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Also Known As
- Navy Seaman/Woman, Merchant Navy
- Seaman/Woman, Merchant Navy
- Merchant Navy Rating
Merchant Navy Ordinary Seamen/Women assist deck officers in running the ship.
Merchant Navy Ordinary Seamen assist deck officers in running the ship. This involves general maintenance including chipping, scaling and painting the ship's fabric. They use a variety of hand and power tools to carry out repairs to furniture and fittings. Maintaining the ship's equipment involves making regular checks and carrying out maintenance duties and repairs. For example, they overhaul deck machinery and equipment, grease loading winches and check survival and fire-fighting equipment.
Ordinary Seamen clean and prepare holds for cargo. They monitor loading and unloading, clean holds and check load quantities. They also work on the bridge. They assist the officer of the watch with navigational duties and may act as lookout or steersman. During docking, they assist with mooring.
While in dock, Ordinary Seamen may monitor the loading of supplies and arrange storage. Some Ordinary Seamen may work on short journeys like Channel crossings, but most spend long periods away from home.
Personal Qualities and Skills
You will need to be responsible and reliable with the ability to work well without constant supervision. Some Ordinary Seamen have to spend long periods aboard ship in the company of a small crew, oftentimes in small living spaces. They have to be prepared to work in all types of weather conditions. You need good communication skills. You also need to be reliable.
You need to like practical, physically active work, and should be flexible and able to undertake a variety of tasks. Good hand skills are required for all types of work. Ordinary Seamen should enjoy using tools and equipment, and have an interest in maintaining machinery.
Ordinary Seamen require good health and fitness. Most Ordinary Seamen will be required to pass a medical examination.
Pay and Opportunities
There is a clear promotion structure in this career when the necessary qualifications have been obtained. Ordinary seamen are not highly paid but food, accommodation and some travel costs are also covered. Working skills can transfer to employment with port authorities, insurance companies and shipping brokers once the seaman is experienced and fully qualified.
Entry Routes and Training
All candidates must be taken on by an individual shipping company, who will sponsor them onto a training programme. Training varies according to the employing company. New entrants usually begin work for a company as juniors. Training continues at sea and Ordinary Seamen may attend college for additional courses and qualifications. Training usually lasts for one to two years. Cork Institute of Technology is the designated national centre for the education and training of personnel for the Merchant Navy
Students should be at least 17 years of age. Students normally are expected to have reached the Leaving Certificate level of the Department of Education, or the Junior Certificate (or its equivalent) with appropriate seagoing experience. Applicants for relevant courses must pass approved Medical Fitness and Eyesight tests and must attend a career advisory session
There is no formal upper age limit for entry into this occupation.
Contact your local Intreo Centre or Employment Services office for Career Guidance, planning and support that will help you make informed decisions about the best career direction for you
Labour Market Information
Qualifax: Ireland’s National Learners’ Database
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