For every mariner aboard ship, there are as many as three to four people working ashore in supporting roles.

Shipping companies employ a shore-based staff to efficiently operate, manage and maintain their fleet. The functions include commercial operations, organizing insurance, purchasing stores, technical maintenance, as well as crewing the ships. Additional support is provided by financial and administrative staff who provide regular financial and technical reports on the ships being operated.

In government organizations, such as the Canadian Coast Guard, professionals working in similar fields — operations, technical and administration — play a vital role in keeping the vessels moving and the women and men crewing them safe.
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The Marine Superintendent has a central responsibility for the safe and efficient day-to-day navigation and port operations of a commercial vessel or fleet and ensures compliance with all regulatory requirements. He/she assists in the implementation and upkeep of the Safety Management System and also ensures compliance to the company's risk management framework. The Marine Superintendent provides guidance to the Ship Captain/Master onboard for nautical matters and also conducts incident investigation onboard the ship.
Logistics and scheduling personnel typically oversee the full order cycle, from logistics to warehousing to transportation to customer service, and will liaise and negotiate with third-party suppliers to achieve cost, productivity, accuracy and timeline targets.
A Marine Engineer or Technical Superintendent oversees the repair and regular maintenance of owned or managed vessels within a company's fleet. They also play a lead role during the dry-docking of a ship, ensuring major upgrades and refits are performed per contract and technical specifications. As the experts on the mechanical workings of a ship, Marine Engineers design, develop, maintain and repair the machinery, propulsion and power supply systems of a ship. There is also scope for Marine Engineers to take on the role of inspectors, making sure that the equipment is working properly before a ship is launched.
A Project Engineer's job varies depending on the specialty and the scale of the position, but can include project planning, management, quality assurance and control, technical reviews of quotations, coordinating production, and managing operations and subcontractors. Project Engineers are technically trained and are able to design and oversee testing, installation, and repair of marine equipment, as well as conducting analytical, environmental, operational, or performance studies in order to develop designs for products such as marine engines, equipment, and structures.
Naval Architects are primarily responsible for the safe design and construction of ships, yachts, submarines, offshore platforms and marine structures. As such, they are responsible for the strength, stability, speed, trim and weight of the vessel. As a professional engineer, a Naval Architect will specialize in hydrostatics, hydrodynamics, structural engineering and structural arrangements. Naval Architects may also choose to specialize on one area, such as construction, conversion, or cargo handling. Some naval architects advise on the repair and maintenance of fleets, while others may also work in research.
The main responsibility of the Marine Personnel Management function is to ensure that each vessel is manned with qualified, medically fit, and experienced mariners and supervise the application of labour conventions and collective agreements onboard. Personnel Managers coordinate the hiring of all mariners and ensure qualified personnel are deployed to meet operational requirements. An equally important role of the Personnel Manager is to provide strategic and operational advice, support and coaching as required to ship-based managers and shore-based operational and technical staff.
Marine depends on specialized services, including chartering, the contracting of a vessel to a customer for a period of time, and the marrying of the needs of cargo shippers with the optimization of vessel utilization. The everyday work of a marketing executive is often varied and can include advertising, promotion, public/media relations, product development, sponsorship and research. Marketing executives also need to liaise and build relationships with a range of people, including customers, suppliers and colleagues, and often are required to contribute to long-term marketing strategies and successfully manage budgets.
There are many career opportunities in the field of administration and corporate services areas including:

- Accounting and finance
- Communications
- Health, safety and environment management
- Information technology and services
- Procurement and supply chain management
- Risk management
- Employment opportunities in these areas, as well as other - supporting functions, are available to candidates with - experience as well as those new to the sector.