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Marine surveyor

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Summary of occupation

​Marine surveyors examine marine vessels to assess the condition of their structure, machinery and equipment. They ensure that vessels are constructed, equipped and maintained according to safety standards and are seaworthy. They check design plans, and make sure the construction of marine vessels complies with marine industry standards.

Marine surveyors will also periodically perform inspections to make sure that acceptable standards are maintained throughout the ship's life. They may inspect passenger and cargo ships, cruise liners, high-speed ferries, small boats and crude oil carriers.

ANZSCO description: Surveys machines and hulls of ships to ensure they are constructed, equipped and maintained according to safety standards, rules and regulations laid down by marine authorities. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names:
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

​A marine surveyor needs:

  • to enjoy the sea and have enthusiasm for marine vehicles
  • mechanical aptitude
  • excellent mathematical ability
  • attention to detail, and normal colour vision
  • good communication skills
  • to be willing to travel
  • the ability to work in a team.
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Working conditions

​Marine surveyors spend some of their time based in an office. They also spend considerable time outdoors in harbours or out at sea, in various weather conditions. They may be required to travel for work, and sometimes they need to base themselves at the location of the ship for the duration of their project.

Marine surveyors may specialise in the examination of a particular aspect of a vessel such as marine mechanical equipment or the assessment of decks or hulls. With the appropriate training and accreditation, marine surveyors may work in multiple specialisations.

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Salary details

​On average marine surveyors, classified under marine transport professionals, can expect to earn $2 299 per week ($119 543 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a marine surveyor develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

​Marine surveyors may use infrared thermography and multimeters to assess electrical wiring and damage on vessels, moisture meters to check leaks in hulls, waterproof flexible cameras to inspect fuel and water tanks, carbon monoxide detectors to check for exhaust problems, as well as cameras to document evidence. They must also regularly consult maritime standards and codes to establish the seaworthiness of vessels.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

​To become a marine surveyor, you need to complete training approved by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) in the category of marine surveying in which you wish to work. After obtaining your qualification, you will need to apply for Surveyor Accreditation with AMSA. Contact AMSA for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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