What Does A Motorboat Operator Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Motorboat Operators

Motorboat Operators operate small motor-driven boats. May assist in navigational activities.

Salary
$53500
Becoming One
Easy
Education
Post-secondary certificate
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Motorboat Operators operate small motor-driven boats. May assist in navigational activities.

  • Maintain desired courses, using compasses or electronic navigational aids.
  • Follow safety procedures to ensure the protection of passengers, cargo, and vessels.
  • Direct safety operations in emergency situations.
  • Operate engine throttles and steering mechanisms to guide boats on desired courses.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Motorboat Operators take depth soundings in turning basins. They oversee the operation of vessels used for carrying passengers, motor vehicles, or goods across rivers, harbors, lakes, and coastal waters.

  • Issue directions for loading, unloading, and seating in boats.
  • Organize and direct the activities of crew members.
  • Maintain desired courses, using compasses or electronic navigational aids.
  • Follow safety procedures to ensure the protection of passengers, cargo, and vessels.
  • Operate engine throttles and steering mechanisms to guide boats on desired courses.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Motorboat Operators also arrange repairs, fuel, and supplies for vessels. They may also service motors by performing tasks such as changing oil and lubricating parts.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Motorboat Operators perform general labor duties such as repairing booms. They might also direct safety operations in emergency situations.

In addition, they tow, push, or guide other boats, barges, logs, or rafts.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them organize and direct the activities of crew members.

To some Motorboat Operators, it is also their responsibility to maintain equipment such as range markers, fire extinguishers, boat fenders, lines, pumps, and fittings.

Featured Schools


What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

Average

61% said they were satisfied with their job and 47% said they found their job meaningful.


Chaz Wyland

I have spent a few summers working as a motorboat operator, and it was one of my favorite job experiences.

Driving a motorboat is a lot of fun, and getting paid to do it is even better. If you have a love of the water or a need for speed, it’s a solid potential career to explore. I didn’t pursue it as a year-round job but know a few old-timers who have and they are extremely happy.

A typical day at work starts pretty early. The water is flatter/calmer in the morning, which is ideal for waterskiing, wakeboarding, or any other behind the boat activity.

Before taking on any customers, I get the boat gassed up and make sure everything is in good working order for the day.

After that, it’s mostly driving around, entertaining customers, and making sure everyone is safe and enjoying the ride.

MasterCraft ProStar

MasterCraft ProStar

Pros

For me, just being out on the water and enjoying the open air and freedom that comes with it was a huge pro. I love being outside in nature and an early morning on the water is pretty hard to top.

Also, getting to meet people from all over the world who came on board for tours and trips was a blast. I got to talk to so many interesting people and made a few friends and contacts from that time that I still stay in touch with.

Cons

Cons would be that the pay isn’t always great and the days when someone gets injured – even though that doesn’t happen very often.

Another con would be that because I worked more in a seasonal capacity, the job never had the potential to develop into a full-time career. I enjoyed my summers immensely but since it was a very tourist-dependent sort of situation, it wasn’t steady.

Overall, I think it’s an amazing job and would recommend it to anyone who is even slightly interested.

Advice to aspiring Boat Operators

For your student readers, I would recommend getting out on the water and being on a boat as much as possible. I really don’t think there is an in-school substitute for hands-on experience. The more time you spend driving/operating a boat and learning about the mechanical and safety aspects involved, the better off you’ll be.

Also, if you want to have your own boat rather than work for a guide service or tour company, you’re looking at a substantial initial investment. Depending on the size of a boat, it can be like taking out a small mortgage!

Chaz Wyland
Boat Driver
SnowmobileHow.com


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who value relationships between co-workers and customers and want to work in a friendly non-competitive environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work both indoors and outdoors.

It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Short working hours (Less than 40 hours per week).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to work with designs.

Salary is below average.

How much do they make

Average salary

$53500 per year

Average hourly wage

$26 per hour

Entry-level Motorboat Operators with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $27,820 to $37,700 per year or $13 to $18 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $77,630 $37
Senior (Top 25%) $66,020 $32
Median $55,910 $27
Junior (Bottom 25%) $37,700 $18
No experience (Bottom 10%) $27,820 $13

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Motorboat Operators based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Federal Executive Branch $65400 $31.44
Support Activities for Water Transportation $62290 $29.95
Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction $56820 $27.32
Inland Water Transportation $48800 $23.46
Other Amusement and Recreation Industries $48570 $23.35
Local Government $48440 $23.29
Amusement Parks and Arcades $45250 $21.76
Other Motor Vehicle Dealers $44300 $21.30
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Water $43240 $20.79
Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services $39530 $19.01

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Motorboat Operators work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Motorboat Operators including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Federal Executive Branch 220 $65400 $31.44
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Water 190 $43240 $20.79
Other Amusement and Recreation Industries 180 $48570 $23.35
Inland Water Transportation 120 $48800 $23.46
Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction 100 $56820 $27.32
Local Government 60 $48440 $23.29
Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions 50 $36600 $17.60
Amusement Parks and Arcades 40 $45250 $21.76
Other Motor Vehicle Dealers $44300 $21.30
Support Activities for Water Transportation $62290 $29.95

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
55%

40 hours
4%

More than 40 hours
42%

Working schedule

38%

10%

52%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
6%

Every day
5%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
11%

Every day
89%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
1%

Every day
95%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
45%

Once a year
4%

Once a month
26%

Once a week
0%

Every day
26%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
5%

Slightly competitive
26%

Moderately competitive
55%

Highly competitive
13%

Extremely competitive
0%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
32%

Once a year or more
2%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
28%

Every day
38%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
30%

Once a year or more
2%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
5%

Every day
64%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
0%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
29%

Once a week or more
4%

Every day
67%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
9%

Once a year or more
3%

Once a month or more
28%

Once a week or more
3%

Every day
58%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Easy
You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category usually don’t require a degree. However, you will need a few months of on-the-job training with experienced employees. Similar careers include Customer Service Representatives, Security Guards, and Bank Tellers.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
21%

High School Diploma or equivalent
6%

Post-Secondary Certificate
47%

Some College Courses
26%

Associate’s Degree or similar
0%

Bachelor’s Degree
0%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Marine Science/Merchant Marine Officer

A program that prepares individuals to serve as captains, executive officers, engineers and ranking mates on commercially licensed inland, coastal and ocean-going vessels. Includes instruction in maritime traditions and law, maritime policy, economics and management of commercial marine operations, basic naval architecture and engineering, shipboard power systems engineering, crew supervision, and administrative procedures.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
21%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
2%

1 to 2 years
5%

2 to 4 years
51%

4 to 6 years
21%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
1%

1 month
21%

1 to 3 months
41%

3 to 6 months
3%

6 months to 1 year
7%

1 to 2 years
7%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 10 years
20%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

The Builder
100%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
43%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
14%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
24%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
67%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
67%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk-taking and often deal with business.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
43%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
50%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
48%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
67%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
67%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
67%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


Don’t know which career to pursue?

Take the career quiz to find careers that match your personality type.

Take The Career Quiz