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One of the most demanding, but also most rewarding positions on board of a ship is being a Chief Officer. The Chief Officer is the second in command, after the ship’s Master. He is among the four officers holding a managerial position on board and he reports directly to the captain.

Ships cannot be solely run by deck officers or engineers. The operation and management of a ship require team work. The engine room has the task to ensure that a ship’s machinery runs efficiently, without any disruptions, while the deck officers perform navigational and other tasks, to make that the ship’s operations are running effectively.

A Chief Officer has the supervision over the crew and coordinates properly working routines among everybody on board. The safety of the ship and its crew is his primary responsibility. Further, cargo operations, such as planning, loading, and unloading of cargo in a port form another main part of the duties of the Chief Officer.

- Vessel navigation watch.

- Overseeing all cargo operations in the port, such as cargo planning, loading and unloading.

- Maintaining cargo gears and cargo transported into the ship.

- Ensure that the ship is stable at all times.

- Being  responsible for the fire and lifesaving equipment on board of the ship, ready for use and in an excellent condition.

- Several administrative tasks, including the scheduling and distribution of work to the crew.

- Being well-informed on the topic of conflict management.

- The accommodation and deck garbage management.

- Ensuring that all crew members comply with the rules of conduct, such as STCW, MARPOL and SOLAS

- Ensuring the ship and crew is compliant with all necessary codes such as ISPS code.

- Training in the conventions, and administrating codes and regulations for the crew members.

- The welfare and safety of the crew and the deck.

- All paper work for shore management such as requisitions, cost control records, overtime, and supplies are duties of the chief officer.

The requirements for the position of a CRO chief officer include extensive experience working on a subordinate position in the maritime industry. Maritime qualifications and all STCW certifications are a must for the position, due to the high demands that come with this job.

Any candidate for this position must also demonstrate fluency in various foreign languages considering ships tour different destinations. Other job requirements for a chief officer are: advanced fire fighting skills, first aid skills, medical skills, training in security duties and proficiency in survival skills and sea rescue operations.

The salary offered for CSO chief officer jobs is in the range of US $5000-8000 per month. This salary range is not fixed, all depends on the recruiting company. Federal governments, militaries, or universities may pay significantly less than the private sector but they offer more benefits to employees. Along with the salaries, employees are enjoying a lot of overtime allowances.

Those working as CIO chief officers have more vacation than people working in other industries. The average time off is two weeks for every thirty working days. Apart from these holidays and good payments, chief officers will get to visit faraway or exoctic destinations.

Chief officer positions are offered worldwide by governments, NGOs, and private companies. They are advertised online through websites or career pages. Some of the companies that are hiring CSO chief officers are among others: Maersk Sealand, Crowley Maritime, Foss, Hapag-Lloyd.