The deck and engineering department is one of the most important departments on the vessel—without it the ship would never make it out of port. This department is responsible for maintaining and running the vessel. The positions in this department are not typically entry-level positions, especially on large ships. The department consists of deckhands, maintenance workers, such as electricians, engineers, and officers. These positions help to motor or sail the ship, attend to the physical maintenance needs of the ship, and keep it in accordance with fleet regulations and international maritime laws. Officers are in charge of passenger safety as well.
According to Cruise Ship Jobs by Richard B. Marin, Ph.D., chief electricians are responsible for virtually everything on the ship that is powered by electricity from automatic door openers, microwave ovens, and the all-important main generator. If anything on the ship breaks, including the main generator, the chief electrician is the one who has to fix it. The chief electrician is the head of the electrician crew, so he also has the responsibility of scheduling workers, supervising, hiring, and training.
Chief electricians typically have an advanced degree in a technology related field, extensive experience, and/or relevant maritime education. They must also speak fluent English. Knowledge of a second language such as Italian, French, or Spanish is desirable.
Chief electricians on cruise ships earn competitive salaries and they also receive health, saving, and retirement benefits, as well as private accommodations, free air travel to and from the ship, and free meals. These highly regarded professionals typically earn $3,200-$3,900+ per month. Chief electrician positions on large liners and luxury liners typically pay on the high end of the pay scale.
If you think you have the necessary qualifications and credentials to apply for a chief electrician position on a cruise ship, you may begin the process by locating several top cruise lines. Visit the Ships and Cruises Directory for official cruise line listings and websites. Most cruise line websites have a career center or job postings page. If the cruise line lists job openings, simply follow the application procedures to apply. If the cruise line does not list job openings, you may send a cover letter and resume to the cruise lines’ Human Resources Department. The HR department is typically located at the cruise lines headquarters. This information is usually listed on the cruise line website. It is important to include the position you are interested in so that it can be directed to the appropriate department manager.
For more information about jobs on cruise ships visit Cruise Ship Jobs online. Here, you can download the 2010 cruise ship employment guide; you can read through cruise line profiles; you can find out which ships are hiring and for what positions — and you can even apply for a cruise ship job right online. Please note that this website charges a fee. You can apply for a job on your own, free of charge, sign up with a placement agency (the usual path or upper level positions such as chief electrician), or use Cruise Ship Jobs’ service. Good luck!