Ship's Officer Āpiha Kaipuke

Ship's officers navigate and control the safe operation of a ship and supervise and co-ordinate the activities of deck crew.

Ship's officers may do some or all of the following:

  • navigate and control ships
  • take charge of ships when on watch
  • arrange repairs, fuel and supplies
  • supervise the loading, unloading and storage of cargo
  • organise crew activities on deck
  • organise ship security.

Physical Requirements

Ship's officers need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses) and normal colour vision.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for ship's officers includes:

  • Sea Cadet/Scout training
  • deck cadet training with a shipping company
  • work as a deckhand
  • service in the Navy.

Personal Qualities

Ship's officers need to be:

  • disciplined and responsible
  • adaptable
  • able to work well independently and as part of a team
  • excellent communicators with leadership skills
  • well organised
  • good at maths.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for ship's officers includes:

  • Sea Cadet/Scout training
  • deck cadet training with a shipping company
  • work as a deckhand
  • service in the Navy.

Subject Recommendations

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but English, maths and physics to at least NCEA level 2 are useful.

Ship's Officers can earn around $60K-$130K per year per year.

Ship's officers may progress in ranks to:

  • third mate
  • second mate
  • first mate, also known as chief officer, watchkeeper and officer in charge.

With further training ship's officers can also become a ship's master.

They may also progress to administrative, management or education roles in the maritime industry, such as a marine manager or lecturer.

Depending on their position or rank, ship's officers may specialise in roles such as:

  • supervising the discharge and loading of cargo
  • navigating, controlling and piloting ships.
Ship's Officer

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