Support Staff Positions on Cruise Ships

In the cruise industry, support staff is a term used to describe certain positions in the engine department. The engine department or the deck & engineering department is one of the most important departments aboard any given ship. Without it, the ship could not operate. The engine department is responsible for maintaining and running the vessel. The positions in this department are not entry-level positions, especially on large ships. The department consists of deckhands, maintenance workers, 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.

The chief engineer is responsible for overseeing all systems that keep the ship moving and functioning properly. This included engines, electrical systems, plumbing, refrigeration, and HVAC. The chief electrician must oversee maintenance and upkeep of everything on the ship that is powered by electricity. This includes, but is not limited to the main generator, microwave ovens, and automatic door openers. Whatever electrical systems (or anything electrical) break, the chief electrician is the one that performs and/or manages the repairs.

Engine department support staff assist the chief engineer and the chief electrician. Both the chief engineer and chief electrician may have one or several officers trained in their respective fields. The number of support staff assigned to each chief will vary depending on the size of the ship. Officers are in charge of passenger safety as well.

Other support staff members include carpenters, plumbers, and mechanics. These individuals help service and maintain the equipment in each area.

To become a support staff member on a cruise ship, you must have a certificate or degree in your field as well as a minimum of 2-3 years of experience. In many cases, you will have to hold a license as well. When applying for these positions, each job ad will list any necessary licensing requirements.

To begin your job hunt, pick several cruise lines you would like to work for. Locate the cruise lines OFFICIAL website by visiting the Ships and Cruises Directory for official listings. Once you have located the site, visit the website and search around for job postings. Most cruise line websites have a career center or job posting’s page. If the cruise line lists job openings, be sure to follow the application procedure to the letter.

If the cruise line does not list job openings on its site, send a polished cover letter and resume to the cruise lines Human Resources Department. The Human Resources Department is typically located at the cruise line’s 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, or use Cruise Ship Jobs’ service.

Support Staff Job Perks

Support staff on cruise ships will enjoy free travel to exciting destinations, free accommodations and meals, a competitive salary, health insurance, and free air travel to and from the ship. Salaries range from $32,000-$42,000+ depending on experience, type of cruise line and the size of the ship.

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