Ships Officers generally work in two departments - Deck and Engineering and this begins when you enrol as an officer trainee! The training for both disciplines uses a mixture of academic work which is combined with practical training both at college and at sea. At any time you may wish to move to a job ashore, your experience as a ship's officer will stand you in good stead. Technical and managerial skills learned at sea are readily transferable and can be developed by further training.

Deck (Navigation) Officer


As a deck officer (usually called a navigation officer), you'll be a vital member of the ship's management team, and with the prospect of sophisticated and expensive vessels, valuable cargo or passengers in your charge. This is big responsibility! While on duty (called a 'watch'), it will be down to you to make decisions on steering and manoeuvring the ship, controlling navigation and communications. Using the latest technological systems, you'll have control at your fingertips. In port you'll be responsible for cargo handling and ship stability. As a senior deck officer, you'll be a leading member of a small team of skilled, professional seafarers, including junior officer and ratings. You'll direct and supervise the work of your team - maintaining the ship and its equipment at optimum efficiency. Your ultimate goal on board would to become the Master (Captain).

What qualities & skills will you need?

As a deck officer (usually called a navigation officer), you'll be a vital member of the ship's management team, and with the prospect of sophisticated and expensive vessels, valuable cargo or passengers in your charge. This is big responsibility! While on duty (called a 'watch'), it will be down to you to make decisions on steering and manoeuvring the ship, controlling navigation and communications. Using the latest technological systems, you'll have control at your fingertips. In port you'll be responsible for cargo handling and ship stability. As a senior deck officer, you'll be a leading member of a small team of skilled, professional seafarers, including junior officer and ratings. You'll direct and supervise the work of your team - maintaining the ship and its equipment at optimum efficiency. Your ultimate goal on board would to become the Master (Captain).

Engineer Officer


As an engineer officer, you'll operate and maintain all the mechanical and electrical equipment throughout the ship. You'll be responsible for power generation and distribution systems and for other equipment such as lifts, refrigeration plant and pumping and ventilation systems. Via a bank of high-tech instrumentation, you'll monitor mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and control equipment, and have charge of sophisticated engine management systems.

You'll overhaul and maintain equipment throughout the ship, where your engineering problem-solving skills will be your greatest asset. At sea, if equipment goes wrong you can't just pull in to the nearest garage! It will be up to you to diagnose the fault, get the equipment dismantled, repaired and reassembled and back into operation. As a senior engineer officer, you'll lead a team of professional engineering personnel and supervise their work at sea and in port. You can aim for the top position in the engineering department - the Chief Engineer.

What qualities & skills will you need?

You'll need to be practical, resourceful and have a real interest in mechanical and electrical systems, with good mathematical ability. Like deck officers, you'll be decisive, calm and able to inspire confidence in others. Good written and verbal communication skills are required. Beyond this you'll need to be prepared to learn about new technology and adapt your skills to its use.

Electrical Officer


Electrical Officers are responsible for monitoring all electronic and electrical equipment onboard to maximise the operational safety and efficiency of the vessel.As an electrical officer, you'll work in close association with deck and engineering officers for all electrical and hydraulic technology and machinery related challenges. You'll be responsible for power generation and distribution systems and for other equipment such as lifts, reefers and electrical bus systems.

What qualities & skills will you need?

You should have an interest in electrical and electronic control and power systems. Practical trouble shooting skills will be to the fore, with good team working skills.