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Merchant Navy

cadets-on-bridgeNewly qualified navigation (deck) officers will usually join their company’s fleet as a third officer, undertaking bridge watchkeeping duties at sea and operational duties in port, with responsibility for the safety of the crew, ship, cargo and environment.

As their skills and experience develop, young officers progress to higher certificates of competency, leading eventually to certification as ship’s Captain (Master) and possibly to the command 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. Harbour authorities recruit experienced officers to train as pilots, harbour masters and port operations managers, while classification societies, such as Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, and marine insurance companies require the officers’ skill and experience to fill such roles as hull and cargo surveyors. The MCA also require surveyors and examiners, while maritime colleges recruit lecturers and assessors.