Duties of 3rd Officer in Merchant Navy

Most of you guys might have seen pictures of 3rd officers in the merchant navy on social media in their crisp white uniforms and shining golden applets keeping a watch on the navigation bridge. Some of you might even know 3rd officers from your family or around your neighborhood and you must be really fascinated looking at the lifestyle that they can afford at such a young age. However, all these things are just the tip of the iceberg most people do not know about the kind of work that they have to do onboard in order to earn such a lavish lifestyle. Onboarding the ship is not just about keeping bridge watches in smart uniforms, you have to sometimes get out on the deck in dirty boiler suits in the scorching sun and work. The life of a 3rd officer is so much more than what it seems from the outside. 

Most 3rd officers in the merchant navy are fairly young with their average age around 23 – 25 years, however, even at such a young age, they do not lack the maturity and discipline required to take charge of an enormous ship worth millions of dollars. It is not an easy journey to become a 3rd officer in the merchant navy. Cadets have to complete 12 – 18 months of seatime before being eligible to appear for the 2nd mates’ exams. During this period they are trained and tested in every aspect of shipping, be it bridge watchkeeping, cargo work, deck work, etc. 

In this blog, we write in detail about the duties of a 3rd officer in the merchant navy. 

 3rd Officer in the Merchant Navy   

General Duties of a 3rd Officer in the Merchant Navy   

  • One of the primary and most basic duties of a 3rd officer is to observe and learn the fundamentals of cargo operation from the Chief Officer and navigational duties from 2nd officer.
  • Must inform the Master/Captain about any concerns regarding their responsibilities.   
General Duties of a 3rd Officer in the Merchant Navy   

Navigation Duties of 3rd Officer

  • 3rd officers have to keep navigational watches as instructed by the Master/Captain, generally, they keep a watch from 0800 – 1200 hrs and 2000 – 2400 hrs. 
  • They have to assist in carrying out pre-arrival and pre-departure navigational tests. 
  • They also have to take care of the maintenance, storage, and labeling of all flags, signaling apparatus, and shapes.
  • They have to assist the 2nd officer in the correction and maintenance of charts and nautical publications. 
  • 3rd officers have to look after the maintenance and upkeep of meteorological instruments and reports.   
Maintenance Duties of 3rd Officer

Maintenance Duties of 3rd Officer

  • 3rd officers need to maintain and inspect all Life Saving Appliances (LSA) and Fire Fighting Appliances (FFA) on deck under the chief officer’s supervision. 
  • They have to keep the LSA and FFA maintenance records.
  • 3rd officers need to maintain a spare parts inventory of all LSA and FFA onboard and have to prepare the requisitions as required.
  • They have to inform about any shore inspection or service due for all LSA and FFA onboard. 
  • 3rd officers have to maintain and correctly place all the muster lists and the LSA/FFA training manuals.
  • They need to assist the 3rd engineer with any issues found in the engine room LSA/FFA. 
Cargo, Ballast, and Deck Work of 3rd officer in the Merchant Navy

Cargo, Ballast, and Deck Work of 3rd officer in the Merchant Navy

  • 3rd officers have to assist the chief officer in cargo and ballast operations.
  • They have to maintain port watches as decided by the Master/Captain and Chief officer.
  • They have to assist in mooring/unmooring operations. 
          Administration And Recordkeeping Duties of 3rd officer

          Administration And Recordkeeping Duties of 3rd officer

  • 3rd officers have to prepare schedules and maintain records of drills and training, under the Chief officer’s guidance.
  • They need to screen safety videos as per the schedule.
  • They also need to schedule the ship’s staff for the completion of computer-based training programs. 
  • 3rd officers have to carry out safety familiarization of new joiners, including supernumeraries under the Chief officer’s guidance. 
  • They have to prepare the port papers.
  • They need to maintain the inventory of bonded stores. 
  • They have to prepare monthly bond accounts.
  • 3rd officers have to assist 2nd officer with medical responsibilities. 
  • They need to maintain and update safety display screens in accommodation.
  • They need to look after navigation-related posters and notices on the bridge. 
 Salary of 3rd officer in Merchant Navy 

 Salary of 3rd officer in Merchant Navy 

3rd officers get paid quite high salaries in US Dollars and they rightfully earn every penny of it onboard. 3rd Officers are the junior most officers in the deck department hence their salary is less compared to other senior deck officers.

On average 3rd officers sailing in different types of vessels earn a monthly salary in the range of 2500$ – 4200$. Their salary also depends on the shipping company that they are working with. Above we have mentioned an average figure that most 3rd officers sailing in different shipping companies make on a monthly basis.

Becoming a 3rd officer in the merchant navy is not an easy task, it’s a job position that demands extreme hard work, determination, and discipline. Most people see these young officers living lavishly while they are at home on a vacation but none can see the work that they put on board in order to earn that lifestyle. 

Disclaimer :- The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Merchant Navy Decoded. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided and disclaim any responsibility for it. Data and visuals used are sourced from publicly available information and may not be authenticated by any regulatory body. Reviews and comments appearing on our blogs represent the opinions of individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of Merchant Navy Decoded. We are not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on these reviews or comments.

Reproduction, copying, sharing, or use of the article or images in any form is strictly prohibited without prior permission from both the author and Merchant Navy Decoded.

4.5 6 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Beautifully and aptly described about a 3rd officer onboard ship and telling the truth about the lifestyle of a seafarer and the hardships involved in becoming one , hope people who are coming in merchant navy see these kind of blogs and know the reality as everyone seems to be just looking at photos of officers in uniform and photos of shire leave and wonder how beautiful and adventurous life a seafarer lives – which is true indeed but the cost of working all everyday the moment he sign-on till the time he finally gets to go home – no holiday or no days how and you are not equally but as responsible as other officers onboard when it comes to upkeep and maintenance of shipboard equipment’s and records including firework of yours and the senior officers – not to forget he is responsible to prepare port papers and assist Master in almost everything he does on a day to day basics – if there is no Cadet onboard then 3rd officer fills the shoes of a cadet too – the technical jobs a cadet does are done by 3rd officer eventually along which his own duties and responsibilities. Rightly said that we earn every penny to live such a lavish life – that too people around a seafarer ( wife , children, parents , girlfriend, siblings, relatives ) get to live a lavish life too , just the perks of being associated to a seafarer. I call seafarers modern sages and unsung heroes and pray for every seafarer working at sea.

[…] Fire hydrants […]