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23 Maritime Career Guides to Kickstart

Maritime engineering

Maritime career is a wide range profession, which comprises of different fields and provides lots of high earning jobs.

In some of it fields, they might look risky, but with other departments working very hard towards the safety of others, sorts of equipment’s and guidelines has being provided for safe working environments.

So, if you are looking for jobs in marine or offshore career, this is an important guide to you started.

On this article, we are going to share in summary insights base each departments. Also note, below listed are not all major fields, but with time, we share update this post to add even more


 Maritime departments and what are their duties are in general


 Naval Architect


All marine career or it sub-departments starts with this profession. The naval architecture involves planning and designing of ocean going vessels and sea boats. It has verities of job opportunities and well paying.  They also cover classification, survey, construction, and repair of ships, boats, military vessels, Merchant ships (Passenger ships, oil tankers, gas tankers, cargo ships, bulk carriers, container ships, etc.) and offshore structures.

 Shipbuilding Engineer


Shipbuilding engineer deals with the engineering aspect of design and construction of ships and marine vessels. Just like any conventional engineering field, a shipbuilding engineer has to go through four years of training  in marine academy or university to be eligible to work in a shipbuilding yard. They also engage on ship repairs on ship dockyards.


  Marine Engineer


The career of marine engineers deals with maintenance and repair of ship’s machineries. This is an exciting career branch for those interested in the technical aspect of the ships job.  To work as marine Engineer onboard any ship, you must have a qualified education ( normally 4 – 5.5 years) on this field and all STCW 78 are mandatory course to attend after graduating from maritime academy or university.  The ranks rang from chief Engineer to 4th Engineer.


 Marine Navigation


This is a person in charge of maintaining the ship’s nautical charts, nautical publications, and navigational equipment, and they generally have responsibility for meteorological equipment and communications. To work as marine Navigator onboard any ship, you must have a qualified education (normally 4-5 years) on this field of study and all STCW 78 are mandatory course to attend after graduating from maritime academy or university.  Ranks starts from 3rd mate to captain.



Ship Broker


The profession of a ship broker deals with buying and selling of ships and shipping cargo. This field is more about being in the market and studying profitable market for ship owners, shippers, etc. This is one of the highly competitive yet rewarding career on maritime field.  As a Ship Broker the person would act as a link between the ship owners, charterers and/or shipper.


Ship Fright Broker


One like the ship broker, Ship fright broker acts as a link between those who want to ship cargo and those who have ships to transport that cargo. The career of shipping fright broker is a highly competitive and rewarding field as well. They work closely with the ship broker to make sure for a better offers.


 Ship Chandler


Since those onboard vessel require spares, food, and other consumable items, a ship chandler becomes very important filed in maritime industry. He or she deals with all supplies of commodities to the vessel and its crew. They also form a link between ship and local customs for legal transferring of required items onboard ship.


Ship or Marine Agent


A Marine agent is a person who deals with the transactions of a ship in individual port of call.  He or she is a local expert that acts as a representative of the ship manager or owner of the ship and carries out all necessary duties and obligations required by the crew of the ship. They can appoint chandler for supplies, process necessary documents for safe and legal trading.


Maritime career as Lawyer


Most times in any trading environment, there may be a dispute between two parties therefore in maritime, we have specialized lawyers who have full knowledge of the deals involved. Maritime lawyers deals with maritime rules and regulations of the sea, laws governing each parties and other related commercial side of shipping line.


Maritime Security


Since huge money is involved in shipping, and knowing the seafarers are not arm carriers, the bad guys also show case to find the money in a wrong way. That’s why the maritime security officer job becomes a great demanding career lately as shipping industries experience rise in piracy activities. Maritime security are special arm trained personnel’s, who secure the ship from pirates during her sea and channels passages.


Oil Driller


Crude oil can be found in the middle of sea and to extract it requires experts. Therefore as an oil driller the person is involved with drilling activities on oil rigs or offshore vessels. This job asks for great mental and physical strength, that is why the workers are not allowed to stay on it more than four months.

With that, routines are fix to change the crews from the offshore rigs, supply food and equipment’s to them, which results in providing service or supply boats that can do the job faster and stable. Those who work both on rig and onboard service boats are normally called “Offshore workers” though the merchant ships workers are also offshore workers but in case of oil rigs, it’s a popular name.


Tugboat career


Vessels are large in side, which most of the ships has no bow thruster to control the bow during port or channel entering. Adding that in technical, machineries failure may occur at anytime while at sea, to get the ship controlled or bring her to a repairing yard, there comes in tugboats job.

