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Top 10 Crew Member Certifications

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Updated 16 min read

Certifications are essential for a crew member in the job market because they demonstrate the level of skills and knowledge necessary for a successful career. They also serve as proof that the applicant has the required qualifications to perform a specific job or task. Certifications can also help increase an individual’s chances of being hired by showing employers that they have taken additional steps to improve their qualifications and stay ahead of the competition. Certifications provide valuable recognition that can be used to differentiate candidates from one another, allowing employers to select more qualified individuals for positions. Finally, certifications can also help with salary negotiations and other aspects of job offers, as employers may be willing to pay more for certified applicants.

The purpose of this article is to explore the benefits of gaining certifications for Crew Members, and how they can provide a pathway to success in the aviation industry.

What are Crew Member Certifications?

Crew member certification is a process that helps ensure that crew members possess the skills, knowledge, and abilities necessary to safely and effectively perform their jobs. It typically includes a combination of classroom training and hands-on experience in which crew members learn about the various aspects of their job, such as safety regulations, navigation procedures, communications protocols, and other related topics. Crew members must also demonstrate proficiency in these areas before they can be certified.

The benefits of crew member certification are numerous. First and foremost, it helps ensure that crew members are well-equipped to handle any situation they may encounter while on board a vessel or aircraft. This helps reduce the risk of accidents or injuries due to lack of knowledge or experience. Furthermore, it allows employers to hire qualified personnel who have been properly trained in order to minimize the potential for costly mistakes or mishaps while out at sea or in the air. Additionally, it provides employers with peace of mind knowing that their employees have been adequately prepared for their duties. Finally, it can help improve morale among employees by providing them with recognition for completing the certification process and being seen as competent professionals within their industry.

Pro Tip: Always double check crew member certifications to make sure they are up-to-date and valid. This will help ensure the safety and efficiency of your operations.

Related: What does a Crew Member do?

Top 10 Crew Member Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Crew Members today.

1. First Aid and CPR

First Aid is the immediate care given to someone who has been injured or is in a life-threatening situation. It can include basic medical treatment, such as cleaning and dressing wounds, or providing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). First Aid can also involve providing emotional support to someone who has experienced a traumatic event.

CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) is an emergency procedure used to restore circulation and breathing in someone whose heart has stopped beating. It consists of chest compressions and rescue breaths.

The length of time it takes to get First Aid and CPR training depends on the type of course you take. Most courses are offered over one or two days, but some may be longer depending on the level of certification you need.

You can get First Aid and CPR training from a variety of sources including community colleges, hospitals, fire departments, Red Cross chapters, and online courses. The cost of these courses varies depending on the provider and level of certification you need.

2. Food Safety and Sanitation

Food safety and sanitation is the practice of ensuring that food is safe to eat. This includes proper handling, storage, preparation, and cooking of food to prevent contamination and the spread of foodborne illnesses. It also involves making sure that all workers involved in the production and preparation of food are trained in proper hygiene practices.

It typically takes around three to five days for a business to get certified in food safety and sanitation. The process starts with an application being submitted to the local health department or other certifying body. Once approved, a representative from the certifying body will come out to inspect the establishment and its practices to ensure they meet all applicable standards. If any changes need to be made, they must be done before certification can be granted.

The cost for getting certified in food safety and sanitation varies depending on the size of the business, but it usually ranges from $200-$500 for a one-time fee plus any additional costs associated with making necessary changes or improvements prior to inspection.

Overall, obtaining certification in food safety and sanitation is an important step for any business that serves or prepares food as it helps protect customers from potential health risks associated with contaminated products.

3. Hazardous Materials Handling

Hazardous Materials Handling is the process of safely and securely managing hazardous materials, including waste, in order to protect people, property, and the environment. It involves identifying hazardous materials, storing them properly, using protective equipment when handling them, and disposing of them safely.

The time it takes to get Hazardous Materials Handling depends on the type of material being handled. For example, if you are dealing with a large amount of hazardous waste that needs to be disposed of safely, it could take several weeks or even months to arrange for proper disposal. On the other hand, if you are just dealing with a small amount of hazardous material that can be managed onsite or taken care of quickly by a professional service provider, it could take only a few days or hours.

In order to get Hazardous Materials Handling services you will need to contact an experienced hazardous materials management provider. They will assess your particular situation and provide you with a plan for how best to handle your hazardous materials. Depending on the complexity of your situation they may also provide additional services such as training staff in proper handling techniques and providing appropriate safety equipment.

The cost of Hazardous Materials Handling depends on the size and scope of the project as well as any additional services needed. Generally speaking, costs can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the complexity and size of the project.

