General Job Requirements

Besides the academic and theoretical qualifications that you need, you also need to possess certain personality traits and natural skills to work in any position on board a vessel. Here are the basic requirements for a captain and other high level maritime positions.


Public Safety and Security: You need to have the knowledge of relevant marine equipment, policies, strategies, and procedures to promote effective the local, state, or national security operations to ensure protection of any data, people, institutions, and property.

Transportation: You need to have knowledge of methods and principles for moving goods to people by sea, air, road or rail, along with the benefits and associated costs.

Customer and Personal Service: You need knowledge of principles and the relative processes for providing excellent personal customer services, which includes needs assessments, ensuring the quality standards, and evaluating the satisfaction of your employer.

Administration and Management: A sea captain, chief engineer or first mate needs knowledge of various business and management principles that are involved in resource allocation, strategic planning, human resources, leadership skills, various production methods, and the adequate coordination of resources and people.

Education and Training: You need to have knowledge of methods and principles for the training curriculum, design, teaching, and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of these specific marine training methods.

Telecommunications: You must have knowledge of broadcasting, transmission, switching, control, and the operation of any sea based or land based telecommunications systems.

Geography: For travelling at sea you need knowledge of the methods and principles behind the features of sea, land, and air masses, as well as their physical characteristics, interrelationships, locations, and distribution along with certain plants, animal life, and human life.

Personnel and Human Resources: You must have knowledge of the various procedures and principles for training crew, recruitment and selection, the compensation and benefits, certain labor negotiations and relations, as well as information systems.

Mechanical: You should have knowledge of all the tools and machines that might be used on board, including how they are designed, used, repaired, and maintained.

Psychology: Knowledge of human behavior is necessary in this line of work as well as performance and what motivates fellow crew members. You should be able to assess individual differences in ability, interests and personalities, learning methods, psychological research methods, and behavioral and affective disorders, as well as certain treatments.

Skills and Abilities

Whenever you work on board a ship you need to have a lot of skills to ensure the safety of everyone on board. Here are some of the skills and abilities that you will require to apply for maritime jobs: Judgment and decision making, active listening, operation and control, operation monitoring, coordination, instructing and teaching, communicating effectively, social perceptiveness, critical thinking, time management, oral expression, oral comprehension, far vision, problem sensitivity, depth perception, speech clarity, control precision, selective attention, spatial orientation, and deductive reasoning among other things.

Work Ethic

The way that you work will have an impact on your job and how you progress as a seafarer. Here are the basic work ethics that you require for any job at sea: dependability, integrity, leadership, stress tolerance, attention to detail, self control and composure, initiative, responsibility, independence, persistence, and being adaptable and flexible.

Some other things that you have to be aware of when applying for maritime jobs is how prepared you are work live and work at sea for sometimes months at a time. Here are some tips that will show you exactly what you need to do:

  • Combat your sea sickness if you have any. This will hinder you in your job, so make sure that you don’t get sea sick, and even if you don’t make sure you are fully prepared with sea sickness tablets just in case.
  • Realize that you will live in cramped quarters most of the time. You will either share a room with another member of the crew, or you will sleep in a tiny space, so be sure that you are not bothered with the lack of absolute privacy and you must not be claustrophobic.
  • How home sick will you get? You must be able to work effectively and be on top of your game at all times, so you cannot afford to get too home sick.
  • You need to live off very little. You will have limited supplies and resources on board and must be comfortable with only a few basics and hardly any luxuries.
  • Make sure you are physically fit for this intensely active job. You must be fit enough to withstand long hours of work, demanding conditions at sea, tough daily duties that you have to complete, and you must be prepared in case of emergencies to ensure your safety and that of your fellow crew and passengers.
  • You must be a good team player. You are working with people that you might never have met before and that might be from different countries. You have to be friendly and approachable and work as a team at all times no matter what.

With all of the requirements above that you need to have a successful job application process and go on to have an equally successful career at sea, you must also be willing to learn all the time on the job, as the best kind of skills and work ethics are learned at sea. This experience will allow you to move on to the next level in your maritime career, or give you the sustainability in your career as it is.


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