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 Rebecca Tighe from Intel to give some advice for people considering this job:

Rebecca Tighe

Process Engineer


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Rebecca Tighe
Engineering in general is an extremely broad career and can lead to you many different applications and many different parts of the world. Its also a career which can give you a set of skills highly adaptable to other careers. In Intel the same applies. Day to day the job changes so being able to change with the job is important. Make sure you are adaptable and can apply your skills in many different situations.

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Merchant Navy - Ordinary Seaman/Woman

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At a Glance... header image

Assists the deck officers in the running a merchant ship.

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The Work header image

Merchant Navy Ordinary Seamen assist deck officers in running the ship. This involves general maintenance including chipping, scaling and painting the ship's fabric. They use a variety of hand and power tools to carry out repairs to furniture and fittings. Maintaining the ship's equipment involves making regular checks and carrying out maintenance duties and repairs. For example, they overhaul deck machinery and equipment, grease loading winches and check survival and fire-fighting equipment.  
Ordinary Seamen clean and prepare holds for cargo. They monitor loading and unloading, clean holds and check load quantities. They also work on the bridge. They assist the officer of the watch with navigational duties and may act as lookout or steersman. During docking, they assist with mooring.  
While in dock, Ordinary Seamen may monitor the loading of supplies and arrange storage. Some Ordinary Seamen may work on short journeys like Channel crossings, but most spend long periods away from home.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You will need to be responsible and reliable with the ability to work well without constant supervision. Some Ordinary Seamen have to spend long periods aboard ship in the company of a small crew, oftentimes in small living spaces. They have to be prepared to work in all types of weather conditions. You need good communication skills. You also need to be reliable.  
You need to like practical, physically active work, and should be flexible and able to undertake a variety of tasks. Good hand skills are required for all types of work. Ordinary Seamen should enjoy using tools and equipment, and have an interest in maintaining machinery.  
Ordinary Seamen require good health and fitness. Most Ordinary Seamen will be required to pass a medical examination.

Entry Routesheader image

Entrants are typically taken on by a shipping company, who will sponsor them onto a training programme. Training varies according to the employing company.

New entrants usually begin work for a company as juniors. Training continues at sea and Ordinary Seamen may attend college for additional courses and qualifications. Training usually lasts for one to two years.

The National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) are the designated national centres for the education and training of personnel for the Merchant Navy.

A Certificate in Navigational Studies (Seamanship) which will suit school leavers and those with experience of working aboard merchant ships or fishing vessels - click here for NMCI details.

Last Updated: July, 2015

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Contactsheader image


Organisation: Naval Service
Address: Haulbowline, Cobh, Co. Cork
Tel: 021 864700
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


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

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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

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