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Training Schemes and Career Progression
To become an officer onboard merchant ships, a maritime education training program is required and must be completed to achieve professional seafaring certification and related educational qualifications, with training taking place at sea and at college.
All training shall be taken up with an introductory residential course at a maritime college. This is planned to give cadets the necessary skills and underpinning knowledge to work safely at sea.The next phase of training is the first sea phase aboard a ship. In the deck department, a cadet will work alongside ratings and under the oversight of qualified officers developing practical navigation and other ship operation skills.
In the engineering department, qualified engineer and electro-technical officers will help cadets put their college theory into practice.After this, training alternates to shore-based studies for underpinning knowledge and specialised short courses.Cadet training typically lasts for three years or four years for BSc. programme. Once initial certification is gained, further training and experience will enable progression to the qualifications needed to become a ship''s master, frequently referred to as the captain, who is in overall command of the ship chief engineer, who is in charge of all the engineering and technical services, or an electro-technical officer with overall responsibility for control engineering and electronic systems.It typically involves a further five or six years to achieve these senior qualifications. Promotion will then depend on merit and opportunity as well as holding high-level qualifications.
After the cadetship
Newly qualified navigation (deck) officers will usually join their company’s fleet as a third officer, undertaking bridge watch keeping duties at sea and operational duties in the port, with responsibility for the safety of the crew, ship, cargo and the environment. As their skills and experience develop, young officers progress to higher certificates of competency, leading eventually to certification as ship’s captain (captain) and possibly to the instruction of their own vessel. Numerous opportunities also exist for qualified navigation officers ashore. Shipping companies often recruit shore based marine superintendents and fleet operations staff from their seagoing officers. Harbor authorities recruit experienced officers to train as pilots, harbor masters and port operations managers, while classification societies and maritime insurance companies require the officers’ skill and experience to fulfill such roles as hull and cargo surveyors. The Egyptian Maritime Authority for Safety of Navigation also requires surveyors and examiners, while maritime colleges recruit lecturers and assessors.
Marine Engineering Officers
Newly qualified marine engineering officers will usually join their company’s fleet as a fourth engineer officer, undertaking engine room watch keeping duties and having responsibility for the safe and efficient operation of the ship''s main propulsion unit and other vital services. As their skills and experience develop, young officers progress to the higher certificates of competency, leading eventually to the chief engineer officer’s certificate and possibly to the position of chief engineer officer.
Marine engineering officers acquire a range of transferable skills through professional development and experience, which have many applications in jobs ashore both related and unrelated to the marine industries. Shipping companies often recruit their shore based engineering superintendents from seagoing staff, and classification societies and marine insurance companies recruit machinery surveyors from the same source.
The Egyptian Maritime Authority for Safety of Navigation also requires surveyors and examiners, while maritime colleges recruit lecturers and assessors.
Marine Electro-Technical Officers (METOs)
Newly qualified marine electro-technical officers (METOs) will normally work within the engineering department, assisting the marine engineer officers with their specialist knowledge of control engineering and electronic systems including propulsion control, radio communications and electronic navigation aids. Fault diagnostics and repair of a range of electrical and electronic equipment is a prime duty.
METOs may have the opportunity to develop their careers along a professional electrical engineering path, perhaps leading to the rank of the chief electro-technical officer, chief technical officer or electrical superintendent (company dependent).METOs also acquire a range of transferable skills through professional development and experience, which have many applications in jobs ashore, both related and unrelated to the marine industries.