Deck Officer - The officers from this branch primarily look after the ships navigation, loading/unloading of cargo and the general maintenance and administration of the ship. The officer joins in the rank of 3rd officer and is subsequently promoted to the rank of 2nd officer, Chief Officer and finally the Master of the ship.
Engineering Officer - These are the officer who are qualified in Marine Engineering. They join as 4th Engineer and step by step, get promoted to 3rd, 2nd and Chief Engineer, subject to their passing the competency exams and performance onboard the ship. The Engineering department in addition to looking after the main engines, are also responsible for associated equipment like power generation equipment, cargo pumps and air - conditioning etc.
Radio Officers - The Radio Officers looks after all the electronic communication and the related records. In addition, he also looks after electronic navigation aids such as radar, depth measuring devices, long range navigation equipment and global positioning system etc. However, this category of personnel has been almost phased out and their duties passed over to other deck officers. To be qualified as Radio Officer an individual need to do a two week GMDSS course.
Purser - He is an officer who looks after all the administrative work related to pay and perks of personnel onboard. However, this category of personnel has also been almost phased out and their duties passed over to other deck officers.
Ratings - There are three kinds of ratings - deck, engine room and catering. Deck rating is responsible for cargo handling, mooring/ unmooring and general maintenance of the ship. Similarly the engine room ratings assist the engineering officers in maintenance and operation of engines and associated equipment. The catering crew consists of Steward / Cooks and as the name suggests, they look after the catering and the house keeping of officers cabin.
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