The job  are for those people who love sea but want to stay connected with the shore as well, since the job doesn’t require to sail long away or stay at sea for long. Surprisingly, there are various jobs available tugboats as well as merchant and offshore jobs. To get employed on a tugboat, the seafarer must follow same documentation procedures listed on STCW 78.


Electro Technical Officer (ETO)


The job of ETO deals with troubleshooting, Rectification of problems and maintaining electrical equipment and/or systems on board merchant ships, offshore vessels, and oil rigs.

To become an ETO, you must pass through marine academy or university with a certify knowledge of electrical and electronics both theoretical and practical aspects. Therefore if you are electrical gadgets and circuitry lover, then I recommend you this field. It’s a very well-paying job and always in demand.


Radio Officer


In 1900’s Radio officer job was a wealthy one, when it comes to demand and salary, but in recent time, it has slowly disappearing because of the advancement in ship technology, which doesn’t need such special officer to stay with the radio all the time. However, in some offshore services (like rig, pipe laying barges, etc.) there are still need for such demands, to communicate with other vessels and incoming supply boats. It’s part of the navigators department, with full navigation knowledge and experience.


Merchant Navy Nurse and Doctor


Onboard passenger and offshore vessels, Nurse or doctor is important, for checking and treating humans at sea. This job will be suitable for both male and female candidates with medical high education and experience, who are in search for a rewarding career at the sea.


Also, learn more on Requirement For Seaman Certificate Of Competency (COC). 


Maritime career for ratings and it functions


Unlike in military, Merchant navy is a para-military career that work in commands, stages of orders, knowledge and experiences. It as officers (Those who passed through high education and certification) and ratings (those who have low education and certification).

In summary, both officers and ratings must have good education but the levels make differences. Therefore, either you have higher or lower education, you can still work and earn on maritime field. Below are major ratings levels to start with:




This is a most senior deck rating, who’s jobs falls under the deck or navigation department of a ship. Bosun helps in carrying out various operations and repairs of the ship. He or she leads the deck rating crew department to carry out duties assigned to them by chief mate or other officers.


Pump man


Pump man career mainly on tanker vessels and some offshore platforms. The job of a pump man deals with pipelines on ships and offshore vessels. It’s an extremely responsible job which requires both physical and mental strength. He or she in cooperation with bosun lead the deck rating crews to execute jobs assigned to them.

marine career on Lng vessel


Able Seaman (AB)


AB is an experience rating who also a watch keeping certificated personnel. His or her jobs involves performing repair works in the deck department of the ships as lead by Bosun, assisting navigation officers during ship maneuvering and  keeping bridge watch in ports and during sea passages.

The Career as an Able Seaman can be upgraded to become an officer once sea services reaches 34 months. But still, after 34 months, of sea service, you will require to pass through higher training, while in most countries, it’s a high education founding means, to get yourself a higher degree to enable you earn the officers license (certificate of competence (COC).). Meaning without Higher education in most countries, it will be difficult to upgrade to officers level from rating.


Ordinary Seaman (OS)


Well to my own opinion, career as an OS is the first step for a promising career at sea. Apart from cadetship (trainee student), OS is also very good way to start with in gaining experience at sea on rating level. OS job involves performing work in the deck department of the ships with the lead of bosun and AB.



 Ship Fitter


Ship fitter is a certified welder, whose job is wider enough. The fitter job involves fittings, repairing and maintenance of the ship under the supervision of the ship engine or deck officer. He or she is capable to fabricate, join metals, operate laths machines, and other related operations. In Engine room, Fitter leads the ratings crews.


Motorman / Oiler


Unlike the AB on the deck department, Oiler is an experience rating who also an engine room watch keeping certificated personnel.

His or her jobs involves performing repair works in engine room department of the ships as lead by fitter, assisting engine officers during machineries repairs, cleaning and  keeping engine room watch during sea passages and in ports.

The Career as oiler can be upgraded to become an officer once sea services reaches 34 months. Though it all depends on the country rules of certification.




In larger ships, wiper job may be necessary, since Wiper helps in maintenance of the ship and assists ship officers in carrying out various procedures, cleaning and painting. Unlike OS, this career requires fewer qualifications, there is great scope to learn and grow to higher level.




To wrap up things, Maritime career is a wide field, in terms of job opportunities. There are still other fields which are not mentioned on this article, but in case what you want is not listed above, comment on this post or write us, we will direct you free of charge. Also if this guide, helps you in general, or you have more questions or contributions, feel free to comment, we will surely reply with more explanations.

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