basic training for seaman ranks and duties

What Are The Different Kinds of Seafarer Ranks & Duties?

basic seaman training ctsi philippines

Want to become a seaman? That’s great! There’s tons of work that you can do inside the ship. With the right courses (like doing basic training for a seaman) and the necessary paperwork, you’ll be able to reach your goal in no time.

While you’re at it, it’s good to get familiar with the roles that exist inside sailing ships. Read our quick guide below to know which is which!

Deck Department


This role is for the highest commanding person on the ship. They have power over all ranks, can rightfully dismiss any crew member under reasonable circumstances and other leadership tasks.

Chief Mate/First Mate

This role is the second-in-command and responds to the Captain. He/she also handles the cargo operations and assumes command of the ship in the absence of a Captain.

Second Mate

This role is mainly in charge of the ship’s navigation. A Second Mate updates the charts makes passage plans and handles all other aspects of ship navigation.

Third Mate

This role mainly focuses on ship safety by inspecting and maintaining life-saving and fire-fighting equipment. A third mate is responsible for drilling operations and emergencies.

Deck Cadet

This role is for Navigational Officer trainees who are currently doing sea time and taking exams to get an OICNW certification.


The bosun is the highest position for unlicensed roles (rating) in the deck department. This role usually carries out instructions given by the chief mate and oversees the ABs & OBs.

Able-Bodied Seaman (AB)

This rating is responsible for more physically demanding tasks such as working mooring lines and operating deck gear. An AB may also stand watch to assist the duty officer.

Ordinary Seaman (OS)

The OS is the lowest rating in the deck department. An OS must carry out any tasks given to them by anyone ranked higher than them.

Engineering Department

Chief Engineer/First Engineer

This role oversees the engine department of the ship. A Chief Engineer will delegate orders to operate and maintain all machinery and equipment throughout the ship.

Second Engineer

This role handles the daily maintenance and operations in the engine department.

Third Engineer

This role manages the boilers, fuel, auxiliary, & condensate, and feed systems.

Fourth Engineer

This role assists the third engineer.


This rating heads the maintenance and repair of the engine department. A motorman has an Able Seafarer Engine Certificate STCW A-III/5.


This rating mainly checks the lubrication of ship machinery. An oiler has an Able Seafarer Engine Certificate STCW A-III/5.


This rating is the lowest rank in the engine department. A wiper usually has an Engine Room Watch Rating (ERWR) Certificate STCW A-III/4.

Catering/Steward’s Department

Chief Cook/Steward

The Chief cook or steward is the highest unlicensed role in the steward department. A chief cook or steward usually oversees the menu planning, meal preparing, and meal serving for the whole crew. They also delegate tasks in terms of cleaning officer quarters and department areas and doing store inventory.


This rating is the lowest rank in the steward’s department. A steward usually responds to the orders given by the chief cook/steward.

seaman's book for basic training for seaman

How To Get A Seaman’s Book Using MISMO

seaman's book for basic training for seaman
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A Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book (SIRB) or Seaman’s Book is one of the most important documents every seafarer should have. It is similar to your regular passport in that you won’t be able to work on ships and vessels without it. Once you’re done taking basic training for a seaman, you have to get your own SIRB.

Getting a Seaman’s Book is now made easier through the MISMO website. Follow these steps to learn how!


Before, the SIRB was processed by going personally to any MARINA office. It was done manually, thus, leading to long wait times.

MARINA recently upgraded its systems by coming up with the MISMO website. The page is used to announce exam schedules and provide certificates or important documents.

How to Get a Seaman’s Book via MISMO Website

Here are the things you need to get a seaman’s book. Make sure to follow these instructions carefully to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process.

Logging in to your account

If you have an existing SCS account:

#1: Go to

#2: If you have an existing SCS account, Click Sign In

#3: Input your email address and password. Tick the reCAPTCHA box.

#4: If you need to update your information, make sure all provided details are correct. Profile pictures must have the applicant wearing a white polo on a plain white background to be deemed valid.

If you don’t have an existing SCS account:

#1: Go to

#2: If you have an existing SCS account, Click Sign Up

#3: Click Register New Account.

#4: Fill out all boxes with the information required. Tick the check box to confirm that you agree to the Terms & Conditions. Click Register.

#5: Check your registered email address for a verification email.

Selecting the Transaction

#1: Click Transaction, then choose the SIRB tab.

