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​A Day In The Life Of A Ship Electrician

A ship or marine electrician works at sea on cruise ships or on merchant vessels, keeping the lights on and the electrical systems in good working order. This includes things like emergency generators, the switches that control the lifeboats, and the ship's communication systems—as well as less critical items like the lights to the ship's swimming pool and the circuits that power the whirlpool and the slot machines.

The Day Of A Marine/Ship Electrician

While no two days are the same on a ship, a "typical" day as a ship electrician may start out by doing routine maintenance on the ship's backup generator or internal lighting system. In the middle of these tasks, you might get called away for a repair issue—maybe cabin lights aren't working or that new office equipment overloaded the office's electrical circuits. You also may be needed to make upgrades to the existing wiring systems, such as adding a dedicated circuit for a new stove in the galley.

Responsibilities May Include

  • Connecting power supply wiring for newly installed equipment in accordance to electrical codes, manuals, schematic diagrams, and blueprints.
  • Using test equipment to troubleshoot and resolve malfunctioning components like as transformers, motors, and lighting fixtures.
  • Replace faulty electrical components of machines, such as relays, switches, motors, and position sensing devices.
  • Maintaining and repairing electrical equipment within marine standards.
  • Cleaning electric and housing motors on a regular basis.

Qualities In A Good Ship Electrician

A good ship electrician is a self-starter. Although you will generally work under the chief electrician, that person may not be right at hand on a large ship. In addition, a good ship electrician is skilled at diagnosing a repair issue alone and devising the proper course of action to fix the problem. You are also conscientious and not afraid to work long hours.

Salary Of A Ship Electrician

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ship electricians earned an average of $108,110 in 2023. Most ship electrician jobs also include room and board at sea and a period of time off between sailings. As a ship electrician, you will generally work under the supervision of the ship's chief electrician.

Get Electrician Training

To get into the career, you will need the proper training and licensure. Become an electrician by finding a trade school near you, and taking classes that will prepare you for an apprenticeship. In the apprenticeship, you’ll be paid while you learn. Then, take the exam required by your state, and find a job!

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