What is the Rank of the Merchant Navy?

What is the Rank of the Merchant Navy - Merchant Navy Info - Blog

There are certain ranks in the merchant marine sector, and seafarers hold different ranks on board ships. This ranking system facilitates onboard business coordination and promotes appropriate management strategies. This is an area of ​​work that requires a very high level of professionalism and where negligence can have serious consequences, making it an economically viable model for shipboard work with shore-based support. A hierarchical structure is essential.

The merchant navy ranks system nomenclature is generally accepted by shipping companies and merchant vessels around the world. The associated ranks and responsibilities are generally similar across the industry, although there are some variations in the names and duties assigned to specific positions, depending on the shipping company and the naming scheme it follows. As mentioned above, everything is essentially the same.

Classification System

In general, the classification system for merchant ships is divided into the following main categories: 

1. Deck Department 

2. Engine Department 

3. Waiting Department 

A ship’s bridge is the hub of important safety equipment for navigation and watchkeeping. Of merchant ships. Due to the advanced and specialized nature of bridge equipment, it is essential that people have the necessary skills to control all equipment and safely operate the vessel.

Sailors in the deck section of a ship are responsible not only for directing the ship’s navigation but also for handling cargo and installing instruments on the ship’s deck. Similarly, seafarers who work in the engine room of a ship also fall under the engine department. These primarily include marine engineers and seafarers who are responsible for operating and maintaining ships’ engines.

The engine room houses the part of the ship that provides fuel/propulsion for the entire ship, and of course, certain skills are also important for engine room personnel. The third or catering department is responsible for preparing meals for crew and passengers and general cleaning.

The number of people employed in this department (which, like everything else, is the responsibility of the captain) varies from ship to ship, with passenger ships clearly employing far more catering staff than cargo ships in terms of numbers. I’m holding it. Maintenance required. Therefore, ships require a specific system of merchant navy ranks that allows for a specialized and formal distribution of tasks.

Merchant Marine Ranks  


The captain (or captain) of a ship is the highest authority on a ship and the highest rank attainable on board. He takes full responsibility and oversees all processes on board. The captain is always in command of a merchant ship, manages the orderly daily operations, and handles maritime legal matters. In the unlikely event that the captain is not on board, the first officer will be deemed to be temporarily responsible for onboard operations.

Deck Department  

  1. Chief officer/navigator  
  2. Second officer/navigator  
  3. Third officer/navigator  
  4. Deck officer cadet  

Deck Crew (Non-Navigator)  

  1. Boardsman (Crew Chief)  
  2. Welder/Mechanic (This is 
  3. AB 
  4. Ordinary Seaman (OS) 
  5. Intern OS 

First Officer / First Officer 

The first officer is the Occupies second place. Charges after the captain. He is a deck department executive who carries out the captain’s orders at the operational level (although his rank itself is more like a management position). He supervises the ship’s crew and is responsible for various deck operations, including daily operations on deck according to work plans and cargo operations performed in port.

The first officer is concerned with the safety and safe operation of the vessel and is responsible for the welfare of the crew and passengers (on passenger ships). Additionally, the chief officer is responsible for the proper functioning of the ship’s hull,  accommodation areas, cargo equipment, safety equipment, and fire protection equipment.

One of his most important duties is the safe navigation of the ship, which he sails as OOW from 04:00 to 08:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00. I am in charge of duty. Chief officers have a large amount of work to do in the port, so they are constantly monitoring cargo operations and do not usually guard the port.

Second Mate/Officer 

A second mate is a wartime officer responsible for the care and management of maps and publications on board. Additionally, as the ship’s medical officer, he is responsible for maintaining and managing all medical-related services on board.

As a military man, his navigational watch hours are from 12:00 to 16:00, while at sea, he is from 00:00 to 04:00. At the port, his watch is on from 12:00 to 18:00 and from 00:00 to 06:00.

Third Officer/Mate

Third Officer is responsible for all his LSAs and FFAs on board and is tasked with servicing and maintaining them on board. He also has to manage all port documents and deposit storage onboard the ship, which is available to the master.

As a military officer, his navigational watch hours are from 8 am. To 12 pm12 pm., and at sea from 8 pm8 pm. To 12 am and 12 am. At the port, his watch is from 6 am6 am to 12 pm12 pm and from 6 pm6 pm to 12 am to 12 am.