#2: Select which processing time you prefer (Regular/Expedite)

#3: Choose your preferred MARINA branch.

#4: Select your application type (New/Re-Issuance).

#5: Tick the check box.

#6: Click Proceed.

Submitting the Requirements
  • Submit all indicated documents according to your status (New/Re-Issuance).
  • Keep files under 1MB to ensure a successful upload.
  • Finalize the application by clicking Submit.
  • Approved applications will get a text within a few days after the submission to inform the applicant that they can now set an Online Appointment via MISMO. On the other hand, denied applications need to manually check their account and view the details by clicking the Application tab.
Setting the Appointment & Paying Fees

#1: Click the Application tab, then go to For Appointment.

#2: Under the Slot Locator Tab, choose your desired schedule & MARINA branch to visit.

#3: Click Proceed.

#4: You will get redirected to the Payment page, where you can read the guidelines on how much and how you can pay. Be sure to take note of the reference number.

#5: Once you’ve settled your payment within 18 hours, it will show on your MISMO profile.


Ever since MARINA updated its process through the MISMO website, getting an SIRB has become much faster and more convenient. You’ll only have to visit their office to submit original documents for verification, and then you can get your seaman’s book on the same day!

Choosing the Offshore Training School for You

In a world where there is no sea too deep, or  too ocean to wide, career in the maritime industry has become one of the most in demand. The Philippines is one of the five largest supply countries of seafarers in the world, making it one of the most in demand courses in the country. Many schools and universities all over the country offer maritime training.This trend calls for competent and career-oriented maritime schools in almost all provinces in the country.


But with maritime training schools popping up all over the country like mushrooms in the rainy season, it has become a challenge to choose which one can give the aspiring seafarer the best training. The industry places importance on hiring well-trained and competent personnel to board their ships and man its steering wheel to help the industry serve the needs of the growing population all over the world.


Attaining the best possible maritime training starts with choosing the best school suited for your vision of yourself as a seafarer. Below is a list of things you can consider in choosing the best training school for you:




The first issue to address when choosing a training school is its accessibility. Evaluate the location of the school if it is accessible through public transportation. If not, see for yourself that there are places near the school you can rent to live in. Given the traffic problem in our roads, evaluate if the location of your target school is placed on a strategic location. Studying is stressful enough, much more with maritime training wherein it requires not only mental strength, but physical as well. So it is important that you are comfortable with your location before deciding.  




Like any other college courses, maritime training in the Philippines is quite expensive, on top of the other expenditures such as uniforms and textbooks. Select a training school that you can afford to enroll for the next four or five years. Take into consideration the other fees that must be paid other than the tuition fee to ensure you, and whoever will pay for your training, will be kept worry free.




Effective maritime training requires hands-on exercises, or at least the equivalent of it. Application is required in order to have a practical application of the theories learned in the classroom. The training school you would choose must have the proper facilities to help you in learning and applying what was taught.


Visit your potential school first before making your decision. See if you are comfortable in staying at such a place, using its facilities and think if it can cater to the needs of the course you will be taking. Remember that what you will learn in school is important, but the experience of learning is just as valuable.




Don’t be afraid to ask the precautions taken by the school in terms of safety and security of the students and personnel.  The government has guidelines for schools and universities, so remember to check those as you take a tour around the school you wish to attend.




Many schools in the country offers maritime training courses among other courses in other areas. Consider choosing a school which solely specializes in maritime training to enhance your competence. That means that the school has specific goals to meet in order to train you to the standards set by the industry.




The class size is also a factor in being a good student. Some students learn better in more quiet places where there are less people to be mindful of, while others prefer to study alongside many people. This is based on the student’s learning style, if s/he can learn in a room full of people or if learning is better and easier among a small number of people. Remember that since the teacher’s attention is divided among the class, isn’t it better to sign up for a class where there are less people to compete with to have a concentrated and focused training?  


Trainees’ satisfaction


The success of anything can be determined by its output. Feel free to ask other old students for feedback and recommendations, before deciding what school to attend. Their feedback is important because they may tell you what they have learned, or if they have already boarded at least once, and if they they were able to apply what they have learned while training. Or if you have already chosen a maritime school, ask former students for advice on the different aspects of the training you will undergo. Ask about their experiences while training to prepare yourself in case you undergo the same experiences as they had.




