On Austria's navigable bodies of water there is the possibility to be trained in the area of inland waterways and shipping. Inland navigation operators work on cargo ships and passenger ships. The training is organised as an apprenticeship, the prerequisite is the completion of compulsory schooling of 9 years. The dual vocational training takes place primarily on the sailing vessel of a training company. Blocks of 3 months per year are scheduled for school-based education. It takes place at the Vocational School for Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering and Electronics located in Vienna. The apprenticeship usually lasts for 3 years. The final apprenticeship examination and the accompanying apprenticeship certificate can also be taken via second-chance education.

Achenseeschifffahrt, BRANDER Schifffahrt, DDSG Blue Danube and Ossiachersee Schifffahrt hire apprentices for inland waterways and shipping. Vacant (apprentice) positions can be found at www.ams.at. If you have been able to find an apprenticeship, you will conclude a written apprenticeship contract with the respective shipping company.

viadonau makes various publications and materials available to trainers and trainees and strives for a regular exchange of knowledge. In addition, viadonau supports national decision-makers during the implementation of the Directive (EU) 2017/2397 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the recognition of professional qualifications in inland navigation. From 2022, the Austrian apprenticeship shall represent an approved training programme in accordance with the EU Directive: Graduates will obtain an "Union certificate of qualification" along with their apprenticeship certificate and will thus be holder of an internationally recognised professional qualification. The required adaptations of the training programme and the related legislative framework will be accompanied by the EU co-financed Danube SKILLS project.

Initial and further training is very different in the individual Danube countries as well as in Europe as a whole. Education in Inland Navigation (EDINNA), the association of inland waterway navigation schools and training institutes in Europe, provides an overview of the training opportunities in Europe on its website. EDINNA supports the European Commission in its efforts to harmonise education and certification in inland navigation.