VTS Duty Officer

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Average Income


per year


  • Support vessels to move safely and efficiently into a harbour
  • Shift work, including nights and weekends
  • Work experience available at Harwich Haven Authority


VTS stands for Vessel Traffic Services.  The main responsibility of a VTS Officer is the safe and efficient movement of vessels, whilst protecting the environment.  In the role, a VTS officer will ensure the safe navigation of vessels and bring them safely into a harbour; it is like air traffic control for ships!

VTS operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including Christmas.  A VTS Officer will work within a 12½ hour shift system and will work 14 shifts over 4 weeks; this is divided into 7 day shifts and 7-night shifts with 10 days leave.  A VTS officer will work as part of a watch, which comprises 3 people: 2 VTS officers and one GT officer.  As such this role requires close working as a team.

This role is office-based and a VTS officer will work in an operations room with equipment including radar, VHF, and a computer database of vessels.  It is essential to be able to communicate effectively and be responsible and disciplined in this role.

The minimum qualification requirements for this role are 5 GCSEs including Maths and English and a background in maritime is an advantage.  There are several qualifications that can be undertaken whilst in the role.

For more information about this role, visit:

The Maritime Industry Foundation: Vessel Traffic Controller Officer | Maritime Industry Knowledge Center (maritimeinfo.org)

Information about the employer

For more than 900 years, Harwich has attracted trade from across the world. With its deep natural estuary, it continues to contribute to the UK’s economic growth.

To safeguard this important driver of wealth and employment, Harwich Haven Authority was established by an act of Parliament in 1863. As a trust port, we’re responsible for preserving 150 square miles of the Haven; with 40% of the country’s container traffic travelling through the area, our role is critical to its ongoing success and development.

We also ensure the safety of everyone using the harbour. Our PilotageVessel Traffic Services, and supporting marine services work to keep the Haven flowing night and day.

As an independent organisation with no shareholders we generate income through the services we provide. This enables us to reinvest surplus profits for the benefit of our stakeholders. We’re accountable to our many stakeholders including The Department for Transport, local authorities, environmental groups, sailors, residents, community groups and our employees.  We also maintain a continuous dialogue with them to ensure we’re providing a Haven that meets everyone’s needs.

Learn about Harwich Haven Authority – your Trust Port | HHA

VTS Duty Officer

VTS stands for Vessel Traffic Services.  The main responsibility of a VTS Officer is the safe and efficient movement of...

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