Ship Officer Jobs and Vessel Captain Interview: Working and Walking on the Water

Working on a ship or any maritime vessel can be a really different experience depending on the career you choose. Even the same job, like being an officer on a ship, can be harder and more stressful if you embrace the military career. Naturally the amount of stress that deck officers have to undertake is always very high, not only in the Navy but also on cargo ships or cruise lines. That's why ship officers must be well trained and need to be experienced sailors.

The best way to build a career as a deck officer is to get a qualification in a college, trade school, or spatiality school and then look for an entry-level job on board in order to get the necessary work experience and to learn on the job from the older officers how to be a good ship officer.

The most important officer job on a ship is the captain. The Vessel Captain is responsible of the entire ship, including crew, passengers and eventually the cargo. It is a very demanding and stressful job, but the salary is the higher you can get in this field. The prerequisite are very selective, since to get a job as captain you must have a diploma from a maritime learning institution, several years of experience and the governmental certification, together with a stand out leadership.

Though the Vessel Captain does not necessarily have to drive or maintain the ship's course all the time, it's required for this position the proven capacity to use the navigational systems and outstanding language skills.

The ship Captain is at the vertex of a ladder system, composed by the other ship officers. They all respond to someone else in the hierarchy up to the Executive Officer, who is responding to the Captain only. This is a way to be sure that every task is fulfilled by the person in charge of it, since there is someone always watching over or looking over the lower ship officer's shoulders. Apart from being the Captain, the most stressful officer job is the Executive Officer, or rather the Ship Captain's second in command. The requirements for this position are the same as for being a Captain, but the job is sometimes harder, since the Executive Officer has to deal with everybody on the ship and always be aware of any problem on board. Moreover the salary is generally lower. Anyway, being an Executive Officer is a step of the career path towards the Captain job.