Careers & Training



Follow these links to find out about Ports, Harbours & Maritime Pilots or becoming a Maritime Pilot

The Harbour Master is responsible for ensuring the safe navigation and use of the port or harbour. 

Ports can be busy places and may be hazardous places to work. The Harbour Master has a key role to play ensuring that people living and working in or close to the port, the port’s staff, customers or visitors to the port environment can go about their business safely.

Qualifications and Training

Currently, there are no mandatory qualifications to hold the position of Harbour Master.  However, a Harbour Master will normally be qualified to a level equivalent to the Master of the largest ship to visit the Port or Harbour. 

In most commercial ports this would be to the level of STCW Master Mariner Class 1 Certificate of Competency while in some leisure ports this may be to a RYA Yachtmaster or equivalent qualification (normally with an appropriate level of experience in the environment).

In 2012 a new qualification, the Harbour Master Certificate was introduced. It is not mandatory to have the certificate, but it is recognised by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency. The Certificate is based upon a year-long qualified appraisal of knowledge, understanding and application of the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) and an oral assessment by an MCA-approved review panel.

A Harbour Master may require additional qualifications, depending on the port’s trade and operations, and professional seafaring experience is normally a pre-requisite if pilotage duties are also required of the Harbour Master. 

Salary Brackets

Around £50,000 for an experienced Harbour Master




To work in ports you need:
• to be very safety-conscious
• teamworking and communication skills
• to be fit and healthy – some jobs require heavy lifting
• to be prepared to work irregular hours in some jobs
• language skills for some jobs.

Stevedores must have a driving licence. 

In the UK (and some other countries), regulations mean that no one under the age of 18 is allowed to operate certain machinery, including some lifting appliances. So, for certain jobs, such as stevedoring, entry is from the age of 18.


Intermediate apprenticeships Advanced apprenticeships Higher apprenticeships Degree apprenticeships
Intermediate apprenticeships are the entry-level apprenticeship for those looking to make a start in the world of work. Available to anyone from the age of 16, with no maximum age limit, they’re also a great option for anyone looking to make a career change. You’ll need five GCSEs grade A*-E/ 3-9 including Maths and English, as well as a Science subject to apply for an engineering or technical role, or two National 4s including Maths and English (or equivalent). You can apply for an advanced apprenticeship if you have five GCSEs or National 4 (or equivalent), including Maths and English, as well as a Science subject to apply for an engineering or technical role, or you’ve completed an intermediate apprenticeship or similar Level 2 qualification. They’re full-time roles, with a competitive salary and they’re a great way to develop specialist skills. Higher apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 18 who is looking for an alternative to attending university. You’ll need at least five GCSEs or National 5 + Highers (or equivalent) including Maths and English, as well as a Science subject to apply for an engineering or technical role. Additionally, you’ll require a minimum of two A levels or a level 3 equivalent qualification. Degree apprenticeships are great for 18–19-year-old school leavers looking to gain a degree while also starting their career journey. It’s the perfect option for those who can’t decide between an apprenticeship and university. They’re also a great option for anyone looking to make a career change.



Contact: Sue Clark
Address: Maritime Centre, Northney Marina
City: Hayling Island
County: Portsmouth
Postcode: PO11 0NH
Tel: +44 7707 039 991


United Kingdom


United Kingdom




United Kingdom



NAME: Pamela Neri
JOB TITLE: Commercial Manager
Do you need qualifications for your job?    
Yes, I have a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) but you could also have a project management qualification or other degree. 

How long did it take you to get to your current role?    
This is my first role at the Harbour. I’ve been working for over 30 years though. 

Why did you choose your industry?    
I chose to come to the Harbour because I am local and the Harbour masterplan is going to have such a huge impact on our community that I knew I wanted to be involved. 

Did anyone inspire you to follow this career?    
No, but I am the 3rd generation in my family to be employed by the Harbour so it’s not new to me. My grandfather worked in the fishmarket after retiring from fishing and my father was the Assistant Harbour Master after retiring as a skipper who fished from and landed at Fraserburgh. 

Are you able to say what is a typical salary band for your position?    
Whilst money is important – we all have families to feed -  it’s not my main motivator. 
What time do you start and finish work?    
I generally start at 9 and finish at 5, although the hours and the demands of the job are varied.  

Do you need to make any preparations for the day? Do you have to work outside normal working hours and/or from home?    
I try to make my mornings all about action, doing and making progress, and keep my afternoons for meetings and discussions. I work evenings and weekends sometimes but not often. I go to conferences and events too when they are relevant to the Harbour and our masterplan.  I can easily work at home when I need to.

Where will you be based? Is this where you would usually work?    
I am based in the Harbour office and this is usually where I work. 

Is there a dress code for your work?    
Yes, smart casual. It’s a very ‘practical’ place and I like to go out and walk around the harbour most days if I can. A dress and high heels doesn’t really work for that!

Do you need any special equipment to do your job?    

What do you do as soon as you get to work?    
I check what I have in my diary for the day and any preparation that needs to be done first before I swing into action. 

What are your key tasks today?    
To review a grant application that I want to submit for a forthcoming grant opportunity, check what information and evidence is outstanding and needs to be completed. 
To review and understand the criteria for a UK government investment initiative for offshore wind.
To meet with our consultants who are working on the OBC with me to discuss progress and agree next steps.  
To develop a timetable for the two work experience students who are coming in May from Fraserburgh Academy – I’m very much looking forward to having them around. 
To prepare for our management team meeting tomorrow. Check the agenda, make sure I have all the info I need, clarify for myself what actions/decisions I need to come away from that meeting with to make progress. 

How much time do you spend at a desk?    
It varies.  There can be times with a lot of desk-based work and then times I am rarely in. 

Do you work in a team?
Yes and no. I work independently in the Harbour, but I am also part of the senior management team. 

What are the highlights of your day?    
Going out and about in the Harbour. I find it really calming yet motivational. It helps me to visualise what we want to achieve and see the impact we have on our community and local businesses every day. 

What are the biggest challenges?    
I never feel I can go fast enough, and I lack patience. But things don’t always move quickly in infrastructure projects – until they do. 

What advice would you give someone looking to work in your role?    
I have found that the diversity of my experience, working in economic development, oil and gas and academia have all been hugely impactful, giving me skills and knowledge that I have been able to use in my current role. In fact, I don’t think I would be as good at my job without it.  Until recently I always wondered if I had done the wrong thing by not having a ’profession’ such as law or accountancy – but it’s all worked out well in the end. 
2024 DATES 2025 DATES 2026 DATES

Tuesday 11 June 2024
Wednesday 12 June 2024
Thursday 13 June 2024

Tuesday 10 June 2025
Wednesday 11 June 2025
Thursday 12 June 2025

Tuesday 09 June 2026
Wednesday 10 June 2026
Thursday 11 June 2026


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