A deck officer works on sea vessels, performing various duties related to the operation of the vessel. In the case of a merchant ship, for example, the deck officer is tasked with organizing the deck’s logistics and the transportation routes for the various types of cargo, as well as overseeing the loading/unloading procedures and ensuring everything goes without any slowdowns. Deck officers are additionally tasked with the general security of the ship, such as performing routine checks on the lifeboats, keeping safety ways of any obstructions, and observing for suspicious behavior (where applicable).
Becoming a deck officer doesn’t necessarily require joining the Navy, as the job can be applied to the private sector of sea transportation as well. Still, those looking for more prospective employment and aiming at the Navy should prepare themselves by signing up for the appropriate training courses. In the general case, a deck officer must be physically and mentally fit, alert and observant, and be able to follow instructions closely and to the point.
A deck officer can expect a salary of between $40,000 – $50,000, with the higher ranges being more common for Navy vessels. Some private companies are also willing to pay higher to their deck officers, though in the general case the salary doesn’t go above the $50,000 mark. The median for 2009 was $43,000, and there has been a high turnover rate recently, as working conditions have been reported to be degrading, with more demands and responsibilities being put on deck officers.