Water Transportation Occupations

Does big waves and small tides fascinate you? Want to venture out in the sea to embrace water all around then sure, you have the most important trait to explore the careers in Water Transportation. Occupations related to water transportation offer a number of exciting and well-paying jobs. Passenger vessels or cargo vessels as well as small commercial vessels such as tugboats or ferries offer a variety of job opportunities.

The following are some types of water transportation occupations:
Captains, sometimes called masters, have overall command of a ship. They have the final responsibility for the safety of the crew, cargo, and passengers. The first mate has the highest authority and takes command of the ship if the captain is incapacitated. Usually, the first mate is in charge of the cargo and/or passengers, the second mate is in charge of navigation, and the third mate is in charge of safety. On smaller vessels, there may be only one mate.

Pilots guide ships in harbors, on rivers, and on other confined waterways. They work in places where a high degree of familiarity with local tides, currents, and hazards is needed.

Sailors, or deckhands, operate and maintain the vessel and deck equipment.

Ship engineers operate and maintain a vessel’s propulsion system. This includes the engine, boilers, generators, pumps and other machinery.

Marine oilers work in the engine room, helping the engineers keep the propulsion system in working order. They are the engine room equivalent of sailors.

Motorboat operators run small, motor-driven boats that carry six or fewer passengers. They work for a variety of services, such as fishing charters, tours, and harbor patrols.

Mates, or deck officers, direct the operation of a ship while the captain is off duty. Large ships have three officers, called first, second, and third mates.

Role Water Transportation Occupations

  • Operate and maintain private ships
  • Follow their ship’s strict chain of command
  • Ensure the safety of all people and cargo on board

Skills of Water Transportation Occupations

Customer-service skills: Motorboat operators interact with passengers and must ensure that passengers have a pleasant experience.
Hand-eye coordination: Officers and pilots who steer ships have to operate various controls while staying aware of their surroundings.
Hearing ability: Mariners must pass a hearing test to get an MMC.
Manual-dexterity: Crew members need good balance to maneuver through tight spaces and on wet or uneven surfaces.
Mechanical ability: Members of the engine department keep complex machines working properly.
Physical strength: Sailors on freight ships load and unload cargo. While away at sea, most workers likely have to do some heavy lifting.
Visual ability: Mariners must pass a vision test to get an MMC.

Work Schedules

Workers on deep-sea ships can spend months at a time away from home.
Workers on supply ships have shorter trips, usually lasting for a few hours to a week.
Tugboats and barges travel along the coasts and on inland waterways and are usually away for 2 to 3 weeks at a time.
Crews often work long hours, 7 days a week, while aboard a ship.
Ferry workers and motorboat operators usually are away only for a few hours at a time and return home each night. Many ferry and motorboat operators service ships for vacation destinations and have seasonal schedules

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