Careers at Sea

Engineering Officer

As an Engineering Officer, you operate and maintain all the mechanical and electrical equipment on board the ship. You’ll be responsible for power generation and distribution, lifts, refrigeration plant, pumping and ventilation systems.

Using a bank of high-tech instrumentation, you’ll monitor hydraulic and control equipment, and take charge of sophisticated engine management. There will be many opportunities to put your engineering problem-solving skills to the ultimate test. After all, at sea, if something 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, reassembled and back into operation.

Once you’re a Senior Engineering Officer, you’ll lead and supervise a team of professional engineering personnel at sea and in port. You can then set your sights on the top position in the engineering department – Chief Engineer.

Discover what qualities and skills Engineering Officers need

Electro/Technical (ETO) Officer

As an Electro-Technical Officer (often abbreviated to ETO) you’ll maintain a wide range of complex onboard electronic and electrical equipment. Look forward to regularly dealing with technical challenges and equipment as diverse as the main electric generation plant and electronic communication systems.

As well as making good use of your maintenance skills, you’ll monitor all electrical equipment onboard to maximise the operational safety and efficiency of the vessel.

Right now the Electro-Technical Officer role is fairly new. So depending on the company and the type of ship, it might play a significant part at Junior and Senior Officer levels. While on other vessels it’s not such a big requirement and may be part of Engineering Officers’ jobs. 

Discover what qualities and skills Electro-Technical Officers need

Navigation (Deck) Officer

As a Navigation Officer – also called a Deck Officer – you’ll be a crucial member of the ship’s management team. It’s a big responsibility, with the exciting prospect of being in charge of sophisticated, expensive vessels, valuable cargo or passengers.

When on duty (called a ‘watch’), it will be down to you to make decisions on steering, manoeuvring, controlling navigation and communications with the latest technological systems at your fingertips.

When you reach Senior Navigation (Deck) Officer level, you’ll direct and supervise a small team of professional seafarers, including Junior Officers and Ratings. Becoming the Master (Captain) would be your ultimate goal.

Discover what qualities and skills Navigation (Deck) Officers need


‘Ratings’ is a catch-all phrase for a diverse group of trained seafarers who operate in support jobs across all departments, doing a wide range of duties critical to the ship’s safe operation and upkeep.

Depending on the field you choose to work in, there are numerous paths to become a Rating. You can either get paid to learn through an apprenticeship or use your existing skills and experience to work in a variety of hospitality jobs.

Although there is no set academic requirement for becoming a Rating, certain employers may require a minimum of three GCSEs or Scottish standard grades. This demonstrates that you have the ability to earn your professional marine certifications.

Super Yachts

Having a career on Superyachts is a dream job!

You get to travel the world on a beautiful yacht, meet some fantastic people… and the salary isn’t bad, either! The question that remains, however, is how to get a job on a Superyacht in the first instance to launch your career on the ocean.

What can the industry offer you?

Working in the Superyacht industry offers the travel and adventure that no other job can offer you. There is no such thing as a 9 – 5 on a Superyacht; there’s always lots going on, and most of your time will be spent in the sunshine.

Almost all large yachts are based in the sunnier places on the globe, typically yachts head to the Med for the summer before heading to the Caribbean of the US for the winter. This means your office will always be on the move!

What is the role of a Superyacht Deckhand?

As a Deckhand, your responsibility is to maintain the exterior of the yacht, its tenders, jet skis and any other toys onboard. You will be interacting with guests and owners to make sure their time onboard is beyond expectations.

How about a Stewardess?

The role of a Stewardess can be varied; however, your main duty will be the meticulous cleaning of the interior of the yacht. A Stewardess will serve food and drinks to guests, looking after their every need. You will rub shoulders with the rich and famous and travel the world.

How do I start my career on a superyacht?

To work on a Superyacht, all crew must complete STCW Basic Safety Training course, mandatory qualifications required by all seafarers. All seafarers are required to hold an ENG 1 medical to prove that you are fit to go to sea.

Nautical College

Join us for a sneak peek at all the world-class facilities on offer at this amazing maritime college sitting on England’s beautiful north west coast where all IOMM Cadets will attend, Fleetwood Nautical College

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“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” – Vincent Van Gogh