Note: Due COVID-19 the ability to obtain a Transport Canada (TC) medical may be difficult. BCIT will accept application without a TC Seafarers medical and if found competitive for the program you may be made a conditional offer. Once a TC Medical is obtained (fit-Deck Service) after application and you have been made a conditional offer for acceptance you will receive full acceptance.
Do you see yourself as the Captain of a cruise ship, super-tanker, or tugboat? This program is your first step towards a career as an international Master Mariner in the commercial marine industry.
Navigational (Deck) Officers are trained seafarers capable of using technological and navigational equipment on a wide range of ships, from large passenger cruise ships to cargo vessels world-wide. Deck Officers are responsible for the safety of the crew and cargo aboard a ship. The main responsibilities of a Deck Officer include:
The Canadian marine industry is experiencing a shortage of qualified Deck Officers. With over 90% of BCIT Nautical Sciences graduates employed in the industry, there are plenty of employment opportunities available.
The Nautical Sciences program is a four-year full-time Co-operative program accredited by Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security (TCMSS). You will gain a thorough background in the principles and operation of modern vessels like super tankers, bulk carriers, cruise ships, tugboats and off shore supply vessels. Students (Cadets) receive instruction and training based on seamanship and traditional maritime skills in areas such as:
• Operating navigational equipment
• Safe carriage of goods
• Marine Communications
• Marine safety, security, and rescue
• Environmental response
• Ship Stability
Upon successful completion of the third year of the program and obtaining at least 12 months of Transport Canada approved sea time, you will be eligible to challenge the Transport Canada Watchkeeping Mate Certificate of Competency. Upon successful completion of the fourth year, you will receive exemptions towards Standards for Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) Chief Mate Certificate of Competency examinations.
Learn more about Transport Canada exemptions in the Nautical Sciences program
Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.
Cadets receive a thorough background in the principles and operation of modern vessels like super tankers, bulk carriers, cruise ships and off shore supply vessels.
Upon successful completion of the third year of the program and obtaining at least 12 months of Transport Canada approved sea time, you will be eligible to challenge the Transport Canada Watchkeeping Mate Certificate of Competency. This initial licence allows a cadet to officially become a ship's Officer. They will then become an important part of the ship's management team to ensure the safe navigation of the ship and the safety of its cargo. They are also responsible for seamanship, cargoes and stowage, safety and communications. In port, they manage the loading and off-loading of cargoes. After graduation from the diploma program, and with more sea time aboard ships, Officers may continue to upgrade their skills with the ultimate goal of becoming a Master Mariner.
Whether being a member of the bridge team working with the Captain and other crew members to handle the ship or being in charge of a group of skilled seafarers to operate the ship's equipment, the challenges are great and the rewards are many. The marine industry requires its Cadets and Officers to be at sea operating in nearly every ocean, aboard a variety of vessels. Depending on the schedule of the shipping company, Deck Officers or Cadets could be away from home for months at a time. The work conditions can be demanding, however, there may be exciting opportunities to meet multinational crew members and travel around the world.
Graduates are able to work internationally as the program is recognized by the International Maritime Organization through Transport Canada. Co-op placements in the Nautical Sciences program typically end up becoming permanent positions as many of the Co-op employers seek lifetime employees. We work with employers such as Algoma Central Corporation, BC Ferries, Canada Steamship Lines, Canship Ugland, McKeil Marine, Rigel Shipping, Royal Caribbean, Seaspan, Teekay Shipping, Transport Desgagnes and more.
Upon successful completion of the program and obtaining your Transport Canada Watchkeeping Mate Certificate of Competency, a licensed Deck Officer can expect to earn between $5,000 and $10,000 per month
In accordance with Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security (TCMSS), full-time students enrolled in the Nautical Sciences, and Bridge Watch Rating programs are granted some exemptions towards Transport Canada Certificates of Competency. Refer to the information below for exemptions that may be applicable to you.
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