Becoming a Deck Officer – Joining the Merchant Navy Deck Department

Becoming a Deck Officer – Joining the Merchant Navy Deck Department / 02.12.2020

When considering joining the merchant navy, it is important to have a firm understanding of the departments, hierarchical structure and respective ranks aboard commercial vessels.

Many jobs at sea are regulated within the STCW Convention and as such have been standardised across the merchant navy.

In this article, we give you, prospective merchant navy cadetship students, an overview of the deck department to help you make an informed decision as to which department and discipline you would like to study.

What is the Deck Department?

In the merchant navy, the Deck Department is an organisational team within led by deck officers under the overall command of the ship’s captain.

The core responsibilities of the deck department are; vessel navigation, supervision of cargo, the stability of the ship, ensuring maintenance of the deck and upper hull structure, mooring, and anchoring operations.

What is a Deck Officer?

A Deck Officer is an encompassing term for the officers that work within the deck department including (in descending order of seniority); Captain, Chief Officer, Second Officer, Junior/Third Officer.

“Officer means a member of the crew, other than the master, designated as such designated by national law or regulations or, in absence of such designation, by collective agreement or custom” … “Deck Officer means an officer qualified in accordance with the provisions of the [STCW] convention.” – STCW Convention

Officer Roles In the Merchant Navy Deck Department

Merchant Navy Departments
Merchant Navy Department Organisation

Captain– Holds ultimate command and responsibility of a merchant navy vessel.
Chief Officer– Management of all deck crew. Overseeing deck operations and maintenance, cargo handling and storage and watchkeeping duties.
Second Officer – Voyage planning and carrying out watchkeeping duties.
Third Officer – Maintenance of firefighting and safety equipment. Assisting in day to day operations and carrying out watchkeeping duties.

Qualification Requirements of a Deck Officer

In order to become a Deck Officer in the merchant, navy delegates are required to be 18 years of age or over and be in accordance with the regulations set out by the STCW Convention including;

“have approved seagoing service of not less than one year as part of an approved training programme which includes on-board training which meets the requirements of section A-II/1 of the STCW Code and is documented in an approved training record book, or otherwise have approved seagoing service of not less than three years” – STCW Convention 95

“have performed, during the required seagoing service, bridge watch-keeping duties under the supervision of the master or a qualified officer for a period of not less than six months” – STCW Convention 95

“meet the applicable requirements of the regulations in chapter IV, as appropriate, for performing designated radio duties in accordance with the Radio Regulations” – STCW Convention 95

“have completed approved education and training and meet the standard of competence specified in section A-II/1 of the STCW Code.” – STCW Convention 95

How to Become a Deck Officer

deck officer on deck

The primary route to becoming a deck officer in the merchant navy is via a Deck Officer Cadetship.

Much like apprenticeships, cadetships are a paid educational opportunity with vocational “hands-on” experience mixed with classroom study, allowing you to qualify with a Higher National Diploma (HND) or Foundation Degree.

Here at Chiltern Maritime, we have remained the UK’s foremost provider of Merchant Navy Officer Cadetships for over 30 years. With a first-class reputation and an 85% success rate, our government approved cadetship programme has been assisting maritime charities and commercial marine organisations to invest into Deck, Engineering and Electro-Technical Officer Cadets, qualifying some of the highest calibre graduates, highly sought after within the industry.

Applying for a Deck Officer Cadetship

The Chiltern Maritime online cadetship application process is the official route for application to a Deck Officer Cadetship with many of our sponsors.

Before Applying;

  • Familiarise yourself which commercial cadetship sponsors and/or charity cadetship sponsors you would like to apply of a cadetship with.
  • Know which intake you would like to apply for.
  • Have a basic CV in .doc, .docx, .pdf or .txt format.
  • Prepare a short statement as to why you would like to become a deck officer cadet.

Deck Officer Cadetship Entry Requirements

HND in Marine Operations – Deck Officer of the Watch

  • GCSE Maths at grade 5 (or above) or Scottish Standard National Level 5
  • GCSE’s English, Physics or Combined Science and at least two other subjects grade 4 (or above) or Scottish Standard National Level 4.

Foundation Degree in Marine Operations – Deck Officer of the Watch

  • GCSE Maths at grade 5 (or above) or Scottish Standard National Level 5
  • GCSE’s English, Physics or Combined Science and at least two other subjects grade 4 (or above) or Scottish Standard National Level 4.
  • Minimum of 48 Tariff points or 120 UCAS points pre-2017, through A Levels or their equivalents, preferably in Mathematics or a Science based subject. (For Marine Engineering and Marine Electrical/Electronic Engineering BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma’s are considered.)

 

Apply Now

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