SAMSA > Opportunities > Maritime Careers Guidance
Maritime Careers Guidance
Maritime Careers
Supply Chain Management


The Maritime Industry offers careers that have Nationally and Internationally recognised tertiary qualifications, job satisfaction, a high level of responsibility, good advancement prospects and a wide variety of careers both at sea and ashore.

SA Maritime Sector Skills Development Model and Careers Opportunities in the Maritime Sector 

  • List of Maritime Specific and Maritime Related education and training offered by SA providers and institutions. Click here to view the List
  • The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA),an Agency of Government, is pursuing a growth strategy that prioritises the development and retention of quality critical and scarce skills within the maritime sector. 
  • SAMSA, the South African Navy and the maritime industry including the private sector, are most important partners for skills development in the maritime sector.

 More on SAMSA Executive Summary​

Careers On board a Ship

  • Captain
  • Navigating officers
  • Engineering officers
  • Catering staff

    School Requirements
  • Grade 12 / N3 (Mathematics​ and Science compulsory - Std or Higher grade level - 60% pass rate)
  • Grade 10 ( N1, N2, N3 with Mathematics and Science - Std or Higher grade level - 60% pass rate)
  • Scholars with Grade 12 certificate without Mathematics and science can do a six-month bridging course with any institution offering Maritime Studies.

    Further Education

Aspiring cadets can enroll at either Durban University of Technology or Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Maritime Studies or Mechanical Engineering.

They must complete S1 and S2 (Certificate in Maritime Studies) at either Durban University of Technology or Cape Peninsula University of Technology (once this course is complete, the student will have the choice of becoming a Navigating or Engineering Officer).

After completion of S1 and S2, the student will have to join a shipping company to complete a 12-month sea service training period (e.g. shipping companies: Unicorn, Safmarine, Mearsk).

Pass SAMSA oral exam to qualify either as a Deck or an Engineer Officer.

Complete S3 (National Diploma in Maritime Studies) at either Durban University or Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Complete further 12-month sea service.

Pass SAMSA oral exam to qualify either as Chief Navigating Officer or Second Engineering Officer.

Complete S4 (Higher Diploma in Maritime Studies) at either Durban University or Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Complete further 12-month sea service.

Pass SAMSA oral exams to qualify either as Master or Chief Engineer

​​Contact Details
​South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA)
John Phiri(Skills Development Manager)​​​
Tel: 012 - 366 2648
Cape Peninsula University of Technology (Faculty Office)
Tel: 021 - 460 32 55
Granger Bay Campus
Tel: 021 - 440 5752
Tel: 021 - 440 5755

Durban University of Technology
Department of Maritime Studies
The secretary
Tel: 031 - 373 2144


The Maritime industry is associated with activities on all vessels used at sea and associated land-based services. Routes include oceans, coasts, seas, lakes, rivers and channels.

The Maritime field offers a wide choice of career opportunities, many of which are international by nature.​

The following is an indication of maritime careers but not limited to:

  1. Marine and Ship Engineers – involved with the maintenance of the engine of a ship; responsible for all engineering related needs of a ship. The Cape Peninsula University of Technology and The Durban Institute of Technology offer all required marine engineering subjects at a tertiary level.
  2. Crewmember – career can lead from a deck officer to Captain.
  3. Deck officers – required to navigate the ship safely and efficiently.
  4. Maritime Law – Maritime and fisheries lawyers are concerned with the branch of law that governs international maritime zones and maritime resources. The international law of the sea and the network of conventions that governs navigation, fishing, seabed mining, naval warfare and marine pollution are within the sphere of interest of maritime lawyers.
  5. Tug Masters – Captains of tugs are responsible for ships towing other vessels/barges when they are in trouble at sea. They also give guidance to salvage (rescue) work.
  6. Marine Pilots – guide ships when entering the harbour/port, as the Master of the ship may not be well versed with the geography of the port.
  7. Harbour Masters – responsible for the overall control of the Port – all activities including lighthouses. Vessel trafficking systems, etc.
  8. Ship surveyors – conduct inspections and surveys of vessels; checking safety standards and condition of equipment. They carry out these surveys for government, e.g. SAMSA, DoT Agency, for classification societies, cargo owners or underwriters (insurance companies).
  9. Maritime Environmentalist (Sea Pollution) – are involved in Management of the environment. Marine biologist and oceanographers look at the prevention of oil spills from ships, check for engine leaks, and how it can be prevented. They endeavour to combat pollution, clean-ups and decide what dispersants could be used and which species are highly vulnerable. They also do risk assessments especially for blast water management in addition they could also do testing and approval of treatment systems and ensure the availability of reception facilities.

​Various learnerships through the Transport SETA (TETA) are available and academic studies through various ce​ntres of development are offered (refer to institutions of higher learning).

​​ New Forest
P O Box 53194
Yellow-wood Park, 4001
Tel: (031) 462 6206
Fax: (031) 469 1816
Maritime Studies A: Grades 10 – 12
Simon's Town School
P O Box 38
Simon's Town, 7995
Tel: (021) 786 1056
Fax: (021) 786 1065
Maritime Studies A & B: Grades 10 – 12, Boarding facilities available for learners
Sithengile High School
P O Box 419
Clernaville, 3602
Tel: (031) 711 3673
Fax: (031) 707 5166
Maritime Studies A: Grades 10 – 12
Tsiand Technical High School
Private Bag x8533
Esikhaweni, 3887
Tel: (035) 796 1040/70
Fax: (035) 796 4062
Maritime Studies A: Grades 10 – 12


Department of Transport (DoT)             

Transport Education and Training Authority

National Ports Authority                        

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