Captains, Mates, & Pilots of Water Vessels
Also called: Boat Captain, Captain, Ship Captain, Ship Pilot
Produced by CareerOneStop
Video transcript: skip transcript
Seafaring is not just a career…it’s a lifestyle. Captains, mates and ship pilots spend their days on the water on vessels of all sizes…on inland lakes and rivers, as well as the open sea. The captain is responsible for every aspect of the voyage and vessel. They set course and speed, direct crew members, and ensure that proper procedures are followed, keeping logs and records of the ship's movements and cargo, and supervising the loading and unloading of cargo and passengers. Mates are the captain's "right hand." They manage and train the deck crew, inspect and maintain inventory of equipment and order needed repairs. They stand watch, oversee ship operations and navigation when the captain is not on duty. Pilots are responsible for steering ships in and out of berths, through hazardous conditions and boat traffic. They motor out from harbor as a ship approaches, then climb aboard to take charge and safely berth the ship. Life aboard ship requires that one must be in good physical condition to tolerate the extremes of weather and irregular hours, and to be ready to respond to unexpected danger. Captains and ship pilots are expected to have vocational training or an associate’s degree, while mates often have a high school diploma. All require experience onboard ships. Licensing by the Coast Guard is required for work on ships registered in the U.S. If you can't resist the call of the sea, you might set sail for a nautical career.
What they do:Command or supervise operations of ships and water vessels, such as tugboats and ferryboats. Required to hold license issued by U.S. Coast Guard.
On the job, you would:
- Direct courses and speeds of ships, based on specialized knowledge of local winds, weather, water depths, tides, currents, and hazards.
- Prevent ships under navigational control from engaging in unsafe operations.
- Serve as a vessel's docking master upon arrival at a port or at a berth.
- movement of people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road
Safety and Government
- public safety and security
- law and government
Engineering and Technology
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- changing what is done based on other people's actions
- teaching people how to do something
- listen and understand what people say
- communicate by speaking
- pay attention to something without being distracted
- do two or more things at the same time
- know where things are around you
- imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed
- quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Self Control
- Stress Tolerance
- Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Route navigation software
- FURUNO navigational chart software
- Navigational chart software