Technical Careers in the Maritime Industry - An Overview

Technical Careers in the Maritime Industry – An Overview

The maritime industry holds a lot of potential opportunities for those seeking life on the seas and even off it. A career in shipping is the perfect blend of adventure, fun, and technology with great remuneration. Ordinarily, people have a misconception that being in the shipping industry is only about being a seafarer. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. There are a variety of jobs in this sector which prospective job seekers can choose from, based on their interests and skills. Especially when it comes to engineering and technical jobs, the maritime sector provides you with a learning experience like no other!

Imagine being able to watch a simple selection of parts and bring them together with precision and skill, to become a fully functioning vessel, set to sail on the high seas! Imagine, if you will, the worn out parts of the boat being repaired under your expertise to become as good as new. Imagine feeling the sea wind on your face, as you embark on a voyage as the engineer of a mighty vessel. Now, isn’t that truly a life worth living?

Expanding Opportunities

In the 21st century, India has taken great strides towards becoming one of the leading powers in the world. A significant part of that, of course, has been the technological advancements and expansion in the maritime trade and defence sectors. As one of the largest economies in the world, and especially with the indigenization under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, India now has an ocean full of opportunities.

Traditionally maritime-related fields, such as Naval Engineering, Marine Sciences, Naval Architecture, and even Mechanical Engineering, of course, have received a boost, thanks to this growth. With the rapidly evolving techniques and technologies involved in Design and Engineering, there is always something new to learn! However, a slew of career opportunities have also opened up in other sectors, be it Computer Engineering, IT, Electronics or Telecommunication. Along with this, even Diplomas or Certificate Courses have created their own niche when it comes to computer applications and naval systems!

Dive in, then, as we take a look at the various technical career opportunities in the maritime industry, in the fields of shipping, logistics, security, manufacturing, design, repair, and more!

Onshore Careers in Shipping

There are different portfolios of onshore jobs in shipping. All the functions of the ship are essentially designed and tested onshore first; the service repairs and maintenance of the ship are carried out in ports. Let us take a look at the different types of onshore jobs, classified by type.

  • Careers in Ship Design

    • Naval Architect

A naval architect is responsible for the design and construction of boats and ships. He/she is a qualified engineer and handles the technical aspects of ship design and other marine structures. Naval architects are an important part of the boat/ship design process for military and civil boats. Naval architects are usually Bachelors or Masters in Naval Architecture. However, they can also have degrees in related fields, such as engineering or marine science.

    • Marine Engineer

A marine engineer is primarily responsible for designing the internal systems of the ship, such as the propulsion system, electronics & refrigeration, navigational systems, etc. To avail of such a job opportunity, one must possess at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Engineering or Nautical Science.

    • Computer Software Engineer

A computer software engineer applies the principles of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis to design and test various software systems required on the ship. For this interesting career path, a person with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering, IT or Electronics is required, preferably with high proficiency in programming. However, a person from another engineering background possessing certificates and expertise in programming can also qualify.

    • Computer Hardware Engineer

A computer hardware engineer designs and develops hardware components, such as circuit boards, required in computer systems. A Computer, IT or an Electronics and Telecommunications Engineer is preferred for this role.

  • Careers in Ship Manufacturing and Services

    • Network Systems Analyst

A network systems analyst monitors and analyzes network performance and reports input-output data to identify network and system problems, if any. A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or IT is a great first step to becoming a network analyst, but other routes of entry into this field include certificate programs and diplomas, preferably combined with some work experience.

    • IT Specialist

IT Specialists usually assist with the technical information pertaining to the use of computer hardware and software. An IT Specialist requires a Bachelor’s Degree, but quite a few employers prefer a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, IT or a related field.

  • Architectural Drafter

Architectural drafters make use of computer-aided drafting (CAD) software to draw detailed ship plans, working drawings of the mechanical and electrical systems, and represent engineering calculations for the boat/ship. An excellent way to become a drafter is to get a Certificate or Diploma in Drafting.

Offshore Careers in Shipping

Apart from shore-based jobs in the maritime industry, there are several opportunities for young, enterprising officers on ships as well. Requirements differ for the different types of ship sectors, such as commercial, tourism, and others. Some of these posts are common on all ships, while the others are unique to that particular sector. For example:

 1. Naval Engineer

A naval engineer travels on the ship to ensure appropriate functioning of all mechanical and electrical systems. He/she is in charge of inspecting and maintaining the equipment to facilitate the smooth functioning of the ship. Such a career requires either a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in naval architecture or marine engineering. 

 2. Deck Crew

The deck crew operates on the ship performing designated tasks during the voyage. There are various positions in the deck crew, such as the deckhand, bosun, officer, first officer, chief engineer, second engineer, electro-technical officer, steward/stewardess, etc.

 3. Deck Officer

The deck officer assists the first officer and chief engineer in the functioning of the ship. He/she is either in charge of the deck or is in the engine room helping the engineers. The Deck officer is also expected to maintain discipline and obedience among the crew. 

 4. Radio Officer

Radio officers handle the crucial segment of communication on ships. They need to be fluent with Morse code, and other electrical communications equipment to relay messages back and forth between port and ship.

This is just a part of the multitude of technical career opportunities available in the maritime industry, both land-based and offshore. Working in the maritime world requires tremendous strength of mind, ability to learn and constantly update oneself, and builds confidence to take executive decisions as per the situation. The career flexibility and job security in shipping is an added bonus.

SHM Shipcare provides its workforce with the same security, a great learning curve and a promising growth path in the shipping fraternity. Check out some of our current openings.

Thus, pursuing a career opportunity in this unique field is very rewarding for those who want to truly make a mark upon the world. Working in reputed maritime companies like SHM Shipcare opens a wide vista of opportunities for interested candidates as they venture into the maritime world. Start a successful career in shipping with us today!

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