"I get to see the world as part of my work, and it gives me a freedom that no other educations or jobs can offer."
Master mariner and marine engineer in one
I study to become a Dual Officer at SIMAC in Svendborg. When I finish this semester, I am officially a master mariner and marine engineer.
I chose the program because it allows me to work with something I find exciting. I have always loved to travel, and I wanted to go out and experience the world. A job at sea allows me to do this. Besides, I knew from my father, who works in the oil industry, that there is always a need for people with a background in marine engineering.
“In the beginning I was unsure whether I really was interested enough in the technical stuff. But I soon found out that the more I learned the more exciting it became. Now, I’m completely certain that this was the right choice for me.”
The technical challenges only get more exciting with time
I studied the STX course, linguistic line, so I didn’t have a technical background. Fortunately the course starts at a level where everyone can participate. I have subsequently found a huge interest in technical work.
I’m the type who never saw the purpose in analysing a Hans Christian Andersen text. So it’s super cool for me, when I’m able to see the link between the subjects I’m taught in the classroom and the work I will be doing when I'm done. Sometimes we’re taught something in a course, and then we try it out in real life in the school's laboratory or in a simulator. That way you quickly find that there is an objective with the learning.
Another great thing about the program is that it offers a 12-months internship on a ship. Here you get to come out and be trained in the job that you will to do as a graduate and with a huge responsibility right from the beginning.
“In the harbour, the work consists of verifying that the many containers are positioned correctly and sufficiently secured. It’s not always easy to keep track of all the container cranes, when you’re operating the world's largest ship.”
Not two days are alike for a dual officer
As marine engineer you usually work from 8am to 5pm. The day typically begins with a morning briefing where the day’s tasks are reviewed and delegated. Then you start your tasks, and the marine engineer on duty does his round in the engine room. During the round it’s your job to make sure that everything runs as expected, and to look for any errors.
Your daily tasks typically include maintenance of centrifuges, boilers, pumps, generators, coolers etc. If an alarm occurs, it's up to the marine engineer on duty to investigate the alarm. When the ship is in port, it’s possible to go out and explore the port city once the workday is over.
As a master mariner on the bridge, you typically work 2 shifts of 4 hours, with 8 hours in between. As a recent graduate, you will typically be assigned duties from 8am to noon and 8pm to midnight. What you are doing in your spare time is entirely up to you. When in port, the chief officer is off duty and the two remaining marine masters take turns to be on duty every 6 hours. When the ship is at sea, it is your job to navigate the ship safely to its next destination.
My best advice
Just do it and apply! I have talked with many young people who unfortunately are a little reluctant to start the study programme because they don’t know enough about it, or about the job and life at sea. But when I talk to them again at school after they have applied and have some experience with the programme, they are always happy with their choice.