Deck Cadet 

Deck Cadet is an aspiring officer fresh out of the Institute. His only job is to learn, understand, and apply skills to become a qualified officer in the future.

As new candidates, cadets are assigned tasks to help them understand the ship and its operations step by step. This is used to prepare for the Certificate of Proficiency Examination for cadet responsibilities. OOW in the future. Apart from the deck work that they must master, a major part of a cadet’s training is assisting officers in conducting safe navigational watches.


The Bosun is responsible for the deck assessment department and works with the first officer to carry out planned operations on deck. 

Able Seamen

According to modern nautical terminology, a Bosun (AB) holds a Merchant Marine Certificate and is licensed. Assist the deck department.

Light Seaman

The light seaman post, designated  OS, serves the deck department of a ship. The operating system is usually busy with tasks such as sanding, scaling, cleaning the deck, and sometimes painting the superstructure on the main deck. General seafarers may carry out disassembly and maintenance, rope connections, wiring, rigging, etc. And repair work on deck.It is the duty of the seafarer to ensure the safe handling of cargo equipment and the loading or dismantling of cargo in accordance with the instructions of the boatswain/first mate. OS trainees are like cadets, except in the assessment area.

Engine Department

  1. Chief Engineer 
  2. Second Engineer/First Assistant Engineer 
  3. Third Engineer/Second Assistant Engineer ·
  4. Fourth Engineer/Third Assistant Engineer ·
  5. Fifth Engineer/ Mechanical Cadet 

Mechanical Room Evaluation 

  1. Fitter
  2. Motorman
  3. Wiper
  4. Fitter Trainee  / Wiper Trainee  

Chief Engineer 

The chief engineer is the person in charge of the ship’s technical department. The qualifications required for this position are commonly referred to as a “Chief Ticket.” Alternatively, he may be called a “chief” and is usually paid a salary similar to that of a captain, but all responsibility for a particular ship rests solely on the shoulders of the captain. The chief engineer instructs the operation and maintenance of the ship’s engine system and is in charge of the engine room department.

Second Engineer/Assistant First  Engineer 

He is involved in the day-to-day operations in the engine room and is responsible to the Chief Engineer. Duties include constantly monitoring the proper functioning of all engine systems within the engine room and assigning duties to other engine officers and crew members. The second engineer usually oversees the engine room during the day.

Third Engineer/Second Engineer 

The position following the Second Engineer is responsible for the maintenance of machinery ordered by the Chief Engineer and daily watch duty. He reports to the 2nd Engineer.

4th Engineer/3rd Assistant Engineer

This is the lowest rank in the engineering category. The fourth engineer is concerned about the proper functioning of the mechanical systems assigned to him and also takes over our oversight. He reports to his second engineer.

5th Engineer/Engineer Cadet 

The 5th Engineer is a 2nd Engine Officer Trainee who assists and learns by observing and performing engine room activities. He accompanied a senior officer (usually a second engineer) during guard duty. All engine room evaluations are reported to the 2nd engineer. Engineer candidates spend their time on board with the primary goal of learning the skills necessary to become a competent engineer in the future (including taking the “Certificate of Competency” exam required to obtain a Certified Engineer license)).

Catering Department 

  1. Head Chef 
  2. Apprentice Cook 
  3. Steward 

Head Chef 

The Head Chef is part of the ship’s catering department. He must regularly prepare meals for the crew and passengers. He is also in charge of the grocery store. The Chef will assist the Third Officer/Cadet in preparing all food requests that will be forwarded to Headquarters for onboard procurement. The head chef also inspects the equipment needed to keep the ship clean and prevent contamination in the galley area.

Apprentice Chef 

The Apprentice Chef supports the chef in preparing meals and managing supplies.


As the name suggests, administrators are assigned tasks such as cooking and serving meals on time, cleaning and maintaining executive quarters, and managing supplies inventory. You can It is also the administrator’s job to manage food accounts, plan menus, and document cost control issues. Please note that the galleys of passenger ships also include several other ranks.It is important to remember that shipboard hierarchy is largely the same across the industry but may vary depending on a particular company’s naming scheme and the type of vessel in question. Nevertheless, the above content provides the reader with a sound idea about the existing norms regarding hierarchy in all branches of the merchant navy.

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