For Thai people aside from soldier and policeman, another professional is seaman on merchant ship as deck and engineer. This professional has been known and accepted in which gain high income.
Maritime Navigation skill is both science and art for seafarers and specific groups in Thailand, there are many institutes educating navigation, for instance, Royal Thai Navy Academy (RTNA) and Merchant Marine Training Center (MMTC)
2.What is Maritime?
According to Marine Promotion Regulation Act 1978, Maritime means the international trade and production to transport on board ship.
Ship operations are loading and unloading cargoes, voyage to destination with save, fast, convenience, goods insurance, ship/hull and engine warrant.
Activities concerning ship operations;
- Products for sea shipping
- Shipping and logistic services
- Port Operation
- Cargo Handling and Lifting
- Banking and insurance
Maritime is the key for the logistic services in handling and delivery cargoes, this is the maritime professional.
Currently, there are many Logistic services categories, but the most demanded ones are mass quantity, large and heavy cargo such as Trains, Tankers, machinery and vehicles are loaded on board ship.
Maritime Professional is needed all round the world and getting require more numbers of competent and experienced people especially new generations who has power and love to travel.
3.Responsibilities and ranks of Maritime Professional
Maritime profession responsible to develop safe navigation and safe handling cargoes. Seafarers work on board the ship generally be divided into two categories;
1. Deck Department
2. Engine Department
Deck Department: responsible to loading and unloading cargoes. Deck operations concentrate study on sciences, mathematics, languages, navigation stowage, seamanship, meteorology, astronomy, hydrology and international laws and regulations
Engine Department: responsible for all machinery. Engine operations concentrate study on sciences, mathematics, engineering equipment on board, electronics, ship construction and ship stability, factory management, social responsibility, psychology and leadership.
For all seafarers before assign on board ship, they must take basic safety training courses for survival in case of emergencies. The required documents are consisted of Passport, Seaman Book and Medical Fitness Certificate. Other documents will be advised according to type of ship.
Top ranking on board ship is Captain as seafarers approximately work on board between 5-10 years. Some transfer to work on land, port, company as management level.
For engine department, a key member of the engine room crew, Chief Engineer is overseeing the entire marine engineering equipment and maintenance. Usually, work on board 5-10 years then transfer to on land work, port, deck yard, company management level.
Working on board, an academic degree is not to affirm salary and work title, the importance is IMO certificates. The IMO Model Training Courses are conducted and issued certificates by the affirmation institutes and endorsement by Marine Department which can be applied on international flag state ship. In case that some students gain knowledge, competency and experience with good at second language, these mean they will have much more higher income comparing to other employment. First competitor is yourself and secondly is foreigner with good international language and lastly Thai seafarer.
1.Deck Department Career Flow Chart
- Master (Captain) : ultimate command of the vessel making decision on behalf of company, embarking and disembarking, and the anchor.
- Chief Officer (C/O) : traditionally stands watch from 04.00 a.m. until 08.00 a.m. and from 04.00 p.m. until 08.00 p.m. , responsible for navigation plan, ship maintenance, loading and unloading cargoes , fresh water and crew’s welfare.
- Second Officer (2/O) : traditionally stands watch from midnight until 04.00 a.m. and from noon until 04.00 p.m., responsible for the en route portion voyage, officer role on monitoring radio communication perform medical tasks and oversea the loading and unloading of cargoes, stowage, and securing.
- Third Officer (3/O) : traditionally stands watch from 08.00 a.m. until 12.00 a.m. and from 08.00 p.m. until midnight, responsible for firefighting equipment, lifeboats, various emergency systems and oversea loading and unloading of cargoes stowage, and securing.
- Deck Cadet (D/cadet) : required seagoing practice not less than 12 months. When finish the study course one will start rank at Third Officer.
- Bosun (BSN) : the head of the deck support level and works under supervisory of Chief Officer.
- Deck Fitter (D-FTR) : perform welding work for deck department and works under supervisory of Chief Officer.
- Able Seaman (A/B) : standing watch as helmsman and lookout. AB works under supervisory of Captain or Officer in charge (Chief Officer, Second Officer or Third Officer) including perform general maintenance and repair as assigned by Bosun. In this post there are 3 ABS.
- Ordinary Seaman (OS): perform ordinary seaman to clean, maintenance, work with deck equipment and undergo on the-job training. Performing outlook duty and being a helmsman. Finally become certified as an able seaman.
- Chief Cook (C/Cook) : responsible for prepare and submit to Captain the request for food and supplies, Directs and participates in the preparation and serving meals.
- Second Cook (2/Cook) : duties may overlap and assist Chief Cook.
- Messman/Messboy (MSM) : performing as steward, galley utility man, messman, supply or waiter. Responsible for other cleaning duties as assigned. This Deck Boy, there are 1-2 MSM depending on the ship’s line.
2.Engine Department Career Flow Chart
- Chief Engineer (C/E) : overseeing the entire marine engineering department and responsible for all machinery i.e. main engine, auxiliary engine and Technical services including on board maintenance with save and crew’s safety.
- Second Engineer (2/E) : traditionally stand watch from 04.00 a.m. until 08.00 a.m. the 2/E is in charge for managing the engine room. Assign and assess distribution duties to all the engine crew’s. Conducting trainings are for efficiency work and safety. To implement Planned Maintenance System (PMS) and the quantity for all present in tanks for machinery operation like lube oil and fuel oil to be recorded.
