How to Become a Marine Chemist and the Role of the Marine Chemist Qualification Board

Blog Post created by jmcgovern Employee on Jul 31, 2017

The Marine Chemist Qualification Board (MCQB) is appointed by the Board of Directors of the National Fire Protection Association.  They are the group that approves the Marine Chemist's Recertification, the Registration to become a Marine Chemist Trainee and the Initial Certification of a Marine Chemist Trainee as well as address occurrences and Rules changes.

It's not easy to become a certificated Marine Chemist.  The interested candidate must first apply to the NFPA Marine Field Service Department to become registered as a Marine Chemist Trainee.  They must pay a fee to the contract manager Marine Gas Hazards Control Program (MGHCP) and sign a Declaration complying with the Marine Chemist Rules.  Once approved by the Marine Chemist Qualification Board (MCQB) members the applicant is required to:

  • Have earned a Bachelor's Degree and complete at least six (6) months of supervised training by three (3) Marine Chemists who have been certified as a Marine Chemist for at least two (2) years.
  • Have completed and passed eighteen (18) training modules and exams.
  • Have completed three hundred (300) hours of supervised training aboard a variety of types of both ocean-going and inland vessels.
  • Have completed at least three (3) years employment experience in the analysis of physical samples in a lab or similar work environment accepted by the MCQB members.

Once all of the above requirements have been met, the Marine Chemist Trainee may apply for Initial Certification to be interviewed and approved by the MCQB members. Upon final approval by ballot from the MCQB members, the Initial Certification candidate is then issued a Marine Chemist's certificate as required by the Standard for the Control of Gas Hazards on Vessels, (NFPA 306).

The Marine Chemist Qualification Board meets three times a year at various locations – most recently at our NFPA headquarters where I was finally able to meet them in person.