How To Become a Ship and Boat Captain

Stan T.Career, RequirementsLeave a Comment

How Long Does It Take, What Degree Do You Need, and More

Ship and Boat Captains

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

Becoming One
Post-secondary certificate
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Interest Match

What degree do you need

Recommended degree level

Post-Secondary Certificate

We did a survey to ask other Ship and Boat Captains what degree they had when they became a Ship and Boat Captain. Here are the results.
a Post-Secondary Certificate

High School Diploma

College Certificate

One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become Ship and Boat Captains or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked Ship and Boat Captains what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

Commercial Fishing
Marine Science or Merchant Marine Officer

Most Ship and Boat Captains have a bachelor’s degree from a merchant marine academy. The academy programs offer a bachelor’s degree and a Merchant Marine Credential (MMC) with an endorsement as a third mate or third assistant engineer. Graduates of these programs can also choose to receive a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Merchant Marine Reserve, or U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. Non-officers, such as sailors or marine oilers, usually do not need a degree.

How hard is it

Not Too Hard

You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be a Ship and Boat Captain. For example, an electrician must complete three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Careers in this difficulty category will usually need 1 or 2 years of on-the-job training and informal training with experienced workers. These careers usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Similar careers include hydroelectric production managers, travel agents, electricians, court reporters, and medical assistants.

Related work experience required
2 to 4 years

2 to 4 years

4 to 6 years

1 to 2 years

Job training
2 to 4 years

2 to 4 years

1 to 2 years

6 months to 1 year

License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification

All mariners working on ships with U.S. flags must have a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) from the Transportation Security Administration. Most mariners must also have a Merchant Marine Credential (MMC). To move up each step of the occupation ladder, from third mate/third assistant engineer to second to first and then to captain or chief engineer, requires 365 days of experience at the previous level. A second mate or second assistant engineer who wants to move to first mate/first assistant engineer also must complete a 12-week training course and pass an exam.

Skills required

We asked other Ship and Boat Captains if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Coordination what does this mean
2. Speaking what does this mean
3. Operation Monitoring what does this mean
4. Operation and Control what does this mean
5. Judgement and Decision Making what does this mean

= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need certain know-hows to excel at your job. Ship and Boat Captains are generally very knowledgeable in these 5 key areas.

1. Public Safety and Security what does this mean
2. Transportation what does this mean
3. Customer and Personal Service what does this mean
4. Administration and Management what does this mean
5. Education and Training what does this mean

Learn more about Ship and Boat Captains

Job Description
Requirements (You are here)

Related to Ship and Boat Captains Requirements

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