Careers At Sea

How to apply

The main roles on board are Ships Officers and Ratings. You can find out more about these roles here. Once you have chosen the right path for you, it’ll be time to apply. Depending on the route you choose, you’ll need to follow the relevant process.

Find out more about entry requirements here

Taking the Officer route

One of the best things about embarking on a career at sea as an Officer is the support you get. Sponsoring Company’s will fully cover your college or university course fees for Merchant Navy cadet training. You’ll also get a bursary or funding towards your living costs. 
There are three types to look out for: a shipping or ship management company, a training management company or a charitable organisation. 

So which one is right for you?

A shipping or ship management company:

Know where you want your career to go? Think about training with the fleet you aim to work with. You’ll feel like you belong right from the start, enhance your skills with specialised training and climb the company ladder – either at sea or ashore in shipping management. Plus you could get corporate benefits from day one.

A training management company:

Working right across the shipping industry, these organisations have a broad client base. So you can explore different ships and trades. You might get to choose, or they might match you with a suitable shipping company.

A charitable organisation:

Looking to make your mark? A charity could be your gateway to an assortment of maritime jobs – with different ships, trades and companies. And after initial training, you may be able to continue your further education.

Now you know what’s what, find out who’s who. Learn who could sponsor your Merchant Navy training here.

Applying to a sponsor

Once you’ve settled on a role, type of ship and potential maritime sponsoring companies, find out what they need from you. Each is different, but broadly speaking all take applications online or in writing.

And don’t wait for your exam results. You can often apply a year before courses begin. Usually, that’s September and January – but sometimes March/April too. If a sponsor thinks you could be a good fit, they’ll invite you for interview. And your journey to becoming a seafarer begins.

See yourself as a Rating

Rating Apprenticeships come up throughout the year. The Apprenticeships currently on offer are:

  • Able Seafarer (Deck)
  • Maritime Electrical/Mechanical Mechanic
    (prev. Able Seafarer (Engine))
  • Maritime Caterer
  • Hospitality with Maritime Enhancements (*Scotland only)

You can apply for an apprenticeship directly through a company. Their application processes may vary so keep an eye on these company websites, all of whom offer one or more of the apprenticeships:

Image courtesy of Fleetwood Nautical Campus