(Also known as Deck Watch Rating (DWR), STCW Able Seafarer Deck (AB Deck))
Study maritime crewing to become a Deck Watch Rating (DWR)
QualificationNew Zealand Certificate in Maritime Crewing (Level 4) with a strand in Deck Crew also known as Deck Watch Rating (DWR), STCW Able Seafarer Deck (AB Deck)Programme code: NZ2511
New Zealand Maritime School
International feesNZD$12,500 (approx.)
Turn your experience into a globally recognised licence.
If you are new to the industry with no experience and want to become a Deck Watch Rating (DWR) or start your training towards becoming a navigation officer, this is the programme for you.
You'll gain the skills and knowledge required to work as crew on general commercial or passenger vessels. You will learn about shipping operations, shipboard practice and survival at sea.
You may find yourself working on a wide range of foreign-going ships from cruise liners, ferries and container vessels, through to support vessels in the oil and gas industry. You will carry out crewing duties at a support level to watchkeepers and masters, and be well prepared for a rewarding career in a global industry.
Open entry for domestic students
There are no academic requirements that need to be met to enter this programme.
International students: English language entry requirements
For the minimum English language requirements refer to the requirements set out in the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/providers-partners/qa-system-for-teos/english-international-students/
International students will generally be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency, for this programme an IELTS General or Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5 is required. Equivalent acceptable evidence can be seen at the following NZQA link: https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/about-us/our-role/legislation/nzqa-rules/nzqf-related-rules/the-table/
Entry to this qualification is open but completion does not guarantee the award of a Maritime New Zealand licence.
All persons wishing to qualify for a seafarer licence must also check the Maritime New Zealand prior certification and minimum service requirements for that licence. Also: Seafarers Framework which outlines medical fitness requirements https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/rules/part-34/default.asp and Maritime New Zealand Part 34:Medical Standards https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/rules/part-34/Part34-maritime-rule.pdf.
You will complete your test in one day, plus get free online tuition to help you succeed. We offer paper-based or computer-delivered IELTS. Choose computer-delivered IELTS and get your results in 3-5 days.
Give yourself credit with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Did you know you can use the knowledge and experience you already have to your advantage?
Your previous work experience and on-the-job skills, volunteering, professional development, and other providers’ qualifications can be recognised as prior learning, matched against credits in our courses, and put towards your qualification – potentially saving you money and possibly helping you to complete your qualification faster Learn more.
You will need to complete five compulsory courses as well as the courses from your chosen strand (60 credits):
942.212 STCW Basic Safety training – Basic Sea Survival (Personal Survival Techniques) (5 credits)
Apply safe and sustainable work practices and contribute to effective communication and emergency response on board a vessel.
942.213 STCW Basic Safety Training – Basic First Aid (Elementary First Aid) (5 credits)
Apply safe work practices and contribute to effective communication and emergency response to first aid on board a vessel.
942.214 STCW Basic Safety training – Personal safety and Social Responsibility (3 credits)
Apply safe and sustainable work practices, demonstrate effective communication and emergency response on board a vessel.
942.215 Proficiency in Security Awareness (2 credits)
Providing knowledge, understanding and proficiency to personnel intending to work on ships who will not have any designated security duties.
942.459 STCW Basic Safety Training – Basic Fire Fighting (Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention) (5 credits)
Apply safe work practices and contribute to effective communication and emergency response to a fire on board a vessel.
Courses related to your chosen strand
942.342 Vessel Operations and Maintenance (5 credits)
Contribute as a deck hand to shipboard maintenance and repair.
942.461 Assist Bridge Watchkeeping (20 credits)
Contribute to a safe navigational watch.
942.462 Cargo Operations and Storing (5 credits)
Contribute to handling of cargo and stores.
942.463 Assist Deck Watchkeeping (5 credits)
Contribute to the safe operation of deck equipment and machinery.
942.464 Proficiency in Survival Craft (PISC) (5 credits)
Operate survival craft and rescue boats.
942.477 Marine Dangerous Goods (5 credits)
To develop student’s knowledge of the principles involved in ship operations carrying hazardous cargoes in solid or bulk form.
Do you want to study a single course, without enrolling into the full programme?
Courses within some of our programmes may be offered as an individual Certificate of Proficiency (COP). Programme entry requirements and course fees apply. For more information, please speak to our friendly Ask Me! team.
Further training or study
If you want to become a deck (nautical) officer you can continue onto further study with:
Upon successful completion of this programme, you can pathway onto a Chief Mate or Master of a vessel with a:
Combined with sea time, this certificate leads to careers as Deck Watch Rating (DWR).
Completion of this certificate leads to entry into the New Zealand Diploma in Nautical Science (Level 6).
