What Do Ship and Boat Captains Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Ship and Boat Captains

Ship and Boat Captains command vessels in oceans, bays, lakes, rivers, or coastal waters.

Salary
$89740
Becoming One
Medium
Education
Post-secondary certificate
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match



Job Description

Job Description

Ship and Boat Captains command vessels in oceans, bays, lakes, rivers, or coastal waters. They also steer and operate vessels, using radios, depth finders, radars, lights, buoys, or lighthouses.

Other tasks include:

  • 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.
  • Tow and maneuver barges or signal tugboats to tow barges to destinations.

We asked Ship and Boat Captains how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

75%

How meaningful is this job

67%


75% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 67% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



Featured Schools

Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Ship and Boat Captains maintain boats or equipment on board, such as engines, winches, navigational systems, fire extinguishers, or life preservers. They inspect vessels to ensure efficient and safe operation of vessels and equipment and conformance to regulations.

A typical day for a Ship and Boat Captain will also include:

  • Sort logs, form log booms, or salvage lost logs.
  • Perform various marine duties, such as checking for oil spills or other pollutants around ports or harbors or patrolling beaches.
  • Steer and operate vessels, using radios, depth finders, radars, lights, buoys, or lighthouses.
  • 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.
  • Collect fares from customers or signal ferryboat helpers to collect fares.

We asked some Ship and Boat Captains a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 55% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 57% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 93% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 48% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 9% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 85% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Ship and Boat Captains also conduct safety drills with crew. They may also purchase supplies or equipment.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Ship and Boat Captains Arrange for ships to be fueled, restocked with supplies, or repaired. They might also Assign watches or living quarters to crew members.

In addition, they Dock or undock vessels, sometimes maneuvering through narrow spaces, such as locks.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them 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.

To some Ship and Boat Captains, it is also their responsibility to Monitor the loading or discharging of cargo or passengers.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Ship and Boat Captain, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Ship and Boat Captains work in an office-style work environment?

Never
53%


Every day
45%


Do Ship and Boat Captains work outdoors?

Every day
47%


Once a week
40%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Entrepreneurs and The Builders

People who are suitable for this job tends to 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..

They also 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.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



Learn more about Ship and Boat Captains

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Related to Ship and Boat Captains Job Description

Ship and Boat Captains job description, what do Ship and Boat Captains do, typical day for Ship and Boat Captains, what is it like to work as a Ship and Boat Captain, how many hours do Ship and Boat Captains work, day to day work of a Ship and Boat Captain

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/transportation-and-material-moving/water-transportation-occupations.htm
http://www.marad.dot.gov/
http://www.uscg.mil/
http://www.americanwaterways.com/


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