Master mariner


A master mariner or captain is the highest-ranking officer on a vessel, responsible for the overall operation of the vessel. This includes navigation, safety procedures, watchkeeping, communications, crew management and cargo operations.

Lifecycle stages

Installation, operations and maintenance.

Typical employer

EPCI contractor and subcontractor.

Place of work

On a vessel. This will range from the port to the wind farm site.

Typical working pattern


Education, training and qualifications

Minimum NFQ level 7 in relevant fields such as marine transportation and maritime studies is required. Technical training or certification such as the Master Unlimited Certificate of Competency (CoC) or similar. Experience (5 years) in ship management as a captain or similar.

They are expected to have completed relevant officer licence training at various levels, such as second officer, first mate and chief officer and undergo periodic training for certification renewals.

For offshore work, the following is required:

  • Seafarers Offshore Medical
  • Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), and
  • Global Wind Organisation Basic Safety Training.

Typical entry position & transferable sectors

Entry roles can include ship officers and ship executives.

Highly transferable from related maritime industries, such as oil and gas, naval and defence or shipping and transport.

Career possibilities

A master mariner is the highest position to hold as a captain. Other career possibilities could be specialisms in the maritime industries such as ship operations, management, and maritime training.

Full time salary estimate

€45,000 (ships officers) -€150,000 (master mariner) per year, depending on experience.