Featured Advice
What are your interests?



Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.

Salary Range
€22k - €60k
Career Zone

In Summary - Merchant Navy - Deck Officer

Responsible for navigation, checking that cargo is safe and stable, supervising crew members and ensuring that the ship is fit to sail.

Career Sectors

Merchant Navy - Deck Officers typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Shipping and Maritime Transport
Maritime, Fishing & Aquaculture

Videos on the Web

The Work - Merchant Navy - Deck Officer

There are normally two main departments on board ship - deck and engine. The deck department is concerned with the overall operation of the ship. A deck officer's responsibilities include navigation, communications, cargo and stability, maintenance and safety. They undertake navigational watchkeeping, which involves plotting the ship's position, giving steering instructions and following the 'rule of the road'. Deck Officers use satellite and radar equipment and computer systems to check the ships position, monitor speed and fuel consumption, access weather reports and input navigation routes.  
Deck officers also oversee the storage and securing of cargo and passenger care, make stability calculations and maintain safety and equipment as well as supervising crew members. The ship's captain (the senior deck officer on board) is in overall charge of the total ship operation and is responsible for the safety of passengers, crew and the ship. Deck Officers work in shifts which vary according to the size of the ship.  
Everyone on board may be required to share in maintaining the cleanliness of communal accommodation and their own quarters. On ships with small crews, everyone may take a turn in the galley (kitchen). They also help with hosting social functions. Senior officers handle administration, legal and commercial matters.  
Sometimes, deck officers have to work in difficult and uncomfortable conditions. Merchant Navy officers spend long periods of time away from family and friends.

Interests - Merchant Navy - Deck Officer

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.


Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.


Leadership and management skills are essential, together with commercial awareness and flexibility to meet the challenge of developing technology. You must also be able to show initiative and self-reliance. Team working skills are important. You must be responsible and able to remain calm in an emergency. Good maths ability would be a bonus.

Entry Requirements - Merchant Navy - Deck Officer

Pay & Salary - Merchant Navy - Deck Officer

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €22k - €60k

Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.

Labour Market Updates - Merchant Navy - Deck Officer

Useful Contacts - Merchant Navy - Deck Officer

Career News

Applications open for Fulbright-Marine Institute Award
Applications open for Fulbright-Marine Institute Award
Posted by Marine Institute
Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors inspired to spark change at Summer School
Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors inspired to spark change at Summer School
Posted by Marine Institute
Want to work in the fishing industry?
Want to work in the fishing industry?
Posted by Bord Iascaigh Mhara
XOCEAN to create 60 new jobs
XOCEAN to create 60 new jobs
Posted by CareersPortal
Irelandís largest free maritime celebration comes to Cork city in June
Irelandís largest free maritime celebration comes to Cork city in June
Posted by Marine Institute
Cullen Fellowship research on ocean observation technologies
Cullen Fellowship research on ocean observation technologies
Posted by Marine Institute