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Marine & Nautical Services

Common careers include:

Marine and nautical employees mainly work offshore on floating drilling and production facilities, supply and standby vessels, seismic and chase vessels, petroleum product carriers and tankers, and tugs. These positions are responsible for the transportation of passengers and materials, the stabilization of water-based units and vessels, and the operations, inspection, maintenance and repair of underwater drilling and production facilities.

A career in marine and nautical services might be for you if you have the following skills, interests and abilities:

  • Perform well in a working environment that is prone to rough seas, inclement weather and storms.
  • Willing to work with hazardous materials and dangerous equipment.
  • Can handle physical exertion and exposure to heights.
  • Comfortable with shift work, long hours and changes in routine.
  • Can perform in-water exercises, for example, exit from and entry into water.
  • Comfortable with helicopter and boat travel and possible basket transfer.
  • Able to work in confined, close quarters with limited privacy.
  • Has a strong sense of camaraderie and can rely on teamwork to get the job done.
  • Capable of working away from home for prolonged periods, sometimes up to three weeks.
  • Like extended periods of time-off.


Two career streams exist for marine and nautical services: the first, experience-based and the second, academic-based. Mobility is based upon successful completion of training courses and exams specified by Transport Canada. Formal post-secondary training requirements may not apply if an individual has the necessary related marine engineering experience and is certified by Transport Canada's progressive level of certification.

Grade of certification Competencies
Marine Engineer First Class Act as a chief engineer in any ship of any power on any voyage.
Marine Engineer Second Class Act as a second engineer in a ship of any power on any voyage, or as a chief engineer in a ship of moderate power on any voyage.
Marine Engineer Third Class Act as a watch-keeping engineer in any ship of any power on any voyage. In addition, the individual will be able to act as a chief engineer on ships sailing with limited power on certain voyages.
Marine Engineer Fourth Class Act as a watch-keeping engineer in a ship of any power on any voyage

Here are some of the other requirements for specific occupations:

Ballast control operator
  • 12 weeks of on-the-job training and experience as an entry level trainee.
Commercial marine diver
  • Graduation from an accredited commercial dive school.
  • Certification from the Canadian Diver Certification Board.
  • Some relevant commercial diving experience.
  • CPR training.
  • Diving medical authorization from an approved hyperbaric physician.
Dynamic positioning operator
  • Possession of a Second Mates Ticket.
  • Three to five years of related experience in offshore drilling operations.
Radio operator
  • Diploma or certificate in Wireless Telecommunication Technology, Emergency Service Telecommunications or related education.
ROV pilot and operator
  • One to two years of formal electrical/electronic coursework coupled with approximately three or more years of marine-related experience.
Marine seismic observer
  • Some land or sea seismic crew experience as a shooter, blaster and/or recorder.

Career paths

Typically, entry-level positions that may lead to deck officer and engineering officer careers are marine positions such as deckhands, engine room assistants and able seamen.

At work

Offshore operations are usually in remote locations and may require extended periods of time away from home. Shift or rotational work may mean two weeks on, followed by one week of time-off.

Most of the newer vessels offer air conditioning, soundproofing and pleasant crew quarters. On platforms, the food is generally very good. Larger vessels and platforms provide television, game rooms, comfortable sleeping quarters and access to computers, Internet and e-mail.

Safety-sensitive positions have strict requirements related to being drug and alcohol free.

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