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  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 30th, 2007, 02:11 AM
SSH SSH is offline
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Default Environmental Officer or I/S Manager?

I have known for a while that my ultimate goal is to work at sea on cruise ships. For a while I thought I wanted to be an I/S Manager, but now I think I want to be an Environmental Officer. I will be going to a four year university here in the US, probably majoring in Environmental Engineering.

I was wondering if those of you with experience could tell me about the salaries of each of these positions. I know with the I/S you have to start as an Asst. Manager first.

Also - are there perks realted to either position that would make one a better choice?

What about the cabin locations and setups?

Any tips or other info is much appreciated.

Thanks,

Brian
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Old August 30th, 2007, 11:07 AM
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Hi Brian

It's morning and I'm avoiding projects . . . so . .

Though I'm not either, I do know a little bit about the jobs and have friends that are both ;-)

Biggest difference is the the Evironmental Officer is part of the Marine Division, and the ones I've met have their schooling and experince from a maritime academy. Just went to the RCCL employment site to get:

"Serves as Environmental Specialist reporting to the Master with responsibility for oversight of company environmental policies, procedures, and systems onboard each ship for providing shipboard expertise to the shoreside Marine Operations and Safety and Environmental Departments to assist in the development of these policies and procedures. Serves as the shipboard subject matter expert on regulatory issues."

These guys and girls are on every time the ships docks, overseeing waste going off the ship, items being loaded on, ship getting fueled (bunkering), lots of paperwork and needing to know the rules and regulations inside out. Many marine meetings and constant inspections and follow ups. You wouldn't think it, but even keeping an eye on where and how paint, laundry or cleaning chemicals are used, stored, ordered, etc. They also usually hold training sessions for the crew on envirionmental issues.

http://www.cruiseshipemployment.ca/E...l_Officer.html is another good description

IT officer:

http://www.cruiseshipjob.com/it.htm

- but I'm sure you already know what this job entails. the Systems gurus are part of the hotel division and there generally is 2 to 4 per ship depending on the size. Only one environmental officer per ship and another marine officer can double in this duty if needed (have seen this before) I think the salary mentioned in the above link for I/T is a bit high from what I've seen - but every cruise line is different. Do a search in this forum for Systems or I/T - there's been a few ex it people who've mentioned money.

Not going to swear to it, but I think the environmental job might start in the $3 to 4 k per month area?

Most marine jobs are 14 weeks on/14 off, where hotel officers work 4 months on/2 months off. Environmental is 3 stripe position, I/T can vary - I think 2 1/2 stripe is the highest . . . . this is where the perks come in as far as cabins/ranking/ etc. More stripes, bigger nicer cabin.

Like I mentioned earlier - the environmental officers I've know have come from a marine background - even the younger ones have done time on cargo ships/merchant marine before coming onto a cruise ship. Many of the older ones have done time in various countres Navys, or on oil rig platforms

Which job? Depends on where your passion lies. Lots of responsibilty to the safety and welfare and running of the ship in each position in their individual way.

Take a cruise and see if you can chat with each of these people. Come to think of it . . . there's a poster on this site named Kuki that came onto one of the ships I was on - pretty sure he took a tour of behind the scenes with an environmental officer (thinking Radiance of the Seas and Jennifer)

good luck!
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Old September 4th, 2007, 09:25 PM
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My guess is that they have taken marine-trained people and made them enviromental officers because it is a newish position, but that as time goes on there will be more people who specialize in this kind of stuff.

I also suspect they go through far more IT people than environmental officers, therefore your chances of getting hired for a first-time jobas an IT person are greater than as an EO.

I also think that the EO job would get rather dull (personally) since every day would be monitoring bacteria levels and making sure the incinerator os working correctly - and lots of writing reports. Might be very easy, however.

