It’s all hands on deck for a life at sea with marine apprenticeships

Marine apprenticeships provide an opportunity to work in a unique and ever changing environment. Working with people from all over the world and enjoying exciting experiences not offered by any other career.

The marine industry continues to play a key part in our lives. Huge swathes of international trade come and go by sea, while millions of passengers leave and arrive every year. Boats play a part in leisure too—from rowing to sailing.

The fleet of ships that transport goods and people over the seas is called the Merchant Navy. They include massive container ships and oil tankers, cruise ships and car ferries, and specialist craft that might, for example, support offshore oil rigs or lay undersea cables. There’s also the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, which keeps the Royal Navy’s warships supplied with food, fuel and ammunition around the world, and tugs, which assist with the movement of larger ships in and out of ports.

Work on board is broadly divided between two departments. The deck department is in charge of navigating and steering the ship, while the engineering department makes sure the engines and all the machinery are running smoothly. Either way, it’s a far cry from your typical office job; you could be at sea for months at a time, although you’ll get plenty of leave when you’re back on shore. Port operations are important too. Cargo has to be loaded and unloaded at ports, harbours and quays using various types of lifting equipment and vehicles.

Marine engineers are required to install, maintain, fault find and repair marine engines, ancillary systems and equipment onboard yachts, commercial craft and superyachts.

There are also apprenticeships available in able seafaring, boatbuilding, piloting and more.

To find your perfect marine apprenticeship, take a look at the options below.

The Apprenticeship Guide sector head

Able seafarer apprenticeship

Work as part of the navigation department on ships and other vessels An able seafarer works on deck aboard ships and vessels, acting as the watchkeepers of the crew. During

Boatbuilder apprenticeship

Construct boats such as yachts, workboats and superyachts A boatbuilder constructs yachts, workboats and superyachts and refits and repairs existing boats. During the boatbuilder apprenticeship, you’ll train to work with

Boatmaster apprenticeship

Ensure the safe operation and passage of a vessel As a boatmaster, you could be the captain of a single vessel tourist boat or you could be working for a

Harbour master apprenticeship

Enforce regulations and industry codes of practice in a port, harbour or marina A port can refer to ports, harbours, jetties and marinas, and they are used for a variety

Marina and boatyard operative apprenticeship

Deliver a variety of operations and services, including vessel handling Marinas and boatyards support the yachting and boating sectors, which are key areas of the leisure marine industry. Marinas include

Marine engineer apprenticeship

Design and oversee testing, installation, and repair of marine apparatus and equipment A marine engineer works on boats such as yachts, commercial craft and superyachts. During the marine engineer apprenticeship,

Marine pilot apprenticeship

Safely navigate vessels from sea to berth or berth to sea within the port’s jurisdiction With safety in mind, a marine pilot trains in the use of vessel navigational and

Marine surveyor apprenticeship

Independently verify the structure, machinery, equipment and systems of ships and vessels A marine surveyor independently verifies the structure, machinery, equipment and systems of ships and vessels, to ensure compliance

Marine technical superintendent apprenticeship

Responsible for the safe and economic operation of one or more vessels A marine technical superintendent is responsible for the safe and economic operation of one or more vessels. During

Maritime mechanic apprenticeship

Undertake testing, fault diagnosis and maintenance A maritime mechanic is employed in the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy. During the maritime mechanic apprenticeship, you’ll work from engineering drawings, data and

Officer of the watch (near coastal) apprenticeship

Take charge of a vessel’s safety, security and navigation during operations both at sea and when in harbour Working with a range of specialist vessels, from commercial to military, such

Port marine operations officer apprenticeship

Assist in ensuring the safe transit and handling of vessels into and out of the port The port marine operations team assists in ensuring the safe transit and handling of

Port operative apprenticeship

Carry out a range of tasks involving handling cargo, passengers or marine craft During the port operative apprenticeship you’ll play a key role in enabling businesses to deliver on time

Workboat crewmember apprenticeship

Serve on the crew of a wide variety of specialist vessels During the workboat crewmember apprenticeship, usually working alongside two to three personnel, you’ll work on a variety of specialist