Support staff members on cruise ships are trained to assist the chief engineer and the chief electrician. These staff members, commonly referred to as “officers,” are assigned to either the chief engineer or the chief electrician, depending on their background and expertise. On smaller ships, the chief engineer and chief electrician may have one or two support staff members while big ships may employ several dozen support staff members. Other support staff members include plumbers, carpenters, and mechanics. These individuals help service and maintain the equipment in each area.
Engineering and electrician support staff members typically have a certificate from an accredited training program, an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree. They also have several years experience working in the field and on ships. Plumbers, carpenters, and mechanics are also well-trained and experienced. They typically have a certificate or degree from an accredited education and training program as well, plus several years experience in the field and working on ships.
Support staff positions are a part of the deck and engineering department. The Deck & Engineering Department is one of the most important departments on the vessel –without it the ship would never set sail. This 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. Officers are in charge of passenger safety as well.
Support staff members can earn anywhere from $2,400-$3,800+. In addition to a handsome salary, these officers also receive free accommodations, meals, free air travel to and from the ship, health insurance, retirement benefits, and discounts at various retail shops and services aboard the ship.
After you have decided which position(s) you feel you are qualified for, it’s time to begin your job search, followed by the application process. If you have a specific cruise line in mind, locate the cruise lines’ OFFICIAL website first. Visit 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 postings page. If the cruise line lists job openings, be sure to follow the application procedure to the letter. Applicants that do not follow directions are typically passed over in favor of those that do.
If the cruise line does not list job openings on its site (very rare), send a polished cover letter and resume to the cruise lines’ Human Resources Department. The Human Resources 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, or use Cruise Ship Jobs’ service.