Career & Course Information

A career in the Maritime Industry can be extremely varied. There are so many different areas of work available at sea. Charter vessels, yachting, tugs, dive vessels, fishing vessels, pilot vessel, work boats and barges, historical vessels, sailing ships to name but a few.
 
Government organisations also employ people with Marine qualifications for eg; Australian Customs, Police and Fisheries.  Additionally, there are also many volunteer organisations such as the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association, the Volunteer Rescue Association and the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol who are always looking for skilled volunteers.  
 
This page contains general information about maritime qualifications and offers advice on how to get started in the Industry.
 
 

Getting Started

To get started in the Industry is simple. Get out on the water and start getting experience and seatime! All experience on the water is useful. The more experience the better.
 
Try to gain experience on more than one type of vessel to improve your knowledge and skills. Also remember to extend your experience to the 'engine' room and auxiliary systems as well as the 'deck'. Being a crew member on a vessel requires more than just steering the vessel and handling lines to berth the vessel. The more you know about what drives the vessel the more valuable crew member you will be. Most small vessels do not employ separate Engineers so it necessary to gain as much knowledge about engines and auxiliary systems as possible. 
 
Most immportantly start gaining some qualifications. Even if you are interested in boating for mainly recreational puposes you never know when a qualification may come in handy. Also by studying you will become a much more skilled and safer mariner in the process.
 

Other requirements

Please note that there are other requirements from the State or Commonwealth Maritime Authority that you must satisfy in order for you to gain a GPH, Skipper, or Engineering qualification. These relate to seatime, age, medical, eyesight and hearing. Before commencing a maritime career it is a good idea to check that you will be able to meet these requirements. Check with the Maritime Authority in charge of certification in your State or with AMSA for Commonwealth qualifications. See NSW Maritime requirements
 
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General Purpose Hand 

As soon as you can, complete a General Purpose Hand (GPH / Deckhand) qualification.  This is short course and will teach you Survival, Firefighting, Safety, Seamanship, communication skills and First Aid. Once completed you will have a commercial qualification and are then able be part of the official 'crew' and gain employment as a deckhand or similar. There are no educational pre-requisites to begin this course. Once completed you will also be able to qualify for a Record of Service / task book and can start working towards higher qualifications.
 
To enrol in GPH course click HERE 
 
After you have completed your course you need to apply to NSW Maritime for an Endorsement to work as a GPH. See information on how to do this here.

 

Logbooks & Taskbooks

Whilst gaining seatime it is also necessary to log tasks that you complete. This will assist you in learning tasks and also go to form a portfolio of your learning when it comes time for you to complete your next qualification.

*NOTE on Seatime requirements

Length of time indicated below is to be used as a general guide only. Actual seatime required may be reduced according to your experience and task books completed. Check with your Maritime Authority regarding length of seatime required.
See also NSW Maritime (state) seatime information  AMSA (Commonwealth) Master and Deck Officer requirements

Coxswain

The next qualification after GPH usually gained is Coxswain. This may qualify you to skipper a vessel up to 12 metres in length up to 15 miles offshore. Depending on your seatime you may be restricted to sheltered waters. You require approx 1800 hrs or 12 months seatime to be eligible for a Coxswain's Certificate of Competency. This time may be reduced if you completed a ROPES book or all tasks in your Record of Service book. The Coxswains certificate builds on topics learnt in the General purpose Hand. If you have recently completed a GPH then you will gain recognition for the common units. In Coxswain's you will learn; basic navigation, engineering,  legislation, Collision Regulations, vessel handling, basic stability, radio communication, refueling, environmental considerations.

Coxswains typically work driving water taxis, skippering yachts, work boats, diving vessels Fisheries vessels. Many people that volunteer for rescue associations also hold a Coxswain's Certificate.  Some Coxswains continue to work as deckhands on larger vessels and gain seatime towards a master five.
 
To enrol in the Coxswain course click HERE
 
To gain the Certificate of Competency see additional information from NSW Maritime HERE

Marine Engine Driver (MED) 3 

The MED 3 is the first engineering qualification required. You require less sea time to be eligible for a MED 3 than you do a Master Class 5 so many choose to complete the MED 3 before completing their Master Class 5. Most vessels less than 24 metres in length do not carry seperate engineers and the master usually holds both deck and engineering qualification.
 
A MED 3 qualification will enable you to act as Engineer on a vessel <250kW up to 100nm from land or <500kW < 15nm from land.
 
