If you are a successful graduate of a maritime academy, you have an excellent chance of obtaining a position on a cruise ship. But not just any position—maritime graduates go on to become captains, staff captains, officers, radio officers, security officers, safety officers, boatswain’s, A/B seamen, and deck attendants. Some of these positions are entry-level, but pay up to $1,500 per month plus free accommodations, meals, health insurance, and savings benefits, while others are advanced positions that pay up to $10,000 per month, plus the benefits listed above.
If you start out in an entry-level position, it typically only takes 1-2 years to advance. For example, an ordinary seaman earns $1,100-$1,300 per month. These positions do not require any experience. Education is required however. But after spending 1-2 years as an ordinary seaman, you could advance to boatswain, which requires 1-2 years of experience, plus a tender captain’s license. These positions pay $1,800-$2,100 per month. Staff captain and most officer positions require 3-5 years of experience. These positions pay anywhere from $2,400-$4,500 per month.
Captains must have maritime qualifications as a captain and a captains license from a recognized maritime academy along with at least 5-8 years experience in subordinate positions on board. Captains must also have wide experience in all navigational computerized and electronic systems. Captains on cruise ships may earn anywhere from $5,900-$10,000 depending on cruise line and the size of the vessel.
There are literally hundreds of Maritime schools around the world and many are located in the U.S. Just a few top Maritime schools and academies include:
-U.S. Naval Academy
-U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
-United States Coast Guard
-Alabama Sea Lab
-California Maritime Academy
-Great Lakes Maritime Academy
-Houston Marine Training Services
-Massachusetts Maritime Academy
-New England Maritime
-Ocean and Fishery Sciences, Washington
-Scripps Institution of Oceanography
-Texas A&M Oceanography
-UCSC Ocean Sciences
-University of Alaska
-University of New Orleans
-University of Rhode Island
The types of careers available for maritime graduates are open on the deck and engineering department. The Deck & Engineering Department is the most important department on the vessel. Without the expertise of the deck & engineering department professionals, the cruise ship would never sail. This department is responsible for maintaining and running the vessel.
For a description of all positions in the deck and engineering department, visit the Wind Rose Network at www.windrosenetwork.com. For a complete list of maritime academies, schools, and programs, try http://users.hal-pc.org/~nugent/school.html. Here, you will find direct links to hundreds or maritime programs around the world.