10 reasons to work at sea
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has gathered a list of all the reasons why people want to work at sea. What do you think? Are they valid or is there something they have missed?
Good Wages: Wages earned by seafarers are normally above similar professions ashore. According to the ICS, in developing countries, ships’ officers working on internationally trading ships are amongst the very highest paid in their countries. Opportunities for accumulating savings, even when young, are considerable. The real value of wages may often be substantially greater because they are often tax free.
Early Responsibility: Ships’ officers enjoy considerable responsibility from the start of their careers. They ensure the safety of their ships and their cargoes, the lives of their shipmates and the protection of the marine environment. Within 10 years it is possible to qualify as a Captain or Chief Engineer with total responsibility for the operation of a ship and the management and safety of its crew.
Opportunities to Travel: Although modern ships spend less time in port the ICS still believes that a career in shipping gives the chance of incredible global travel. This gives seafarers the chance to experience interesting and unusual places, rather than just the typical business or holiday destinations visited by many people.
Good Long Term Prospects: There is a great need for more qualified ships’ officers to meet the skills required by international shipping companies. There is a massive shortage predicted, so the demand for good people will increase.
Doing Something Useful: Seafarers make a massive impact – on both their immediate vessel, but on world trade too. In most jobs it can be a struggle to see the value brought, being a seafarer makes it obvious.
Career Flexibility and Job Security: Shipping is an ideal occupation for young people seeking something exciting and different to just working in an office, which in the long run will also lead to an enjoyable and well paid executive career in a major international industry.
International Recognition: Ships’ officers hold internationally recognised qualifications meeting standards, so most officers are qualified to work for the thousands of international shipping companies located all around the world, on ships flying the flags of almost every country.
Long Holidays: In most jobs, it is only possible to take a maximum of two or three weeks holiday at one time, but seafarers commonly enjoy generous leave or holiday periods. So while seafarers may sometimes be away from home for extended periods, they also enjoy the benefits when they come home.
A Career that is Different: A ship is a unique working environment, and those working on board ship often develop lasting friendships with their colleagues and have a stimulating life which is different to the experience of many people working ashore.
Transferable Skills: Qualifications and experience gained at sea are also readily transferable to other industries outside merchant shipping. Career opportunities extend to thousands of shore-based management jobs, which require people with seagoing experience.