were in charge of the engine room while the Assistant Second Engineers were in charge of the "stokeholds" (I don't even know what those were).

Also what would they practically do? Would they operate machinery? Would they split between the Turbine Room and the Reciprocating Engine Room? Would they also coordinate the firemen? Would they work in the Boiler Rooms occasionally (I read that there was one Senior and one Junior Engineer in every Boiler Room)?
Here's something I posted several years ago in a thread about Alfred Allsop, one of the electrical engineers. it might help here. Or it might leave you even more confused! As a general guide, the order in which the engineers appear in the crew lists (like the one you posted above) is an indication or their rank and status, with the highest at the top of the list.

There were 6 electrical engineers in Titanic's crew. The Chief Electrician was Peter Sloan. Directly under the Chief (ie his 'junior') was Alfred Allsop as 2nd Electrician. The other 4 were Assistant Electricians. The level of responsibility may be gauged by the pay scales - The Chief would have received £12 for the voyage, the 2nd £11, and the four asistants £8 each. Alfred's pay was higher than that of the Chief Surgeon or of any of the deck crew below the rank of 2nd Officer. Among the engineers in general the ranking system can be confusing, and 'juniors' were often quite senior! The Junior Assistant 2nd Engineer, for instance, was several ranks senior to the Senior 5th Engineer.
Here's a complete list of the engineers and what they would have earned for the voyage (ie a month's wages). In each of the three sections of the list they are ordered according to status/pay.

£35 Chief Engineer
£22 Snr 2nd Engineer
£18 Jnr 2nd Engineer
£18 Jnr 2nd Engineer
£16 Snr 3rd Engineer
£15 Jnr 3rd Engineer
£14 Snr 4th Engineer
£13 Jnr 4th Engineer
£13 Snr asst 2nd Engineer
£12 Jnr asst 2nd Engineer
£12 Jnr asst 2nd Engineer
£12 Snr asst 3rd Engineer
£11-10s Jnr asst 3rd Engineer
£11-10s Jnr asst 3rd Engineer
£11 Snr asst 4th Engineer
£10-10s Jnr asst 4th Engineer
£10-10s Jnr asst 4th sub Engineer
£10-10s Jnr asst 4th Engineer (refrigerator)
£10 Snr 5th Engineer
£9-10s Jnr 5th Engineer
£9-10s Extra 5th Engineer
£9 Snr 6th Engineer
£8-10s Jnr 6th Engineer

£13 Snr Boilermaker
£11 asst Boilermaker
£10 Deck Engineer
£9-10s asst Deck Engineer
£9 Plumber

£12 Chief Electrician
£11 2nd Electrician
£8 asst Electrician
£8 asst Electrician
£8 asst Electrician
£8 asst Electrician
£6 Clerk (writer)
This is great information I should have thought of... I'm not really used to compare crew wages, partly because I'm not familiar with pounds and shillings, and part because I can't make an actual comparison with today's money. But I'll have to get used to it!

Oh well, looking for wages, I also found a bunch of links with the Crew's Particulars of Engagement I never saw before! Great, more stuff to go through :)