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Deck Officers & Ratings

Those working within the deck officers and ratings department have the most important job of all – the daily management and maintenance of the ship and the ability to sail the vessel between ports. There are many positions available in this category, each offering something fresh and exciting for those keen to experience a life at sea:

Captain and Staff Captain, Safety Officer, First, Second or Third Officer, Apprentice Deck Officer or Cadet, Security Officer and Guard, Bosun, Quartermaster, Able Seaman and Ordinary Seaman, Carpenter, Firefighter and Medical Staff.

Captains and senior officers oversee the ship’s operations, including steering and navigation, maintenance, safety and compliance. It is their responsibility to transport passengers between ports and ensure the exact following of all procedures and protocols. They also deliver staff training and offer a point of contact for all crewmembers and guests.

The responsibilities undertaken by those working as deck officers are varied and interesting. They might steer the cruise ship, keep watch and navigate, help the navigational crew or undertake cargo and operational duties. While the ship is at port, they could find themselves carrying out essential maintenance or undertaking security duties. Other jobs include maintaining crew and passenger safety, monitoring compliance, counteracting hazards as and when they occur, delivering medical treatment and implementing environmental policies.


As you’d expect, the role of a captain, master or manager demands skills, experience and qualification. You must have a degree and hold a diploma or qualification from an accredited maritime training school. You must also have at least three to four years’ experience as a master or staff captain and possess impeccable verbal and written communication skills. Leadership and organisational skills are a must.

Less senior deck officers will also need to hold a relevant qualification and have a certificate of endorsement from a training academy. You must be skilled in health and safety practices and first aid and have the ability to work under pressure. You also need excellent communication skills.

Salary Expectations

Salaries for this department start at around £1,000 per month, although captains can command in the region of £6,000 and above per month depending upon skills and experience.

Salary range

EUR 1000 to EUR 6000+ Per Month