Ship and Boat Captains

Command vessels in oceans, bays, lakes, rivers, or coastal waters.

Median Annual Wage: $72,340

Education: Post-secondary certificate (52%); High school diploma or equivalent (22%); Less than high school diploma (11%)

Projected Growth: Average (8% to 14%)

Related Job Titles: Captain; Boat Operator; Charter Boat Captain; Ferry Boat Captain; Harbor Tug Captain; Tug Captain; Relief Captain; Ship Captain; Tugboat Captain; Boat Captain

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Ship and Boat Captains.

More Transportation and Material Moving Careers

  • Dock or undock vessels, sometimes maneuvering through narrow spaces, such as locks.
  • Adjust navigation according to weather conditions.
  • Inspect vessels to ensure efficient and safe operation of vessels and equipment and conformance to regulations.
  • Read gauges to verify sufficient levels of hydraulic fluid, air pressure, or oxygen.
  • Conduct safety drills with crew.
  • Measure depths of water, using depth-measuring equipment.
  • Signal passing vessels, using whistles, flashing lights, flags, or radios.
  • Compute positions, set courses, and determine speeds, using charts, area plotting sheets, compasses, sextants, and knowledge of local conditions.
  • Signal crew members or deckhands to rig tow lines, open or close gates or ramps, or pull guard chains across entries.
  • Maintain boats or equipment on board, such as engines, winches, navigational systems, fire extinguishers, or life preservers.
  • Maintain records of daily activities, personnel reports, ship positions and movements, ports of call, weather and sea conditions, pollution control efforts, or cargo or passenger status.
  • Monitor the loading or discharging of cargo or passengers.
  • Calculate sightings of land, using electronic sounding devices and following contour lines on charts.
  • Direct or coordinate crew members or workers performing activities such as loading or unloading cargo, steering vessels, operating engines, or operating, maintaining, or repairing ship equipment.
  • Arrange for ships to be fueled, restocked with supplies, or repaired.
  • Purchase supplies or equipment.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Ship and Boat Captains.

  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Ship and Boat Captains.

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