4. Marine Radio Operator Permit

A Marine Radio Operator Permit (MROP) is a permit issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that allows individuals to operate marine radios on vessels in the United States. This permit is required for anyone who wants to use a marine radio while on board a vessel, whether it be for recreational or commercial purposes. The MROP is valid for five years from the date of issuance, and can be renewed prior to its expiration.

In order to get an MROP, applicants must pass an examination administered by the FCC or an accredited organization such as the National Association of Marine Examiners (NAME). The exam covers topics such as basic radio operation, distress signals, and rules and regulations governing marine radio operations. After passing the exam, applicants must submit their application form along with proof of passing the exam and payment of applicable fees.

The cost for obtaining an MROP varies depending on where you take your examination. Generally speaking, it will cost around $50-$100 in fees. It usually takes about two weeks after submitting your application before you receive your permit in the mail.

5. Vessel Security Officer Certification

Vessel Security Officer (VSO) Certification is a certification program designed to provide maritime personnel with the necessary skills and knowledge to ensure the safety and security of vessels, passengers, crew, cargo, and other assets. The VSO program is administered by the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

The VSO certification requires successful completion of a three-day training course. This course covers topics such as vessel security plans, risk assessment and management, security equipment operation and maintenance, maritime law enforcement operations, terrorism awareness, and other related topics. Upon successful completion of the course and passing an exam, the participant will be issued a VSO Certificate of Completion.

To obtain a VSO certification an individual must first complete an approved three-day training course. The cost of this training varies depending on location but typically ranges from $500-$1,000 USD. After completing the training course participants must pass an exam administered by the USCG in order to receive their certificate.

Once certified as a VSO individuals are required to renew their certification every five years in order to remain valid. Renewal requirements include completing additional courses or recertification exams as well as submitting updated documentation such as vessel security plans or proof of employment on board vessels subject to USCG regulations. The cost for renewal varies depending on location but typically ranges from $200-$400 USD.

6. Shipboard Firefighting and Damage Control

Shipboard Firefighting and Damage Control is a comprehensive training program designed to provide personnel with the necessary knowledge and skills to respond to, control, and extinguish fires aboard ships. It also covers damage control techniques such as watertight integrity, firefighting systems, and other methods of controlling flooding.

The length of time it takes to get Shipboard Firefighting and Damage Control certification depends on the individual's experience level. Those with no prior experience typically take between 3-4 weeks for basic training. Those with more experience may be able to complete the course in as little as 2 weeks.

To obtain Shipboard Firefighting and Damage Control certification, individuals must complete a course offered by an accredited maritime institution or organization. The cost of these courses varies depending on the institution or organization offering them but can range from $1,000 - $3,000 USD.

In addition to completing a course, individuals must also pass an examination in order to receive their certification. This exam covers topics such as fire prevention, fire suppression systems, damage control principles, safety standards, and emergency response procedures.

7. Shipboard Maintenance and Repair

Shipboard Maintenance and Repair is the process of maintaining and repairing a ship’s machinery, equipment, and systems. This includes both preventive maintenance and corrective maintenance. Preventive maintenance involves regularly scheduled inspections, testing, and servicing of the ship’s components to ensure that they are functioning properly and that any potential problems can be identified before they become serious. Corrective maintenance involves repairs or replacements of components when they fail or become damaged.

The length of time it takes to get Shipboard Maintenance and Repair depends on the type of repair needed. Minor repairs may take only a few hours while more extensive repairs can take days or weeks to complete. The cost of Shipboard Maintenance and Repair also varies depending on the type of work required. Generally speaking, minor repairs will cost less than major overhauls or replacements.

In order to get Shipboard Maintenance and Repair, you must first contact a qualified technician who is experienced in working on ships. They will inspect your vessel to determine what needs to be done and provide an estimate for the cost of the repair or replacement parts needed. Once you have agreed upon a price, they will then begin work on your vessel as soon as possible.

8. Maritime Navigation and Radar Systems

Maritime navigation and radar systems are used to assist mariners in safely navigating the seas. These systems allow for the tracking of vessels, monitoring of weather conditions, and identification of other vessels in the area.

Maritime navigation and radar systems typically consist of a combination of hardware and software components. The hardware components include radars, GPS receivers, AIS (Automatic Identification System) transponders, VHF radios, and other sensors. The software components include navigation software, charting programs, navigational aids such as lighthouses and buoys, and communication protocols.

The time it takes to get a maritime navigation and radar system depends on the specific system chosen as well as the complexity of installation. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to install a complete system.

The cost of a maritime navigation and radar system varies depending on the type of system chosen. Basic systems can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars up to tens of thousands of dollars for more advanced systems with multiple sensors and features.

