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Preparing for a career at sea

Where every day is different.

To help him prepare for a career at sea, Charles Barnett is studying the Bachelor of Applied Science (Nautical Science) at our Australian Maritime College. 

My first real insight into the Australian Maritime College would have to be from watching Hook, Line and Sinker on TV as a kid. The segments in each episode are why I became interested in the AMC and the unique careers available after studying there.”

Originally from Launceston, Charles’ first job was far from the sea, working as a spud digger during school holidays. He first got on the water when he started scallop fishing as a deck hand. Later, worked on a boat transporting general freight and livestock to and from Flinders Island.

Charles wanted to take his career further. Five months after passing his pre-sea training, a cadetship became available with CSL Australia (a major supplier of shipping services to the construction and building industries). 

I applied for the job at CSL and was successful in getting it. I'm now completing the sea time phase of my training onboard CSL's ships. I first got in touch with CSL through the AMC careers Fair.

Working as a CSL Australia deck cadet, Charles’ usual day onboard consists of four hours working with the Bosun. He assists with maintenance such as chipping, painting, greasing, and deck washing. He then spends four hours on the bridge with the duty mate, learning the skills to be a watch keeping officer. 

What I enjoy most is the amazing sights you see every day, from watching dozens of whales jumping around the ship in the Great Barrier Reef to sailing through Sydney Harbour and past the Opera house. Every day is different, so it never gets boring.

A cadetship is required to complete the sea-time phases of his studies. It’s also required to gain seagoing hours aboard CSL’s vessels. At the end of his experience, Charles will have the qualifications and sea time to become a deck officer.

Charles says that his previous experience working on coastal boats was a big factor in being chosen for this cadetship.

The Bachelor of Applied Science (Nautical Science) will prepare Charles for a career as a Navigation Deck Officer. It will give him the skills to safely manage and operate any type of vessel in the merchant fleet.

My advice is to try and get as much experience as possible working coastal. Not only does it look good in the application, it helps during your initial study and you can expand on the knowledge you already have.

Are you interested in a career in ocean seafaring? Learn more.