I don't know any EOs. but I have interviewed a few. They seemed pretty easy-going, like their job was not much of a challenge - uhnless things screwed up, of course.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 09:44 PM
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Surpising enough - Most of the Environmental officers I've know have burnt out within 3 years or so. I've been with my cruise line 5 years, and when I look at the list of who's doing that gig now, not many heve survived. Does carry a bit more corporate responsiblity (i.e. monitoring waste streams in very sensitive areas like reefs and Alaska that carry SIGNIFCANT fines if breeched). Yeah, and catching all the cigarette lighters that get thrown away and are missed in the separation processes and cause a major fire in the incinerater may be mundane . . . . still is a very important job onboard.

In the past few years, I've seen high turnover in IT also - major stress gig, too. Seeing more people coming from India and eastern European countries, where the E/O job is mostly US, Canada, Scandinavia

again - go with your passion. You might get to see more of the ports if you go with I/T though . . .
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Old September 4th, 2007, 09:53 PM
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I agree sz. I am sure there are some places, like Alaska, where EO would be very high stress. I was assuming the technology is good enough on newer ships that there are few problems, but I could be wrong.

IT could be high-stress, but once again, on newer ships everything should be finely tuned already.

The hard jobs are on old ships where stuff is falling apart and 10 different people have implemented their own "systems"
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Old September 5th, 2007, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter
Might be very easy, however.
Thrust me - in times like this the EO job can be far from easy.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 06:03 PM
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Thank you for the reply! sounds like the voice of experience!
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Old May 24th, 2010, 12:12 AM
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Hi everyone,

I must admit I was remiss by not replying after you all posted such helpful replies nearly three years ago. I have settled on the EO position. I recently cruised again as a passenger and was encouraged to consider the EO job by a crewmember when he heard what my major was in college. Since my last post, I have completed 2 of 4 years in a BS in Environmental Engineering program at a top 5 program in the US that has a reputation for producing hard-working graduates. I am hoping this well help to dispel some of the lazy American stereotypes. I also had the opportunity to intern at an a marine oil spill response tech facility, which I am hoping will somewhat make up for my lack of sea experience.

The point behind my post is to see if anyone has any other advice or new information that might be relevant. I think I am doing all I can, short of being in a marine academy, to make this dream come true. But if any of you can think of other things I should be doing, please let me know.

I also heard about a new cadet program RCI is running specifically to train EOs. Do any of you know about this? Would it be open to people at technical colleges instead of marine colleges?

Thanks again.
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Old June 20th, 2010, 11:21 PM
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Anyone able to offer some insights?

Thanks.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSH View Post
Hi everyone,

I must admit I was remiss by not replying after you all posted such helpful replies nearly three years ago. I have settled on the EO position. I recently cruised again as a passenger and was encouraged to consider the EO job by a crewmember when he heard what my major was in college. Since my last post, I have completed 2 of 4 years in a BS in Environmental Engineering program at a top 5 program in the US that has a reputation for producing hard-working graduates. I am hoping this well help to dispel some of the lazy American stereotypes. I also had the opportunity to intern at an a marine oil spill response tech facility, which I am hoping will somewhat make up for my lack of sea experience.

The point behind my post is to see if anyone has any other advice or new information that might be relevant. I think I am doing all I can, short of being in a marine academy, to make this dream come true. But if any of you can think of other things I should be doing, please let me know.

I also heard about a new cadet program RCI is running specifically to train EOs. Do any of you know about this? Would it be open to people at technical colleges instead of marine colleges?

Thanks again.
Hey,

Hopefully I can answer some of your questions. I'm currently going to be a senior at a top Maritime Academy in the country. My major, Marine Safety Environmental Protection, basically caters to the Environmental Officer position. I went out to sea for 2 months my freshman year and will be going back out sea next winter for 2 months teaching freshman about my major. This summer, I did my internship at a Drydock Facility doing Environmental Health and Safety. The internship was actually a product of the "Ocean Fund" which is a stipend/grant given out by Caribbean to schools/organization to help with environmental safety/preservation/etc...so that might be your reference to RC training cadets.

