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Pay, Conditions and Benefits - Deck Cadets

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  • Pay, Conditions and Benefits - Deck Cadets

    I?ve placed this thread in the anonymous section in the hope of eliciting some genuine responses from current employees. I am interested in working in the merchant navy in particular as a desk officer cadet. I?m faced with the prospect of choosing what companies to apply for ? Clyde Marine Training has caught my eye due to the large and varied number of companies that sponsor via them.

    Whilst the CMT website provides a brief overview of each company it?s rather difficult to judge the working practices and conditions of these companies. To this end I was hoping that some of you could give me some advice on the good (or bad) companies to work for.

    The first consideration I had was the prospects of pay and employment after completing a cadetship and it appears from reading this forum that deep sea tankers and the likes offer the best prospects in this respect is this correct? That being said money really isn?t everything and a significant concern for me is the quality of the ships that you will be working on and the more importantly the conditions afforded to you i.e. internet, satellite phones, tv?s, food quality etc. I know this may appear trivial but I can imagine that if you?re staying on a ship for 4 months at a time the little things really do matter! Finally one of the main reasons for me joining was to travel and see at bit of the world. It seems however that with some companies? shore leave can be limited whilst at sea. Could you advise what to expect in terms of shore leave and again what companies or ships provide the most generous opportunities for shore leave abroad? I should add that time not expecting days on end holidaying whilst at sea but it would be nice to get off the boat every now and then! Sorry for the rather long winded comment but before committing myself to anything I feel it?s prudent to get a proper overview of both the industry and individual companies and the best way to do that is by speaking to the folks already working there.

  • #2
    Pay: As a cadet it varies by training company but is all within the same ballpark per month (with 1 or 2 exceptions). Some may appear to pay less, but in there cases they usually pay for your accommodation at college. Thus it pretty much works out the same.

    As a general rule, at junior level; The longer you spend at sea at one go = the higher paid you will be. Thus you can expect that a 3rd mate on an oil tanker doing a 4 month contact with 3 weeks at sea crossing the pacific, will be paid more than someone spending 3 months onboard a cruise ship thats in port every day.

    A lot of companies only pay for time onboard - thus you can technically arrange your holidays to suit yourself - if you want to do 4 months on, 4 off, you normally can providing you fit in with rotations. If your paid an annual salary, thus paid while not onboard, you're pretty much restricted to the rotation pattern agreed.

    Training: You follow the same training program regardless of ship type / company. This means if your on a cruise ship - your still required to do cargo work - if your on a tanker, you're still required to know about dry and bulk cargo too.

    Prospects: A lot of companies it is fair to say do not 'employ' cadets on completion of the training program - even those that say they "intend to" do not guarantee it as they don't know what the situation is going to be like 3 years down the line - this is no big deal really, you can apply elsewhere.

    The company you do your cadet ship with / types of ship you serve on as a cadet don't really make a difference to what part of the industry you eventually decide to goto once qualifying. Theres the obvious advantage of doing your cadetship on the type of ship you want to work on, in that you will at least know roughly what to expect / whats going on when you turn up as a newly qualified officer - but every company is different anyway, so its not a major deal. Essentially I am saying at the OOW level its fairly easy to change ship types.

    Shore Leave: Most commercial ports are not located in particularly nice or accessible areas. In some locations you also won't be permitted ashore by the immigration / port authorities. Also given that for most ships you're only alongside for a few hours (although you might spend days drifting or at anchor off the port) during which time your loading / offloading cargo and will be very busy. The exception being cruise ships who spend 8 - 10 hours in port pretty much every day and usually in touristy places - but again, you're there to work, so won't be getting off in every port!
    ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

    ? Mark Twain
    myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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    • #3
      Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service

      Not as good as it used to be (even the flashy new website is ****e), but probably still the best cadetship in terms of three and a half of the four headings Alistair lists above.

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