Merchant Officer's Career Life Cycle

Onboard Career Progression for Merchant Officers

Ships Officers work in two departments - Deck (often called Navigation) and Engineering and this begins when you enrol as an officer trainee! The education and training programmes for each discipline are a mixture of academic work combined with practical training, at college/university and at sea.

The courses at AEMA will equip you with professional seafaring competence along with a degree or higher national and other recognised qualifications to give you a lifetime of rewarding challenges. Seafaring certification and qualifications give you a wealth of opportunity - in the longer term this can be either at sea or ashore.

For each of the job roles mentioned below you will have to hold the designated seafarer Certificate of Competency, which is issued by the Director General of Shipping (DGS) India. You will receive the first of these when you complete your DGS approved education and training course which is delivered at AEMA.

Further certificates will be gained as you increase your experience at sea and pass the required examinations. You need to have the certificate for the next job role before you can be promoted into it - so it's important to try and get them as soon as you can!

Below you can see the epaulettes (the ornamental shoulder piece or decoration used to show job roles (ship ranks) in the Merchant Navy).

Officer Trainee
Third Officer
Second Officer
Chief Officer

Trainee Engineer
Junior Engineer/Fourth Engineer
Third Engineer
Second Engineer
Chief Engineer