Deck Officers work in water transport vessels such as cruises, riverboats, merchant ships, or any type of self-propelled water vehicle that transports passengers or cargo across oceans, coasts, or inland waters. Their main duty involves all the daily operations necessary to keep the vessel running. Deck Officers work as parts of a team with each member being assigned a crucial task to maintain the ship in top shape and do the several navigational tasks related to sailing.
Furthermore, being part of a team also means that there’s a certain hierarchy within the crew. There are first, second, and third mates on board a ship. The rank of each individual Deck Officer is assigned based on seniority and performance.
Depending on the size of the ship, the team of Deck Officers will be bigger or smaller. There is no universal rule of how big the team should be, however, this is often decided by the company owning the ship or the Captain. Deck Officers can be hired by private companies such as cruise lines, water transportation companies, or even the Federal Government to work as part of the Coast Guard.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Deck Officers are required to complete.
- Performing navigation duties:
- Using navigation equipment on board the ship; and
- maintaining navigational charts and ship logs updated.
- Performing port cargo operations, such as cargo planning and inventory.
- Maintaining the cargo loading and unloading machinery.
- Maintaining the ship’s hull and accommodations:
- Keeping the ship clean and the accommodations organized; and
- supervising that the life saving and firefighting equipment are in mint condition.
- Overseeing coordination between departments:
- Making sure all departments have their tasks clear; and
- taking part in conflict-solving actions.
- Supervising the proper disposal of garbage on deck:
- Collecting all the garbage on deck and quarters;
- properly storing said garbage in the designated areas; and
- disposing of the garbage when port is reached.
- Supervising supply restocking when at port:
- Looking after overtime, cost control, purchase orders, and requisition orders with shore management.
- Going over daily security checklists.
- Checking that all security equipment is in good condition.
- Cleaning the deck, hull, and accommodation areas of the ship.
- Performing cargo operations.
- Using navigational equipment to plan navigational charts and routes.
- Guiding the ship through canals, rivers, and other hazardous waters.
- Overseeing and coordinating activities on deck.
The average salary for Deck Officer related jobs is $82,953 per year or $43 per hour. This is around 2.5 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $58,000 while most experienced workers make up to $116,000. These results are based on 1 salary extracted from job descriptions.