Merchant Navy officers are usually recruited as part of a training scheme, which involves studying at a nautical college and gaining hands-on experience aboard a commercial vessel. During this process, trainees work towards the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Certificate of Competency.
Some large shipping organisations also support trainees through the Merchant Navy Foundation Degree, which takes three years to complete and also leads to the MCA Officer of the Watch Certificate of Competency.
If you have a relevant degree or HND (higher national diploma), you may be exempt from certain stages of officer training. For instance, if you have a degree in mechanical, civil, electrical or marine engineering, you might be able to take advantage of a fast-track route to becoming an engineering officer.
By the same token, if you enter this line of work after working as deep sea fisherman or in the Royal Navy, you may also be able to skip certain aspects of the training required to become a Merchant Navy officer.
Another way to boost your employ ability is to demonstrate your interest in boats at a young age by joining the Sea Cadets or a local sailing club.
Finally, you will need a decent level of health and fitness, and strong eyesight if you want to become a deck officer.View More
View more details