Ice Arch

Career development

The Merchant Navy doesn’t just promise an exciting adventure, but job security and satisfaction. Whichever role you choose, you can be sure a career at sea will offer a lifetime of rewarding challenges, skills and the professional seafaring certifications you need to progress. 

Becoming an Officer

Ships Officers in Navigation (Deck) and Engineering need a seafarer Certificate of Competency – issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. You receive the Officer of the Watch certificate (OOW), when you complete your Merchant Navy Training Board course through a maritime college/university.

Then as your experience at sea grows and you pass the required examinations, you’ll get more certificates for promotion into the next job role.

Take the Ratings route

Ratings work in Navigation (Deck), Engine Room, Catering, Hospitality and Onboard Services. With the help of the JW Slater Fund, Ratings can apply for funding to take Officer of the Watch certification.


For shore-based jobs in ship management and other marine industries, you’ll find incredibly varied and rewarding opportunities such as maritime law, surveying ships or training future seafarers.