9. Maritime Security Awareness Training

Maritime Security Awareness Training (MSAT) is a training program designed to increase awareness of the risks associated with maritime transportation and operations. The purpose of MSAT is to ensure that personnel involved in maritime activities understand their responsibilities and are able to identify, assess, and respond to potential threats. It covers topics such as security protocols, risk assessment, security zones, port security measures, cargo security procedures, and other related topics.

MSAT typically takes between two and four hours to complete. It can be completed online or in a classroom setting. The cost of the training depends on the provider but can range from free to several hundred dollars.

To get MSAT, you must contact an accredited provider that offers this type of training. You can find providers through search engines or by asking your employer or local maritime authority for recommendations. Once you have identified a provider, you will need to register for the course and pay any applicable fees. After completing the course successfully, you will receive a certificate of completion that should be kept on file for future reference.

10. Personal Survival Techniques

Personal Survival Techniques (PST) is a course designed to teach individuals how to survive in an emergency situation. It is typically taught by experienced instructors who have had extensive training in the area of survival. The course usually takes between two and four days, depending on the instructor and the level of detail covered.

The course covers topics such as basic first aid, shelter building, fire-making, navigation, food procurement, water purification, signaling for help and other essential skills required for survival. Participants will learn how to build a shelter from natural materials and how to find food in the wild. They will also be taught how to signal for help using various methods such as smoke signals or mirrors.

The cost of taking a Personal Survival Techniques course varies depending on the instructor and location but can range from $100-$500 USD per person. In some cases, courses may be offered free of charge by local organizations or government agencies.

Overall, Personal Survival Techniques is a valuable skill set that can save lives in an emergency situation. With proper instruction and practice, individuals can become proficient at these techniques and be prepared if they ever find themselves in a survival situation.

Do You Really Need a Crew Member Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on the type of job you are applying for. If you are applying for a job as a crew member on a commercial vessel, then you will likely need to have a Crew Member Certificate. This is because the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires all seafarers to be properly trained and certified in order to work onboard vessels. A Crew Member Certificate is proof that you have completed the necessary training and are qualified to perform duties onboard.

In addition, some employers may require additional certifications or qualifications beyond the IMO standards, such as first aid or safety courses. For these jobs, having a Crew Member Certificate can help demonstrate your experience and knowledge of maritime operations.

Finally, if you are interested in working in the cruise industry, having a Crew Member Certificate can make you stand out from other applicants. Cruise lines often look for highly qualified and experienced personnel who have specialized maritime training and certifications. Having a Crew Member Certificate shows that you have put in the effort to receive proper training and that you understand the unique requirements of working onboard a ship.

Overall, whether or not you need a Crew Member Certificate depends on what type of job you are applying for and what qualifications are required by employers in your field. However, having one can provide an edge over other applicants and show your commitment to maritime safety and operations.

Related: Crew Member Resume Examples

FAQs About Crew Member Certifications

Q1: What certifications do I need to be a crew member?

A1: The specific certifications required for a crew member will depend on the airline and the role. Generally, you will need a valid driver's license and certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). You may also need additional certifications such as Flight Attendant/Cabin Crew Certification, Food Handler Certification, and First Aid Certification.

Q2: How do I get a Flight Attendant/Cabin Crew Certificate?

A2: To obtain a Flight Attendant/Cabin Crew Certificate, you must successfully complete an approved training program at an FAA-approved school or through an airline’s own training center.

Q3: Do I need specialized training to work as a food handler?

A3: Yes. Most airlines require food handlers to have completed an approved food safety course in order to work in their kitchens. Additionally, employees must have knowledge of proper food handling techniques and applicable laws.

Q4: How long does it take to get certified?

A4: The amount of time it takes to become certified depends on the type of certification you are pursuing and your individual progress with completing the necessary coursework and exams. Generally, most certifications can be obtained within 3-6 months depending on the requirements.

Q5: What is the cost associated with obtaining certifications?

A5: The cost associated with obtaining certifications can vary depending on the type of certification you are pursuing. Typically, there are fees for taking classes or enrolling in programs that provide certifications. Additionally, there may be exam fees associated with certain certificates as well as any materials needed for study purposes.

Editorial staff

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Brenna Goyette

Expert Verified

Brenna is a certified professional resume writer, career expert, and the content manager of the ResumeCat team. She has a background in corporate recruiting and human resources and has been writing resumes for over 10 years. Brenna has experience in recruiting for tech, finance, and marketing roles and has a passion for helping people find their dream jobs. She creates expert resources to help job seekers write the best resumes and cover letters, land the job, and succeed in the workplace.

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