The maritime industry is a fast paced one. It is important that you, as a student, can keep up even from earlier on. Because of the demands of the industry, a well structured maritime training program should train the students in their business knowledge and analytical skills. Make sure that you enroll into a school which offers the latest maritime courses, such as the OPITO training (which is needed for the oil and gas industry) and offshore safety training and programs that will assure the safety, regulatory and operational issues in the industry . You will have a lot to learn once you go onboard, so it is good to choose a school which will be able to teach you the fundamentals needed in the industry.


The right training school can go a long way, especially in a field as vital and as competent as the maritime industry. Place importance and care in choosing the right school which will suit your needs and resources. Invest in excellent training today to survive the tough competition in the industry tomorrow.  







How To Become a Seaman in the Philippines

basic training for seaman at ctsi philippines - necessities or things to bring onboard

As one of the top paying jobs in the Philippines, many Filipinos are now dreaming to become a seaman. Filipinos are undeniably one of the top choices of foreign employers because of their passion and perseverance towards work. So if you’re ready to sail, there are various essentials  that you need to have. Read on.

Take a Training Course
The first thing that you need to do is to have a maritime training in the Philippines. Take the basic seaman training course known as BST and get a certification. The training includes; Sea Survival Techniques, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility, First Aid, Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention.

Get the seaman requirements
After passing the training, you need to have the following in order for you to be employed.

  • BST Certificate – You can get it in your training school.
  • Seaman’s Book – This document serves as your passport in this industry. Here’s how you can apply for it.
  • Passport – This is a common identification card in any country. This is used to enable aspiring seaman and other professionals to work abroad. Here’s how you can apply for it.

Apply to Manning and Shipping Agencies
Once everything is settled, it’s time to get employed. There are many employers and agencies out there but make sure you’ll get to a legitimate one. Always check POEA’s website to see the list of accredited and licensed agencies to avoid scams and fraud.

Learn Something New
If you want to always have a new knowledge in the industry, enroll in more maritime training programs. If you have a wide range of capabilities and education, there is a huge possibility to be promoted and rank on a high maritime position.

Seaman is not an easy job. Aside from the hardships in the training, there are challenges that you’ll face when you’re onboard. However, if you’re dedicated and willing to travel the world, then this career might just be for you. Good luck!

Valuable Things Seafarers Learn while Onboard

Boat floating in the sea Free Photo

Maritime and OPITO training in the Philippines can teach you many things that are important in your offshore career. But as they say, experience is the best teacher and there are things that you can fully understand once you face them. Here are some valuable lessons that you can learn as a sea worker:

Social Skills
Imagine working in a limited space with limited people doing exactly the same thing as you. Of course, you do not want to just sit in the corner and bored yourself doing nothing. As a maritime professional, you will learn how to improve your social skills to get around, meet co-workers, and know each of them.

Time Management & Organizational Skills
As a worker in the sea, there are times that you will be assigned to do several things at the same time. With this, you will learn how to prioritize tasks from the simple to the most important ones. Deadlines are very important as well and in time, you will learn how to juggle things and adjust based on the given time frame.

Leadership Skills
Leadership is not just about attaining the highest ranking position in the sea. Everyone can be leader in their own way. When a problems strikes, everyone can contribute and come up with a possible solution. Sea workers can think strategically if they are equipped with motivation, responsibility and creativity.

Home Chores
Sea workers are living with themselves while on the ship. They are responsible with their own space and belongings including clothing and cabin. No maids, wife, nor mom to help them with their chores. This allows them to be more mature and learn new things by themselves.

Communication Skills
Sea workers face different people and cultures in the ship. This enhances their communication skills as well as in coordinating and dealing with various folks. Not all can speak English and this helps them learn new languages as well.

Traveling around the world is one of the perks of being a sea worker. They are able to have the knowledge of the principles behind the features of the sea and places they went into, as well as its physical characteristics, capital cities and even the human life.

Administration and Management
As a sea-based worker, they will always come up with a strategic planning in order to properly take action once problems arise. However, this also includes production methods for easy transition of tasks and sufficient coordination of resources. Of course, workers need to be ready all the time, they are the ones who will help themselves in times in the sea, no matter what.

Patience is one of the required traits of a sea-based worker. Their job entails working away from the things that they used to do or used to have. They wait for a long time until they can finally come home. This helps them realize the importance of time, love and family.

Working as a seaman, sea captain, oil digger or whatever your responsibility in the sea doesn’t just enhance your working skills towards your job but also teaches you new things that you can use even after your maritime career.