What’s it like working as a Ship Manager? Operating ships is a highly specialised role, which today is more commonly performed by third party Ship Managers than the Ship Owner itself. Ship Managers do not generally own ships; instead they agree a contract with Ship Owners to efficiently operate, manage and maintain their fleet.
What kind of work can I do? The contract between the Ship Manager and Ship Owner will outline the management demands, which could range from simply providing a crew for the ship, through to full management which will include commercial operations, organising insurance, purchasing stores, technical maintenance, as well as crewing the ships. Ship Managers will also be expected to provide Ship Owners with regular financial and technical reports on the ships under management. The Ship Managers fee will vary according to the level of management the Ship Owner requests. Where can I work? Third party Ship Management companies operate around the world, although there is a heavy concentration in Cyprus. Competition between Ship Management companies is fierce, which encourages innovation and provides career opportunities for hard-working Ship Managers. Usually, Ship Managers have a Class 1 Engineer certificate or equivalent technical qualification and have sailed as a Chief Engineer or Master of seagoing ships. Previous shore-based employment is also often requested, to prove good financial management skills, and confidence in writing reports and in the use of computers. Taking care of the ships that cross the oceans is a specialist career that offers good career prospects for able individuals.
How big is this sector? The operation of ships has become heavily regulated and that trend is set to continue. This bodes well for demand for Ship Managers, who can offer the advantages of purchasing power and expert knowledge for Ship Owners that do not have the capacity in house. Shipping services have also become more specialised, allowing Ship Managers to offer cost effective expertise in niche markets.