Seafarer's professions and ranks
Seafarers hold a variety of professions and ranks, and each of these roles carries unique responsibilities which are integral to the successful operation of a seafaring vessel. A ship's bridge, filled with sophisticated equipment, requires skills differing from those used on the deck, which houses berthing and cargo gear, which requires skills different from those used in a ship's engine room, and so on.
The following is only a partial listing of professions and ranks. Ship operators have understandably employed a wide variety of positions, given the vast array of technologies, missions, and circumstances that ships have been subjected to over the years. Usually, seafarers work on board a ship between three and six years. Afterwards they are well prepared for working in the European maritime industry ashore. A ship's crew can generally be divided into four main categories: the deck department, the engineering department, the steward's department, and other. Generally, there are some differences between naval and civilian seafarers. One of them is that the seafarers on merchant vessels are usually not of the same nationality, so that special cross-cultural training is required, especially with regard to a lingua franca. Moreover, administrative work has increased considerably on board, partly as an effect of increased focus on safety and security. A study shows that due to this development certain skills are missing and some are desired, so that a new degree of flexibility and job sharing has arisen, as the workload of each crew member also increases.