Maritime careers aboard ships include working as a captain, mate, pilot, sailor, ship engineer, marine electronics technician, marine oiler or motorboat operator. Ships that are out at sea for long periods also often require a range of service positions such as cooks and housekeeping.
Captains and mates generally fill the supervisory and general management roles on ships. In addition to overseeing the crew they may also be tasked with preparing budgets, keeping logs and monitoring the ship's position, speed and direction. Captains of cruise ships may be expected to spend time interacting with the passengers as well. These positions usually require a bachelor's degree from a maritime academy or equivalent experience in the military.
Sailors, wipers and deck hands usually do not require formal education, but some training programs are available. These positions may involve standing watch, steering the ship, cleaning, routine maintenance, docking and disembarking, handling cargo and assisting passengers.
Ship engineers and marine oilers primarily work in the engine rooms. Engineers are in a supervisory role and maintain the ship's systems, regulate its speed and perform maintenance checks. Marine oilers work under the engineers and commonly perform maintenance on the engine, assist with repairs, operate pumps and clean tanks.