Marine surveyor

What they do

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

Marine surveyors periodically perform inspections to ensure 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.

Nearly all marine survey work is done outside at a port or slipway. As a marine surveyor, you will be required to travel.

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.

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.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a marine surveyor, you need to study a qualification in marine surveying.

The International Diploma of Commercial Marine Surveying and the Advanced Diploma of Commercial Marine Surveying are offered by the Australasian Institute of Marine Surveyors. These are the only courses in marine surveying available in Australia.

The courses are delivered online. However, there are practical components that require access to a vessel between seven and 35 metres in length.

Contact the Australasian Institute of Marine Surveyors for more information.

Required registration and licensing

To work as a marine surveyor in Western Australia, you will need to apply for surveyor accreditation with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

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