Here's a link to that:

Ocean Fund Grant Announcements - Royal Caribbean International

And under my "organization" or school's description of what the money is being used for, you can see the fine details:

"$25,000 to underwrite cooperative education stipends to train potential future maritime safety and environmental officers."

Hope this helped!
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Old August 15th, 2010, 09:41 PM
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You may want to do a it more research on the EO position.

This position came about as a result of court orders related to the major cruise lines being prosecuted for illegal dumping at sea.
As part fo their probation, the lines were required by the US Government to place EOs on all their ships to monitor and report any problems.

The probationery period for most of the lines is either ended or nearly over. Several have already changed this position to an OSHA type job, with very little to no environmental responsibility.

The remaining lines are expected to follow this scheme as their probationery periods lapse.
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Old September 12th, 2010, 04:27 PM
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Thanks for the info from both of you. I actually have started to look into internships for next year and a number of our students do go into EH&S jobs like MaritimeMan mentioned. We have a similar maritime services firm down here near my school that I may be able to get into. I spoke with an EO in the past who graduated from MSEP and he felt that a good candidate with an environmental engineering degree, whether from a maritime academy or not, would have a great shot at getting an EO position. Of course this was a couple years ago.

Bruce, that is unfortunate news. So all lines are abandoning this? I guess that makes sense if it's not required. But I thought that it had been promoted so heavily as a PR item that it would be odd now to totally pull the plug. Won't people/groups start asking questions?

I guess I am hesitant because I don't want to focus on making this happen in my future if it is totally unachievable, or if the position is now a thing of the past.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 07:56 AM
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Hello All
I am presently EO on cruise ship. Bruce and SZ are pretty much right. When cruise lines were punished by DOJ for Environmental Violation, the position of EO was created. During probation USDOJ looked into all the aspect and directed that the EO should be a Senior Officer and should be among HD, St. Captain & Chief Engineer, all regulations were followed except that EO's were not given the same status as the above three position though it was a written DOJ document. DOJ never audited if this was happening. They were happy to see that the cruise lines mentioned that EO were Senior Officers. Till probation all positions on the ship and ashore administration were paying attention and respect. After probation, this attitude has detiorated immensely. The pay structure was about 9K then and yet it is there for the initial EO's where as those EO's joining now get only 3.5K with no increament further. Cabins are the same as junior officer though single. Officers mess privillege is there but not in Senior Officers mess. It seems that the Marine and Engine officer think that EO is basically a burden for them, though yet most of them do errors in recording the required information by law. There is no charm as such like it was before. DOJ instruction states that EO has to overlook the Marine Environmental Operation but now EO has to do all the paperwork and supervision of waste offloading and an added responsibility of Occupational Safety. No increament. Most of the cruise lines are playing with the position and law cares a least about it as long as the sea are clean. I am sure if you are US/European/Canadian/Australian/NZ citizen better pick up job with government or companies on land. Sea is not a good experience if you are thinking to join as EO. Asian may stick as for them this money is good. In some cruise lines it is 10 weeks on and 10 weeks off paid all 12 months and in some cruise lines vacations are 4 months on to 2 months off. You are not paid when on vacation. I am sure this will give you inside picture from an EO who is in contract with one of the cruise lines. GB
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Old November 27th, 2010, 03:29 AM
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GB, thanks for the info. It's a real shame, I guess I missed out on this opportunity. Like you say, the 3.5K is much less attractive. It would be less than I could make on land, but I suspect I would have fewer expenses if at sea. Of course when you compare it to 9K, the difference is incredible and it really seems foolish to pursue it now. Especially since the occupational safety role translates into more work and responsibility.

I'll be contacting you via PM soon to go over a couple details but again, thanks for the info.
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Old March 17th, 2011, 04:18 PM
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Just as an aside note, I just submitted my Resume, Cover Letter, and Letter of Recommendation from my previous ship's chief mate into one of the major companies. I happen to have more than a few contacts within the industry so I know they still make more than good money, especially for someone just coming out of college. Also, it varies from ship to ship so far as perks go (housing, mess deck etc.) so you might only be seeing one company's aspect with the previous poster.