- Third Engineer (3/E) : usually stand watch from 00.00 a.m. until 04.00 a.m. and from 12.00 p.m. until 16.00 p.m. Responsible for proper maintenance and servicing of equipment including operation of electrical generator. Fuel oil consumption has to be recorded in an oil record book.
- Fourth Engineer (4/E) : traditionally stand watch from 08.00 a.m. until 12.00 a.m. and from 08.00 p.m. until midnight. Responsible for operation maintenance, in charge of tank parameters are to be recorded foe sludge and bilge system. Function of air pump and all machinery have to be recorded. Fuel oil consumption has to be recorded in oil record book.
- Electrician (E/E) : assigned to assist 2E and 3E in all the electrical motors and electrical system on ship, including maintaining refrigeration unit and take care or air conditioning unit.
- Engine Cadet (E/Cadet) : The engine cadet assists in maintenance and repair of engine room equipment as well as other mechanical equipment throughout the ship.
- Fitter (FTR) : distribute duties, keep and clean engine tools and equipment, store and inventory of spare, coordinate with other sectors in repairing and maintenance machinery and engine, clean the engine space. Train the subordinate positions, and assisting the engineers as directed.
- Oiler (O/L) : stands watch engine room in port and at sea. Assisting engineer officers as assigned.
- Wiper : the rule of a wiper consists of cleaning the engine spaces and machinery and assisting the engineers in maintenance.
Preparation of documents is required before assigning on board ship which excluded ID card and residence certificate. For more details and assistance please contact Siam Maritime School.
For Merchant Ship and Container Ship, documents required as below:
- Seaman Book
- Medical Fitness Certificate
- Yellow Book
- Basic Safety Training Course
- Security Awareness (SAS)
- Security Training For Seafarers With Designated Security Duties Course (DSD)
- Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats other than Fast rescue Boats (SCRB)
- Endorsement of Seafarer
For Tanker Ship
- Basic Training for oil and Chemical Tanker Cargo Operations
- Basic Training for Liquefied Gas Tanker Cargo Operations
- Endorsement tanker
As mentioned above, documents are required for the first company contract. When obtaining more knowledge, competence and sea going service or higher position, seafarers has to take training courses as comply with STCW 2010 and apply for certificate of proficiency at Marine Department.
Seafarers comparing to on-land worker at the same knowledge level, their first salary are THB 20,000-40,000 which two to three times higher as for the start work.
Rating of salary is depending on international voyage or near-coastal voyage. These are salary rating of the leading companies in Thailand.
Moving up to the top position on board is depending on ship company, competency and other factors. Nowadays, seaman at the age of 30 years has been promoted as Master (Captain) with salary of about THB 270,000.
Let’s learn more about ship voyage;
- International voyage means ship company engages in international shipping around the world e.g. Japan-USA, Africa-Middle-East-Europe. Working period of each seafarer is on an agreement of the first contract between company and crew.
A contract period ranges from 6 months, 8 months or 9 months. At the end of contract, one could take a leave 1-2 months. During the leave, you may look for a new company or take training course for further future or go back to previous company.
Good view for international voyages return with high income, build up family base quickly, has opportunity to travel and see new scenery of many countries.
For another side of international voyage is leaving far away for a long time from family and goes back home after the end of contract.
- Near-coastal voyage means ship company engages on near-by countries and ship routes frequently to Thai ports e.g. Thailand-Singapore, Thailand-Hong Kong. Contract period is similar to international voyage.
For Good side is near family but must trade-off with lower income.
Seafarer welfare is sufficiently good in order to compensate of working conditions, long time away from home and cross-culture pressure, since on board ship there are not only Thai people but Indian, Myanmar, Filipino, Chinese and others. Different of eating culture and languages therefore English becomes very crucial of communication. Those who have better basic English in speaking and a little bit in writing, receive higher income aside from lower knowledge and experience.
6. Maritime professional or seafarer is a specific work. People mostly do not know and understand
characteristic of seafarer functions, they are familiar to on land works. Especially Thai society are close family when travelling frequently with a long period can cause lonely and nervous. They must be patient, and keep physically and mentally fit.
Working on board there are many obstacles; sea condition, boring, different social cultures and languages as well as knowledge/competence. These are the reasons that they turn to find out other works that close to family and less income. That’s why seafarer professional are still needed more.
Thoughts to be considered before making decision to be seaman for instance sea-sick, hazards and lonely.
- Sea sick is commonly for someone who first time on board which can relief and get used to it later. Patient and full of power minded could lead you to be succeed seafarer.
- Ship voyage compares to other type of transportation, is more safely. Sea hazards occur because of human error operations. At present, the ships are large, install with high technologies for more safety. Aside from that International Maritime Organization (IMO) has declared international conventions and issued safety training standards to be applied throughout the world for safety stability.
- Away from home, feeling of lonely is the most influence to Thai family. But comparing of income level 2-3 times are higher than on-land work and opportunity to visit and see beautiful scene of many countries. Start earning money while you are young and not to spend wastefully. It will be a short period of time to establish oneself and one day then you might change to other work as you desire.