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Nautical Training

Your Place in the World

Camosun's Nautical Training will set you on the right path for your future studies or work.

Merchant seafaring is a civilian occupation. There are many opportunities for socializing, both on board ship and during visits to foreign ports. Life on board ship can be very cosmopolitan, with many different nationalities of seafarer working together. Joining the shipping industry is actually like belonging to an international club.

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The satisfaction of doing something useful

Today’s competitive world sometimes makes it difficult to fully understand the value of most jobs. Shipping, however, is key to the global economy, responsible for carrying over 90% of the world’s trade. Without shipping the world economy would collapse. It would be impossible to transport the vast quantities of food, raw materials and manufactured products the world currently takes for granted.

People working at sea have the satisfaction of knowing that shipping is also the safest and most environmentally friendly form of commercial transportation, and that they are playing a vital role in ensuring efficient global trade.

Career flexibility and security

Shipping is an ideal occupation for individuals seeking excitement, but who also want the option of a traditional career to move into.

A career in shipping can combine security of employment with flexibility and opportunity. Merchant ships’ officers hold internationally recognized qualifications meeting standards agreed to by the United Nations. Many seafarers work for shipping companies based in the countries where they live, and many officers work for the thousands of international shipping companies located around the world, on ships flying the flag of most countries. After a few years experience at sea, employment is also available in professional jobs servicing the shipping industry – e.g. shipping company management, marine surveying, maritime law and insurance, working as a broker finding cargoes for ships, or even buying and selling ships!

Skills and experience gained at sea are readily transferable to other industries outside merchant shipping.

Long holidays

In most jobs, it is normally only possible to take a maximum of two or three weeks holiday at one time once a year, and total annual holidays are of course far less than you may be used to at college or school. In shipping, however, seafarers generally enjoy very generous leave or holiday periods (with the cost of return airline flights paid for by the company as an international legal requirement). Exact terms will vary, but on "short sea" trades a system of one month working followed by one month paid holiday is often applied. On intercontinental or "deep sea" trades, leave periods of several months' duration are not uncommon.

So while seafarers are inevitably away from home for long periods, they also enjoy flexibility to pursue other interests at home, or spend extended periods of time with their families.


Ships' officers must be qualified in the competence standards required by the UN International Maritime Organization's STCW Convention (the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers). Seafarers are only permitted to work on internationally trading ships if issued with STCW certificates in either the deck or engine departments. These qualifications are recognized internationally.

In order to be issued with an STCW certificate, officers must normally complete a year or more of on board training at sea, in addition to their shore-based education and training in college. Depending on the national system, most newly qualified officers have typically had between 3 and 4 years training - including on board training which may occur at the end of a shore-based course or taken at intervals in between shore-based courses.

Contact Us
Camosun College Lansdowne
3100 Foul Bay Rd
Victoria BC V8P 5J2
Camosun College Interurban
4461 Interurban Rd
Victoria BC V9E 2C1
  • 250–370–3000
  • 1–877–554–7555 (toll-free)

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