Typically, there are three departments on a Bulk Carrier; the Deck, the Engine, and the Steward department. Groups of people working in each department have certain stipulations to adhere to. As compared to other vessels, the seafarers’ duties differ in complexity on Bulk Carrier ships which translates to their varying remunerations.
The deck crew is responsible for watch-keeping, vessel navigation, safeguarding the ship’s hull, the cargo, the gear, and the accommodation.
The Master of the ship remains on the deck but bears the responsibility to ensure the effective operation and management of the entire crew. He also supervises the legal compliances of the ship. Years of experience in the same vessel type as a Chief Officer is mandatory to obtain the post of the Captain.
The Chief Officer is next in rank to the Master and ensures safe implementation of the captain’s orders. The Second Officer supervises the navigation details and the Third Officer is responsible for the Ship’s and crew’s safety. To climb up to the higher ranks, the lower-ranked officers must have years of experience learning under their senior officers.
Lower-graded positions of the Boatswain, the AB, and the OS in respective high-to-low orders are collectively to keep the deck clean, take patrols, help the Officers, steer the vessel, moor, unmoor, and examine equipment. The Boatswain supervises the seamen and holds an AB certificate. The Able Seamen is a promoted rank from Ordinary Seamen, which requires specific “sea” training and courses.
Compared to other general cargo ships and multipurpose vessels, on average, the deck crew earns relatively better on Bulk Carrier with a gap of around $700/month in every rank.
The engine department crew is responsible to operate, maintain, and repair the engine and other systems of the ship. Almost an equal to the Master, the Chief Engineer delegates tasks in the engine department and ensures optimal functioning. A Chief Engineer earns almost the same wage as the Captain of the ship.
The Second Engineer reports to the Chief Engineer and assists him in the implementation of the duties. The Third and Fourth Engineers are an operational level job, highly competitive for fresh graduates, and have basic duties and salaries until they train to reach higher ranks.
The Electrical Engineer Officer (ETO) supervises the maintenance and functioning of the electrical systems and machinery. He reports to the First and Second Engineer and sits at the next-in rank to them.
The Oiler is in charge to clean, lubricate, and assist the engine officers in the maintenance of the Ship’s machinery. The Fitter/Welder is responsible to fit the engine and other machinery around the department. A high school certificate and basic competency in welding or carpentry are required.
The ETO and the Oiler on Bulk Carrier have the best allowances compared to the other vessels.
The Chief Steward is the supervisor of the department who oversees inventory and instructs everyone on their duties. Chief Cook prepares the meal and Steward’s Assistant is an entry-level position for serving and general cleaning.
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This table is compiled using references from online job-postings, articles, and charts – calculated as average monthly wages for each rank.
|Department||Rank||Average Salary / Month|
|Deck||Captain / Master||$ 10,500|
|Deck||Chief Officer||$ 7,750|
|Deck||Third Officer||$ 2,900|
|Engine||Fourth Engineer (Junior)||$2,700|
|Engine||Electrical Officer (ETO)||$4,800|
|Steward||Steward Assistant (Messman)||$1,000|