As of December 2015, merchant marine job opportunities include first officer, second officer, steward cook, deck engineer machinist and chief radio electronics technician positions. Additional job opportunities include medical services officer and first, second and third assistant engineer. SeaLiftCommand.com, Marad.DOT.gov, Indeed.com and GCaptain.com list merchant marine job opportunities.
A merchant marine first officer is responsible for the operation of a specifically assigned ship area, such as the deck. First Officers allocate and manage resources, handle various types of cargo and equipment, and function as the ship's training officer, damage control officer, and security and safety officer.
The second officer may manage navigational operations and duties, including reports, supplies, maintenance, equipment and other ship resources. The Second Officer also provides certain training, which may include operation of the ship's alarm, smoke, fixed fire and flooding systems.
Ship engineers are responsible for the maintenance, preservation and operation of all engine department equipment and machinery. Ship engineers may maintain and operate cargo handling equipment, hydraulic systems, mooring machinery and cargo fluid systems.
The chief radio electronics technician, who reports directly to the ship's communication officer or the ship's master, is responsible for the communications department. Other duties include supervising certain staff, preparing and coordinating maintenance schedules, providing training and managing technical files and publications.