Hilmar started at sea at the age of 15 in 1972 in the Icelandic Merchant fleet. He gratuated from the Navigation School in Reykjavik in 1978 but in 1977 joined the Icelandic State Shipping as Deck Officer. In 1994 he was promoted to captain on pallet carriers in coastal service around coast of Iceland and Faroe Isl.
In September 1991 Hilmar was appointed as principal for the Maritime Safety and Survival Training Centre in Reykjavik, Iceland and also as the captain of the training vessel SÆBJÖRG to present day‘s. From August to December 2003 he was ICEIDA consultant at the Namibian Maritime and Fisheries Institute on safety training of fishermen. He has teachers education from the University of Iceland and Diploma in Helath and Safety in Ship Operation from Maritime Training Academy, University of Portsmouth.
Hilmar has been board member of the Maritime Accident Investigation Board (now Safety Investigation Authority (SIA-Iceland) since 1995 where he has been involved in investigation of accidents on Icelandic fishing- and merchant vessels. He has been member of a advisory board for Ministry of Transportation and Iceland Transport Authority on safety issues of fishermen and seafarers since 1998. In 1995 he became Vice-Chairman of the International Association for Safety and Survival Training and Chairman from 2004 till 2015.
In 2007 he was awarded Sea & Shore Safety Services Safety Award in Dublin Ireland in 2007. In 2013 he was awarded by the President of Iceland the Order of the Falcon for his work on safety education . In 2015 he was appointed as Honorary Member of IASST. Hilmar is one of the directors of the newly established FISH Platform Ltd.