How to Become A Chief Mate in Australia?

Do you want to build a successful career as a chief mate officer on a merchant ship? You may know the merchant marines and different career paths if you have been following the maritime and career options related to this field.

It is important to attend a maritime academy that can teach you the officer roles and responsibilities onboard.  Plus, you will be eligible for a Chief mate certificate of competency if you match the medical, sea service and course needs. The requirements depend on whether you are getting a certificate for the first time or second time.

What is a Chief Mate?

Also known as the Chief Officer, or First Mate, The Chief Mate is the department head for the Deck and Department. They usually supervise the deck department members, such as Second and Third Mate Officers, ordinary seaman and able-seafarers.

The Chief Mate comes after the Captain on most vessels when it comes to taking commands while cruise ships have First Mate/Officers. This particular role is junior to the Chief Officer.

Tips to Become a Chief Officer in Australia

1. Match Chief Officer Experience Requirements

If you want to become a Chief Mate of unlimited tonnage upon oceans close to coastal waters, make sure have minimum 360 days of sea service as Second Officer. Also, ensure a vessel must be of 100 gross registered tons.

According to the Standards of Training, Certificate and Watchkeeping (STCW), you must have 360 days of sea service experience as an officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch.

2. Training and Education

It is important to schedule your Chief Master classes from a reliable academy or institute. You may find various institutes associated with Australian universities. You can find the apt course and start your training.

There is the Chief Mate Unlimited certificate that lets you perform all the duties and roles of Chief Mate on ships of any gross tonnes.

When scheduling your Chief Mate/Master classes, ensure the courses are United States Coast Guard approved. You may find that the course approval also includes some of the required assessments. Check with your course provider for details.

Chief mate less than 3000 Gross Tonnes Certificate holder can perform the duties of Chief Mate on ships that are less than 3000 gross tonnage. It is important to attend the following courses:

Advanced Stability

Advanced Ship Handling

Handling Dangerous Cargoes

Leadership and Managerial Skills

Advanced Meteorology

Management of Medical Care

Basic Training within the last years

Advanced Fire Fighting


Radar, etc.

3. Finish Assessments

To obtain the post of Chief Officer, you must finish the 94 assessments outlined in NVIC 10-14. It is important to complete these assessments in an approved course or onboard a vessel. It should be signed by an assessor with minimum 1-year experience as Master on vessel of 1600 GRT or 3,000 GT. 


If you want to become a Chief Mate, look for the platform that offers maritime education and training in Melbourne. Such companies provide best maritime education that can help you create a successful career.

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