Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Mark Spain from An Garda Síochána to give some advice for people considering this job:

Mark Spain

Garda Trainee

An Garda Síochána

Read more

Mark Spain
If you are unsure I would recommend coming to an open day in the college and if possible also doing the Garda Reserve. It gives the best insight imaginable into the work of Gardaí.

Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Study Skills
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

Occupation Details

logo imagelogo image

Merchant Navy - Deck Officer

Job Zone

Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€22k > 60
Merchant Navy Deck Officer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€22 - 60
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Return to List
Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Responsible for navigation, checking that cargo is safe and stable, supervising crew members and ensuring that the ship is fit to sail.

Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Search YouTube for Merchant Navy - Deck Officer videos

The Work header image

There are normally two main departments on board ship - deck and engine. The deck department is concerned with the overall operation of the ship. A deck officer's responsibilities include navigation, communications, cargo and stability, maintenance and safety. They undertake navigational watchkeeping, which involves plotting the ship's position, giving steering instructions and following the 'rule of the road'. Deck Officers use satellite and radar equipment and computer systems to check the ships position, monitor speed and fuel consumption, access weather reports and input navigation routes.  
Deck officers also oversee the storage and securing of cargo and passenger care, make stability calculations and maintain safety and equipment as well as supervising crew members. The ship's captain (the senior deck officer on board) is in overall charge of the total ship operation and is responsible for the safety of passengers, crew and the ship. Deck Officers work in shifts which vary according to the size of the ship.  
Everyone on board may be required to share in maintaining the cleanliness of communal accommodation and their own quarters. On ships with small crews, everyone may take a turn in the galley (kitchen). They also help with hosting social functions. Senior officers handle administration, legal and commercial matters.  
Sometimes, deck officers have to work in difficult and uncomfortable conditions. Merchant Navy officers spend long periods of time away from family and friends.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Leadership and management skills are essential, together with commercial awareness and flexibility to meet the challenge of developing technology. You must also be able to show initiative and self-reliance. Team working skills are important. You must be responsible and able to remain calm in an emergency. Good maths ability would be a bonus.

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Cork Institute of Technology
Address: The Admissions Office, Rossa Avenue, Bishopstown, Co. Cork
Tel: (021) 432 6100
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: National Maritime College of Ireland
Address: Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork
Tel: (021) 497 0600
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: IMDO – Irish Maritime Development Office
Address: Wilton Park House, Wilton Place D02 NT99, Dublin 2, Ireland
Tel: (01) 7753900
Email: Click here
Url Click here

Job Search

Industry Expert

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Maritime, Fishing & Aquaculture

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database


Higher Ed & CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
Courses found: 4

Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

Courses found: 10