DWR trainee, DWR qualified (after two months at sea) and AB qualified (after 14 months at sea).
For potential salaries visit careers.govt.nz.
"My value of success lies in being passionate about my career, and I couldn’t think of a more rewarding lifestyle than to work at sea and discover the world from a perspective that a lot of people aren’t able to.
The exciting aspect about this industry is that there is a variety of paths you can take to achieve the sea-going lifestyle you desire, and at NZMS every day in the classroom is inspiring.
Like any career, you must start somewhere, but as long as you keep your end goal in mind, the motivation to continue through the hard work will be rewarding.
I am excited for the day that I graduate with my mates masters' qualification and eventually work my way up to the role of chief officer and one day captain."
"I wanted to turn my passion for the ocean into a dynamic and flexible career.
The more I get involved with the school the more I realise the potential opportunities further down the line in the maritime industry. It's exciting to think where I might end up in the future and it all starts here. Do the hard work and reap the rewards in the future.
Since I have started studying at the New Zealand Maritime School, I was interested in how they would perform against other educators on the world stage! I was pleasantly surprised by how professional, highly trained, and friendly the school staff are. They are a group of people that are passionate in their areas of expertise and want to see the students succeed. "
"I have always had an affinity for the ocean growing up on the coastline, so I wanted to choose a career that would allow me to stay on or around the water.
I'm looking forward to travelling around the world, I have always wanted to see the dynamics of how countries work outside of the eye of being a tourist.
I'm also looking forward to the lifestyle of being a sailor. As a first-year cadet of the school, NZMS is helping me by giving me hands-on experience with the simulators and the trips to the port that allow me to see the particulars of port operations and I highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in joining the maritime industry."
"My interest in the maritime industry grew when I got my first job working hospitality on the Cook Strait Ferries. After about 8 months into the job, I began thinking about the whole industry. I remember seeing the bridge and was simply amazed by the technology, equipment, and more importantly, the people. This is the workplace I wanted, I started searching online when NZMS popped up.
I gave it a few weeks thought and applied, I'm so glad I applied to do this. The tutors are fantastic at helping each and every student through the challenges whether that's practical such as knots, lifeboat driving or the theory side of things such as physics and maths."
"I have for a long time known I wanted a career at sea, having a strong love for the ocean. I researched the maritime industry and determined that studying at NZMS would be the best fit for me.
Considering study with NZMS was at first intimidating as I know the maritime industry is heavily male-dominated. I wasn’t sure if I would be given the opportunity (as a female) to achieve the goals I had set for myself.
This is my first year at NZMS, but I feel I have learned so much so far. I love that women are not only encouraged to be involved but are also encouraged to lead in this field.
I’m excited now more than ever for what the future has in store for me in this industry. "
"A career in the maritime industry has allowed me to work whilst travelling the world. The NZMS gave the additional merchant navy training that is not covered in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). The training at the NZMS was engaging and provided a great insight into the exciting career opportunities within the maritime industry. Conducting training towards the Diploma in Nautical Science has allowed me the opportunity to work towards an international unlimited Deck Watchkeeping Qualification. "
"Here I can turn my passion into a career.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve been sailing, whether it was a Tallship race on the Baltic Sea or a dinghy race in New Zealand. I’ve always loved being on the water, navigating, exploring, or reading the wind and weather. With the help of the NZMS, I can turn my passion into a career.
A career in the maritime industry holds many great opportunities. My ideal career would be working on an icebreaker or offshore supply vessel. I would like to go to places where not many people have been, do things that few people have done. In the shipping industry, both are possible.
I really like the people I am working and learning with, the teachers are friendly, supportive, and have a lot of experience in a large variety of fields. The school is well equipped, and so far, being in the simulators has been my favourite part."
Onno Owen Kutsch
Free study for the first year of your Level 3 or above qualification may be available under the government’s fees-free study scheme. Visit feesfree.govt.nz for eligibility criteria and more information. Students must be eligible to study as a domestic student. All free study is subject to funding confirmation. Proof of residency status required. Entry criteria, and some costs, may also apply. Eligibility for student allowances or student loans may vary. Contact StudyLink for more information.
Information is correct as at 29 November 2023. Programme fees are based on a full-time student and may vary depending on your final selection of courses that make up your programme. To provide you with an indication of costs, the approximate fees quoted in this publication are based on the indicative 2024 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2024 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2024 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here www.manukau.ac.nz/cssf. Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2024 are based on the 2023 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2024. All fees are in New Zealand Dollars. You will be advised of the current fees at the time of enrolment. All courses and programmes will proceed subject to numbers and academic approval. Manukau Institute of Technology is part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. Te Pūkenga is accredited under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020. International students must study in class and will not be able to enrol for online study options.