5 Lesser Known Career Profiles in the Maritime Industry

5 Lesser Known Career Profiles in the Maritime Industry

With the rising demand for international trade, the maritime sector has experienced unparalleled growth, making the maritime industry one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors globally. As the industry grows, it makes available countless career opportunities with it.

Even in the usual case, the maritime industry has always offered a variety of career options ranging from ones that require a specific set of qualifications and also ones that require more physical strength than academic skills. While jobs like those of a marine engineer, naval architect, ship banker, and shipbuilding engineer are commonly known and quite popular, there are a few lesser-known career profiles that are equally rewarding.

The youth of today is on the lookout for more unconventional jobs that challenge them physically and mentally. Since the maritime industry offers both conventional and unconventional career opportunities, it becomes a field of options to choose from.

Which is why, today we shall discuss 5 lesser-known career profiles in the maritime industry that one can pursue, for all academic levels. Here goes:

1. Tugboat Jobs

Tugboats are the vessels that help ships and other bigger vessels move into ports and other constricted places. They also help in bringing in ships for inspections and maintenance. Jobs on tugboats currently employ the maximum number of people in the maritime industry.

There are 3 types of tugboat jobs that are the most common in the industry:

  • Tugboat Captain

The job of a tugboat captain is one that requires the applicant to be proficient in handling the tugboat in different water conditions and be practiced with operating radar and other technology and systems aboard the vessel. The job entails looking after any and all tugboat operations. On the personal qualities front, the captain must possess leadership skills and the ability to stay calm under pressure.

  • Tugboat Mate

The position of a mate is secondary to the Captain. The mate, like the captain, has to oversee the smooth functioning of operations aboard the vessel. The mate has to work in coordination with the captain and is responsible for the towing activities and navigation of the vessel.

  • Engineer

A tugboat engineer has to deal with the maintenance of machinery aboard the vessel. The engineers have to assist in maintaining the efficient operation of complex machinery and look after fuel requirements. Since the tugboat has to ensure that bigger vessels make it safely to the port, it is the job of the tugboat engineer to guarantee that the tugboat and all the machinery aboard it is in prime condition at all times. The engineer oversees the smooth functioning of both the tugboat’s engines and minimizes the chances of failure of any machinery aboard the vessel.

2. Barge Engineer

The position of a barge engineer is an important one in the oil and gas industry. The barge engineer ensures the unhindered operation of the vessel. It is an offshore job that requires looking after the logistics, deck maintenance, and repair, equipment maintenance, amongst other things. The job requires a high level of experience, such as minimum two years of handling large offshore operations, a Merchant Mariner’s document, and an Able Bodied Seaman and Tankerman’s certificate. Knowledge of additional languages is a plus.  

The increasing number of oil rigs being constructed has increased the requirement of barge engineers in the maritime industry. Offshore construction requiring structural design, repair, and maintenance provides numerous career options for aspirants who want to become barge engineers.

3. Subsea Engineer

Another lesser-known job in the offshore maritime industry is that of the subsea engineer. The job of a subsea engineer entails assisting in the repair and construction of ships and machinery that goes on beneath the surface of the water. It is one of the most challenging jobs in the industry that requires the ability to operate heavy machinery and enhanced technical skills. The subsea engineers also deal with designing equipment, tools, and infrastructure aboard a vessel.  

The job of a subsea engineer requires a Bachelor’s Degree in subsea engineering, marine engineering, or mechanical engineering, with strong organizational skills and familiarity with CAD software. An experience of 4-10 years in an engineering field is also a must.

4. Maritime Lawyer

The maritime law is a set of conventions that govern the events and nautical matters that take place on the water. It studies the happenings and offenses of private maritime businesses that take place. The United Nations has established a set of rules through the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which ensures that all the existing international maritime conventions are up to date. A maritime lawyer is one who deals with maritime laws and other aspects of commercial shipping.

In India, becoming a maritime lawyer requires completing a two-year master’s programme in Maritime Law in addition to a Bachelor’s degree in Law. Admission is competitive as this is a sought-after field and requires hard work and an innate knowledge of the Law of the Sea. Studies in Maritime Law focus on a wide spectrum of subjects ranging from national maritime law, laws governing carriage of goods via sea, maritime insurance, piracy, environmental law, international sale of goods, legislation drafting, and law of contracts.

5. Maritime Journalist

The job of a maritime journalist is to be in contact with sources aboard ships and report all the happenings in detail. The job entails dealing with reporting news, stories, and other trends in the maritime industry. Maritime journalists are required to be specialists in the field and need to have an innate know-how about how the maritime industry works. A background in journalism and the ability to extract quality information from all the available material is a must.

Life as a marine journalist offer exciting travel opportunities but also entails long working hours occasionally. It is an exciting career prospect for people who have a keen interest in maritime and a strong background of journalism.


These are some of the lesser-known job profiles in the maritime industry. Each of these has its own perks as well as disadvantages, but are exciting options for those who do not seek a conventional career in their own fields. Leading companies in the maritime sector, such as SHM Shipcare, are promoting greater awareness about these career profiles so as to help the youth of today take a wider interest in shipping.

Some of these career profiles entail working aboard a ship for a prolonged period of time while some are completely offshore jobs. Nevertheless, these are employment options for people who want to be closely associated with the maritime sector and are looking for a stimulating career in the shipping industry.

Cover Image Source: Stuff

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