Ship Officer Jobs

Ship officers are the people who lead the crew of the ship. Although a ship cannot set to sea without deckhands, it is the team of officer who truly devote their lives to the sea, and these people are more likely to stick to working on a single ship, rather than contacting just for one season and then moving to a new ship.

There are two main types of officers – deck and engineer.

Ship Officers Provide Structure to the Other Crewmates

Deck Officers

  • Captain: Also known as the master, this person is in charge of the ship and is fully responsible for the entire crew (not just the deck officers). When there is a difference in opinion as to the course a ship should take, the captain makes the final call. In some cases, the captain is the owner of the ship. When the ship docks, the captain’s job continues, as he or she is also in charge of the paperwork.
  • Chief Officer: This is the first mate position. The chief officer is in charge of the deck team, and also maintains the cargo hold and supplies. If something should happen to the captain, the chief officer takes that role.
  • Second Officer: The second officer on a ship is next in command There will also usually be a third officer and sometimes there are even more, depending on how big the ship is. These officers take care of the safety of the crew and also have responsibilities like navigating, radio maintenance, cargo control, and equipment maintenance and repair.
  • Officer Trainee or Apprentice: An officer in training is a step above a deckhand, but they are the bottom rungs as far as officers go. They remain in a trainee position for 2 or 3 years in order to learn how the ship is run and receive on-the-job training.

Engineer Officers: In general, the positions of the engineer officers follow the same flow as the deck officers, with a chief engineer, a second officer, and so on down to the engineer officer trainee or apprentice. This team is responsible for all of the electrical and mechanical happenings on the ship.

More Jobs on Ships

In addition to Merchant Marine classified jobs and Officer jobs, there are many other types of jobs on ships, which are specialized to the type of ship. For example, you could be a rescue swimmer on a rescue boat or an environmentalist on an oil spill clean-up ship.

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Don’t forget that every ship needs a cook as well! On larger ships, you’ll find a chef and a number of cooks that make up a team of kitchen workers. In addition, larger ships have entire teams that are in charge of just the cargo or just the navigation system, and so on. All of these people ultimately report to the officers.

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