What are the Different Types of Maritime Jobs?

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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2019
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An individual interested in a career on the water can find a wide variety of maritime jobs available. Including the availability of jobs from engineer and mechanic to navigator and maintenance worker, there are also a variety of ships on which to work. Those interested in military craft have a naval option, while others might be interested in working on a cruise ship, fishing vessel, or an oil tanker.

A maritime vessel requires workers with a wide range of skills in order to keep it functioning safely. These people include mechanics to keep the ships seaworthy, as well as a variety of engineers. Electrical engineers keep the ship's electrical systems in working order, while commissioning engineers ensure that there is sufficient and safe power for the entire vessel. Communications experts and radio technicians keep ships on course and in contact with land and other vessels, along with navigation officers and radar technicians. Another type of maritime job on almost any type of ship covers human health; these jobs might be filled by a nurse or emergency medical technician.

Typically, maritime jobs include some for those who bear authority on board a ship. Captains are in charge of the entire ship, and rely on supporting individuals such as chief mates and navigation officers to make sure everything runs smoothly. Departmental officers are typically in charge of one portion of the ship, such as maintenance or engineering.


An individual trained in the service industry can also find maritime jobs working on a cruise ship. In addition to the personnel who keep the ship running, there are usually also positions for entertainment directors, chefs and restaurant staff, child care counselors, fitness coaches, and lifeguards. There is also a need for individuals who work in housekeeping and maintenance.

Oil tankers can also provide plenty of opportunities for those interested in maritime jobs. Engineers are needed to run the operations, while mechanics keep everything in working order, and structural engineers help ensure safety. Administrative positions on board oil tankers and drilling rigs help everything behind the scenes run smoothly.

For an individual who desires a maritime job but prefers the stability of remaining in one place, there are also shoreside maritime jobs. Dock workers, mechanics, heavy machinery operators, and even tug boat operators all work on and around water vessels, but have a more permanent location and home. In areas where there is high shipping and trade traffic, individuals with office and administrative skills are required to maintain the flow of goods in and out of the docks and to make sure that all import and export laws are followed. Another shoreside job is the study of maritime law.


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