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Difference between Deck and Engine Cadet.

Deck and engine cadets

The main difference between deck and engine cadet is what gives more than 1 million young marine professionals nightmare.

On this article, we will like to discuss in details about the advantage and disadvantage of these two departments.

But before I continue, I would like to make a reference to the question I posted at Quora in the year back when I was also in the same trouble on what to choose and the main difference between deck and engine cadet.

According to that post, I ask “what is the difference between deck and engine department?”; The some simple answers I believe was much more satisfied by me but was not enough to my search are;

“The Engine department (head by the chief engineer) is responsible for ship’s propulsion and all shipboard technical issues. While the Deck department (head by the captain) has to deal with ship’s navigation, shipboard management, safety, and stability”

Related post 25 Navigation exam question and answers you may like to know.

That explanation was simple and understood, but the actual reason for my search was to understand what any of these departments will offer me in the future.

Having said that, before I started the career my brother told me that seamen job is not permanent. He gave an example of his friend, who always in search of a job.

Following that example, I had to make a good option that can be flexible to me, in case job at sea became unfavorable to my career.

Well, you may ask what my option was. Or what makes me choose that option? All will be explained in this article.

Before I give the answers base on my experience, let us learn the advantage and disadvantages of these two departments.

difference between deck and engine cadet
difference between deck and engine cadet

Deck and engine cadets photo edited for just illustration. all rights reserved.

Deck (Nautical Science) department Advantage and disadvantage.

According to the research I made, people find more advantage to nautical science due to it health physical risk eg Nose, heat, oil in contact with skin, etc. Other people said to be in full ship command (authority), also maintain more in relation to management and accounting, etc.

Also, learn about: 20 Deck Marine COC And Interview Questions + Answers You May Know.

But in the other hands, the disadvantage remains future uncertainty eg. Management is a wide field itself, not any company will employ you to manage with a degree from nautical science apart from Maritime companies. This again keeps you married to the same entity. As you may know, maritime career is quite independent and that makes it awesome.

Engine room (Marine Engineering) department Advantage and disadvantage.

Comparing with the deck department, the engine room department also has much more advantage in teams of future rich. This department has wide opportunities for employment; both in the maritime industry and outside.

If you are a marine engineer B-engine or master’s degree holder, you will have an opportunity to work in other technical required fields including; electrical station maintenance and repair, oil and gas industry, etc.

But the major disadvantage to marine engineering is about it health wise condition. As you know, most oil and bunker supply onboard ships are being processed with some chemical additions, which may result in skin cancer (if maintain constant contact). Not only that, but the nose of the machinery also may lead to ear problem and among other health risks.


To the summary of this article ( difference between deck and engine cadet ), I will say that both departments are splendid, but it all depends on personal strength, physiology, choice and/or interest. The financial status remains the same in terms of salaries. In some cases, engine departments earn little more, also in some marine companies deck department earn more than engine as well.

But as per future advantages and interest, that makes me hook up with marine engineering.

I hope this article helps you. For any questions, contributions or correction, please drop your comments below.

3 thoughts on “Difference between Deck and Engine Cadet.”

  1. Avatar of Praduman Agarwal
    Praduman Agarwal

    your information is absolutely wrong, firstly there are two departments, engine and deck, engine department is headed by chief engineer and deck department is headed by chief officer, they report to captain who is overall in charge of the vessel.

  2. Avatar of Marine And Offshore Insight Editorial

    @Agarwal note, chief mate is a supervisor same as 2nd Engineer. Chief engineer is not reporting to captain rather to technical superintendent but through captain in some cases. In other words, Captain is the head of navigation department and owner representative…. While chief engineer is head of technical department. Hopefully you are clear with that.