Ordinary Ship's Assistant


"The best thing I've ever done for myself? Going sailing. It's a really cool job, and we have a great team spirit out here."

The vessel does not sail without the Ordinary Ship's assistant

Even if you as an ordinary ship’s assistant are working as a supernumerary, you fulfil a significant role on ESVAGT’s vessels and are included on an equal footing with the rest of the crew.

As an ordinary ship’s assistant, you will find that the days are rarely the same during your first muster. You will have a wide range of tasks, and you will, among other things, participate in training exercises, general maintenance of the vessel, cleaning, cooking and look-out duties.

"Our ordinary ship’s assistants are an essential part of the crew on board. Not only when it comes to watchkeeping and maintenance, but also for the future operation of the vessel. We put a lot of effort into creating a good social and learning environment on board to develop their professional and personal skills. It is important to remember that it is our future able ship’s assistants, engineers and navigators who come on board as ordinary ship’s assistants – this obliges us to give them the best teaching and training we can."
Ais Michelsen

As this is a trainee position, the training book must be completed on board. The crew on board is always available and ready to help with the training book. However, it is expected that you, as an ordinary ship’s assistant, take responsibility for completing this and are eager to learn.

As part of the trainee program, ESVAGT wishes that the ordinary ship’s assistants experience different vessel types, such as ERRV, X-Bow ships and SOV, in order to expand knowledge of vessel-specific workflows and ensure an exciting and varied trainee time.

The beginning of your ESVAGT career

Being newly employed at a new workplace will always be related with some excitement and nervousness, but you will be well taken care of during your start at ESVAGT.

The employment at ESVAGT starts with a course in Esbjerg, and it will take place over two weeks with days off in between.

On your first day at work, you will be introduced to ESVAGT as a shipping company at the head office with a group of other new employees, and here you will also meet some of the onshore employees.

The rest of the first week will consist of an extended first aid course.

''We enjoy meeting our new colleagues during the intro week so that we can already establish a relation at an early stage''
Andres E. Olsen
Fleet Manager - Crew

In the second week, you will start the training in sailing an FRB, which is our most important tool in a rescue operation.

In addition, we will conduct an in-depth internal safety course where you will be equipped to work according to ESVAGT STANDARD.

On your last day, you take part in pacing, where you again sail the FRB, learn to dock with the hook and to sail up along the mother ship.

During the course, you will receive a plan for your upcoming sailing, and when the course is completed, you will be called out for your first muster.

Become a part of esvagt

More than 200 ordinary ship's assistants is spread across our 43 vessels. Are you dreaming of becoming a part of ESVAGT?


  • A trainee agreement that includes 12 months of effective sailing time
  • Salary during the internship period according to the collective agreement both during the sailing and home period
  • A varied and inspiring job
  • The opportunity for personal and professional development
  • Training according to ESVAGT’s internal and the position-specific training book
  • The opportunity to try your hand at tasks on both bridge, deck and in the engine room
  • 4 weeks at sea and almost 4 weeks of home
  • Exercise equipment, own chamber, and common room

What do we expect from you?

  • Have completed the basic maritime education as an ordinary ship’s assistant or HF-Søfart
  • Passionate about making a career in the maritime industry
  • Want to work with fire, rescue and first aid at sea
  • Can cook meals as galley service may occur
  • Can communicate in writing and orally in both Danish and English
  • Can present a criminal record (max 3 months old)
  • Can show pure drug test when hiring (ESVAGT bears the cost)
  • Have a valid health certificate and passport

... You've earned 12 months of effective sailing time – now what?

In ESVAGT many seafarers started their career in the shipping company as ordinary ship’s assistants, but who today work as either able ship assistants, navigators, or engineers.

After earning the 12 months of effective sailing time, it is possible for the ordinary ship’s assistant to further train as either an able ship’s assistant, navigator, or engineer. 

ESVAGT prioritizes retaining employees after graduation, and therefore there will be good opportunities to continue in the shipping company in another position if good cooperation has previously been experienced.

“When I decided to continue my studies to become an able ship’s assistant, I called the office and we quickly made a plan. I knew I was welcome back, and throughout my education I knew that the future would be in ESVAGT. ” – Michel Nørfjand, ESVAGT CORNELIA

Meet three assistants in ESVAGT

Ordinary ship’s assistant
Amalie Brixgaard

Ordinary ship’s assistant
Lukas Kilbak

Able ship’s assistant
Michel Nørfjand