What Able Seaman does on a Ship?

Shipping is not an easy task as if you come across unpredictable weathers which makes your task more challenging. But the valuable effort and teamwork of trained sailors onboard help to reach the destination safely. Like in other fields, the maritime sector also has different hierarchy levels to manage the work in an efficient manner. Whether you are working on a cruise ship or cargo ship, you will find the hierarchy in every department. You must be wondering what able seaman does on a ship and how you can achieve this position on a merchant ship.

In the Maritime sector, the work responsibilities are divided among three different sections such as Deck, Engine and Steward Department. Individuals working in the Deck Department are responsible for watch keeping and navigation work, cargo management etc. People in this department are categorized among different ranks from Trainee to Ship Captain. Normally, there are Deck Officers who are responsible to manage the day to day operations in an organized way who are assisted by Bosun, Able Seaman, and Ordinary Seaman.

An Able Seaman also recognized as an Able Bodied Seaman is a marine rating of the Deck Department on a Merchant ship. An individual who has more than two years of work experience at sea is termed as an able seaman. Besides this, to become eligible to be promoted to able seaman, an ordinary seaman needs to clear some exams apart from acquiring experience at sea.

Someone who is working in the Deck Department as an able seaman is likely to work for long hours in comparison to other seafarers. The primary responsibility of an able seaman includes watch keeping, ship steering apart from being an expert to manage rough weather and other emergency situations. They are required to perform various tasks according to the work requirements of the ship. Moreover, an able seaman is also required to assist in loading and unloading of the cargo and also help in anchoring the ship.

Having two years of experience as an ordinary seaman makes an individual eligible to work as an able seaman but this is not the only qualification criteria for the profile. To work in the Shipping Industry as an able seaman, the candidate should have atleast 18 years of age and must clear qualification exams and physical tests such as personal survival techniques, elementary first aid, firefighting techniques, personal safety etc.

To know about Merchant Navy courses and career options contact Varren Maritime Academy.