I'll let you know if anything happens. You still looking at the opportunities?
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 11:55 PM
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Absolutely. Graduating May 2012. Would love to make it happen, although I won't have any sea experience. Please let me know if you stumble upon anything - you can always PM me if you prefer not to put it out in the open.
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Old April 8th, 2011, 09:49 AM
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I'll send you a PM soon. I just got back from our annual sea term here at the Academy where I taught freshman for two months..things like MARPOL, PPE, Health and Safety, shipboard waste streams etc..and then I managed the environmental officer portion of the work in terms of landing trash, disposing of paper/victual waste overboard and observing special protected areas. I'll keep you updated.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 04:12 PM
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I worked for rccl as an assitant systems manager.

The benefits of the EO are:

Three stripes
Much bigger cabin
Much better contract duration 10 weeks on 10 off, vs 4months on 2 off if you are the IT manager or 6/7 months on 6 weeks off if your are assistant systems.
Much better pay
Better working hours
You are in Marine department vs Hotel so you get other benefits that hotel dont.

Downsides I cant comment on as I didnt do the job.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 01:59 PM
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Thanks for the info, taoist. I'm definitely pursuing the EO role, as I graduate in May with my degree in that field. I didn't realize they were 10 weeks on/10 off, that is very good.

How much better is the cabin? Or, what would a typical EO cabin be like?

Thanks again.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 04:59 PM
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But on the Carnival what are the benefits for assistant I/S manager?
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Old July 27th, 2011, 06:32 AM
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Hi everyone,

I am also interested about opportunity to work as an EO onboard of cruise ships. I just got the position in RCCL, which is not related with EO. But I am planing to take additional courses and trainings to improve my degree about EO in order to get that position.

My occupation is in life science and I am bachelor's in biotechnology engineering. I also have had experience with air, water and soil treatment.

On NCL website, I found information that EO need to have following certificates/courses:

1. Basic Safety Course Certificate
2. Advanced Marine Fire fighting certificate
3. Environmental Officer course

So, my question is, can I get the position as an EO if I finish courses/trainings listed above? Is it enough after my 4 year of university degree?

Any information about it will be helpful for me. Thks.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 04:03 PM
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For anyone that was following this thread or looking for updates, I graduated this past June and have been working at an environmentally related job for about 6-7 months.

I just interviewed for an EO position aboard Royal Caribbean so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 07:53 AM
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Hey MaritimeMan, good to hear that you are still chasing the dream. I'm graduating in May and intend to start the application process in the coming months. Will definitely shoot you a PM so we can discuss more.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 06:14 AM
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I used to work for an environmental consulting firm that was hired by a cruise ship company to do third party monitoring; as a result, I have worked with many environmental officers.

What GB said is true. In addition to that, I believe some EO's are also responsible for health related issues on the vessels.

On top of everything, the hours are very long. They work around the clock and at least 12 hours a day. Their sleeping pattern is dependent on the docking time. On early morning port days, they either don't sleep or get up extremely early in the morning. There are no weekends or holidays, and they rarely get to enjoy port days. There was only one time that I can remember when the EO actually had plans to get off the ship, and it was to watch an evening movie (given that I typically see them at turn around ports).

Understanding multiple languages will probably help on the job, as not everyone encountered at each port speak English. If you happen to become an EO on an Alaskan ship, you will also find yourself with an ocean ranger on board, monitoring what you do. Some EO's have to do wet lab on board, but that depends on the company/ship and how the tasks are divided.

This post is by no mean to discourage the EO dream. Despite learning about all these, a part of me still wanted to try out the sea life; however, being in a relationship makes it even more difficult and thus a no go. On the bright side, the EO's I worked with have a flat screen TV and their own room!
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