In Summary - Merchant Navy - Ordinary Seaman/Woman
Assists the deck officers in the running a merchant ship.
Merchant Navy - Ordinary Seaman/Womans typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Merchant Navy - Ordinary Seaman/Woman
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.
Interests - Merchant Navy - Ordinary Seaman/Woman
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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.
Entry Requirements - Merchant Navy - Ordinary Seaman/Woman
Entrants are typically taken on by a 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.
A Certificate in Navigational Studies (Seamanship) which will suit school leavers and those with experience of working aboard merchant ships or fishing vessels - click here for NMCI details.
Last Updated: July, 2015
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Useful Contacts - Merchant Navy - Ordinary Seaman/Woman
IMDO Ė Irish Maritime Development Office
National Maritime College of Ireland