Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Mates- Ship, Boat, and Barge

Find Schools Near

What Does it Take to Be a Ship Mate?

Job Description & Duties Supervise or coordinate activities of crew aboard ships, boats, barges, or dredges.

List of Ship Mate Job Duties

  • Stand watches on vessels during specified periods while vessels are under way.
  • Observe loading or unloading of cargo or equipment to ensure that handling and storage are performed according to specifications.
  • Observe water from ships’ mastheads to advise on navigational direction.
  • Supervise crews in cleaning or maintaining decks, superstructures, or bridges.
  • Arrange for ships to be stocked, fueled, or repaired.
  • Supervise crew members in the repair or replacement of defective gear or equipment.

Qualities of a Ship Mate

Below is a list of the skills most Ship Mates say are important on the job.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

  • Fourth Mate
  • Able Bodied Tankerman (AB Tankerman)
  • Second Officer
  • Dredge Mate
  • First Mate

Are There Job Opportunities for Ship Mates?

In the United States, there were 38,800 jobs for Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels in 2016.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.8% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 3,400 new jobs for Ship Mates by 2026. The BLS estimates 4,400 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Ship Mates in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels are Louisiana, Texas, and Florida.

Watch out if you plan on working in Kentucky, Indiana, or Oregon. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Ship Mate Make?

The average yearly salary of a Ship Mate ranges between $35,410 and $144,690. A Ship Mate median salary is $69,180.

Salary Ranges for Ship Mates

How much do Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary





New York




















New Jersey














South Carolina








North Carolina






New Hampshire






Becoming a Ship Mate

Education needed to be a Ship Mate:

Ship Mate Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become Ship Mate?

Ship Mate Work Experience

Where do Ship Mates Work?

Ship Mate Sectors


Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

Find Schools Near You

Our free school finder has matched thousands of students with colleges.