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How to Become as a Ship Caption.

If you are a merchant ship Caption (Also called as Master), you will be paid normally around US$ 72,000 to US$ 120,000 per year. The ship caption job is like a king looking after a modern day village, while a cruise ship captain is seen as a superstar. You have many assistants, although you are responsible for the safety of the vessel, cargo and the welfare of the crew onboard. Today's vessels are equipped with latest navigation and communication equipments for easy navigation. As a ship master you must know how to handle and operate them perfectly and you must know how to navigate the vessel with out them also, in case if they fail.

To become as ship captain, you should have passed higher education and must enroll in maritime colleges or universities. After studying and learning the trade should pass the required examinations and work through years from bottom level as Ship's cadet officer, 3rd officer, 2nd officer, Chief Officer and then can become as Captain, if had passed all the required examinations after having the required sailing experience at each level.

After completing your high school with Mathematics, Physics and English you can enroll in any Maritime Academy or Colleges. If you have passed other subjects in your high School level also can enter this studies, but it will be little difficult for you as you have many subjects based on math's and physics. English is compulsory as it's the International communication language.

Once you enter the training Institute you will be taught about the basics of the sailing and will get training in fire fighting, first aid, Survival at sea and Personal Safety and responsibilities and will be awarded with four separate certificates. Along with these certificates you will apply for your National Seaman Book. In some countries you need to obtain your national passport too. After completing six month or one year you will be allowed to work on board as a deck cadet for one year. This period you will be paid a low rank crew salary each month. The salary will be normally US$ 550 to US$ 1200 depending on which country ship you are working.

After this period with this certificate and experience you study one year to take exam for the 3rd officer, which are conducted by the Ministry Of Transport. You will have a written and oral examination. Once you pass this you will get a 3rd officer license. With this one you can go to the sea again and work as Third Officer. This rank gives you all the facilities for an officer recommended by the Goats.

There after you will go again to the Maritime Institutes and have to study for the 2nd officer course, like wise after certificate and work experience you will pass examinations for chief officer and Master. There after you can work as master on board vessels, if you can find jobs.

When you are becoming as an officer you must change your current short courses of firefighting and others to advanced certificates. As officers you have to work 8 hours and 4 hours over time if required in a period of within 24 hours. But as a master you don't have a working time but whenever requested you have to carry your duties. You can further study to become Master to serve onboard chemical, oil, Gas, and many more types which are paid more salary than the normal cargo ships. As a Ship master you can keep your family members on board if they wish.


Vels Academy of Maritime Education & Training (VAMET)
Velan Nagar,
P.V.Vaithiyalingam Road
Chennai 600117,

Chennai School of Ship Management
No.63,Perambur High Road
Chennai - 600 012,

Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Nautical Engineering college.


Australian Maritime College
P O Box 986,
Launceston TAS 7250,


Schiller International University
London Campus,
Royal Waterloo House,
51– 55 Waterloo Road,
London SE1 8TX,
United Kingdom.

Sri Lanka

University of Moratuwa.

Mahapola training institute
Sri Lanka ports authority,

Technician training institute,

Colombo international nautical & engineering college
CINEC maritime campus,

Mercantile seamen training institute

Lanka academy of technological studies

Two out of the above six training establishments provide on board training for Officer.

Cadets in order to enable the Cadets to appear for the C.O.C. Examinations conducted by the administration.

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