Over 15,000 kilometres of coastline and Kiwis’ great love of the water offer many opportunities to build a career in the maritime sector

Ships Officer/Skippers

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What does it involve?

Ships Officers command the vessel and are also called Masters, Skippers or Mates. They work on all types and size of vessels. They have knowledge of running and supplying a ship; navigation, control, chart reading and hazard identification. They also manage cargo, ballast and fuel, and must understand maritime laws and safety procedures such as firefighting, rescue, and collision prevention.

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Typical day

Typically shift work, on the vessel. Ships Officers may navigate and control ships, take charge of ships when on watch, arrange repairs, fuel and supplies, supervise the loading, unloading and storage of cargo, organise crew activities on deck and organise ship security.

Does this sound like you?

Study areasAttributesHelpful experiencePreferred work environments
  • Maths, Accounting or Economics
  • Sciences or Workshop Technology
  • Computing / ICT / Information Management
  • Confident communicator
  • Good literacy and numeracy
  • Confidence with IT, computers, technology
  • Good initiative ‘can do’ attitude
  • Administration, planning or organising things
  • Working with facts and figures
  • Working with computers
  • Boating experience or crewing
  • Outside (marine)

How much could I earn?

  • Smaller Vessels

    $60k- $130k

  • Large, Foreign-Going Vessels

    $45k- $90k

Career pathway

SchoolEntry level jobsAdvancing jobsSenior jobs
  • Recommended – NCEA Level 2 in:
  • English
  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Skipper Inshore
  • Watchkeeper Deck
  • Mate
  • Chief Mate/Master
  • Skipper Coastal
  • Cheif Mate
  • Master Coastal
  • Master Foreign Going
  • Business Manager
  • Business Owner
Unit/Achievement standards in schoolsTraineeshipHigher learning

Higher learning

What do we offer?

We partner with industry associations like the Maritime and Seafood Educators Association and members of your industry to help recruit and build talented employees. This support includes promoting careers in your industry, identifying potential learners, and encouraging work placements.

We also ensure your industry’s qualifications continue to meet needs, support industry events like conferences and regularly celebrate your learners’ success.

When apprentices enrol, we assign them a Competenz account manager. Our account managers understand the industry and the skills learners and businesses need.