To qualify for the Certificate of Comepetency you will need 6 months seatime which includes engineering duties.
 
To enrol in the MED 3 course click HERE
 
To gain the Certificate of Competency see additional information from NSW Maritime HERE

Master Class 5

Next Deck Certificate after the Coxswains to obtain is the Master Class 5. A Master 5 enables the holder to skipper a vessel up to 24 metres in length. Miles offshore will depend on the experience gained offshore whilst obtaining seatime. You require a total of  30 Months seatime to gain the qualification. This may include the time logged to gain a previous qualification such as Coxswain.

In Master 5 you will learn additional navigational skills, radar, stability, higher understanding of vessel handling and manoeuvring, watchkeeping, Safe working loads, seamanship.

Many Master fives work driving charter Vessels, small ferries, yachts, sailing ships, fishing vessels and workboats. 
 
To enrol in the Master 5 course click HERE
 
To gain the Certificate of Competency see additional information from NSW Maritime HERE
 

Marine Engine Driver (MED) 2

The next Engineering qualification to gain after MED 3 is the MED 2. For most vessels an MED 3 qualification will be adequate, however, if you are offshore and something happens to your engine or machinery it helps to know as much as possible about the engine and machinery on board. A MED 2 will also give you additional knowledge and skills to maintain your vessel. It is therefore recommended to go on and gain MED 2 even though most vessels you end up working on may only require a MED 3.
 
A MED 2 qualification will enable you to act as Engineer on a vessel  <500kW < 200 from land.
 
To qualify for the Certificate of Comepetency you will need 12 months seatime which includes engineering duties.
 
To enrol in the MED 2 course click HERE

To gain the Certificate of Competency see additional information from NSW Maritime HERE


 Master Class 4

After Master 5 the next certificate is Master 4. A master 4 enables the holder to be in charge of vessels up to 35 metres in length offshore or 80 metres inshore. You require 18 months of seatime after obtaining Master 5 as either watchkeeper or Master to be eligable for a Master 4 certificate.

The Master 4 syllabus builds on content in topics learnt in Master 5 plus additionally Cargo work is learnt.

Master Class 4 holders usually work on larger charter vessels, ferries, yachts, tug boats, work boats, Sailing ships, fishing vessels.
 
To enrol in the Master Class 4 course click HERE
 
To gain the Certificate of Competency see additional information from NSW Maritime HERE

Marine Engine Driver (MED) 1

The next Engineering qualification to gain after MED 2 is the MED 1. Although as stated previously, for most vessels an MED 3 qualification will be adequate, however, if you are offshore and something happens to your engine or machinery it helps to know as much as possible about the engine and machinery on board. A MED 1 will also give you additional knowledge and skills to maintain your vessel. It is therefore recommended to go on and gain MED 1 if you are able to gain the seatime and engineering experience to do so.
 
A MED 1 qualification will enable you to act as Engineer on a vessel  <1500kW < 200 from land.
 
To qualify for the Certificate of Comepetency you will need 24 months seatime which includes engineering duties.
 
To enrol in the MED 1 course click HERE
 
To gain the Certificate of Competency see additional information from NSW Maritime HERE

Master 500 T

The Master 500T is a Commonwealth qualification. In order to obtain this qualification it is necessary to have a large amount of offshore watchkeeping time on larger vessels and currently hold a Master Class four or Integrated Ratings Certificate (IR). To work towards this qualification make sure that you are getting the appropriate required sea time check the AMSA website. A Master 500 T will also enable the holder to sail as Mate on a vessel up to 3000 T.
 
The Deck Watchkeeper qualification allows the holder to sail as Deck Watchkeeper on unlimited vessel size and in unlimited areas.

The Master 500 T / Deck Watchkeepr is an international qualification. Holders commonly work in the offshore Oil rig Industry, Merchant ocean going vessels, large charter vessels,  Large 'White Boat' yacht Industry, tugs, Sailing ships etc.
 
OTEN has now received AMSA approval to run the Master 500T / Deck Watchkeeper course. This course will be delivered via a combination of distance education and face to face classes. More details on the structure of the course will be posted soon.
 
OTEN plans to deliver the Master 500T course commencing second semester 2010.
 
If you are thinking about enrolling in this course then we would really appreciate it if you could complete a very short survey on how we should structure the classroom attendance sessions in the course

Click here to take survey

To express your interest in this course please email us at oten.maritime@tafensw.edu.au and we will advise you as soon as we have more details.
 
 

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