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What is a Sailor or Marine Oiler?

Occupation Description Stand watch to look for obstructions in path of vessel, measure water depth, turn wheel on bridge, or use emergency equipment as directed by captain, mate, or pilot. Break out, rig, overhaul, and store cargo-handling gear, stationary rigging, and running gear. Perform a variety of maintenance tasks to preserve the painted surface of the ship and to maintain line and ship equipment. Must hold government-issued certification and tankerman certification when working aboard liquid-carrying vessels. Includes able seamen and ordinary seamen.

Daily Life Of a Sailor or Marine Oiler

  • Overhaul lifeboats or lifeboat gear and lower or raise lifeboats with winches or falls.
  • Participate in shore patrols.
  • Operate, maintain, or repair ship equipment, such as winches, cranes, derricks, or weapons system.
  • Record data in ships’ logs, such as weather conditions or distances traveled.
  • Stand by wheels when ships are on automatic pilot and verify accuracy of courses, using magnetic compasses.
  • Read pressure and temperature gauges or displays and record data in engineering logs.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Sailor or Marine Oiler?

These are the skills Sailors and Marine Oilers say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

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

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.

Types of Sailors and Marine Oilers

  • Crewman
  • Seaman
  • Mariner
  • Marine Oiler
  • Float Tender

Sailor or Marine Oiler Job Outlook

There were about 33,800 jobs for Sailors and Marine Oilers in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.6% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,600 new jobs for Sailors and Marine Oilers by 2026. There will be an estimated 4,400 positions for Sailor or Marine Oiler per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Sailors and Marine Oilers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Sailors and Marine Oilers are Texas, Louisiana, and Virginia.

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

Sailor or Marine Oiler Salary

Sailors and Marine Oilers Make between $23,880 and $72,510 a year. The median salary for this occupation is $40,900.

Salary Ranges for Sailors and Marine Oilers

How much do Sailors and Marine Oilers make in each U.S. state?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary















West Virginia


New York
































New Jersey






South Carolina




North Carolina








What Tools & Technology do Sailors and Marine Oilers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Sailors and Marine Oilers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Windows

How to Become a Sailor or Marine Oiler

What education or degrees do I need to become a Sailor or Marine Oiler?

Sailor or Marine Oiler Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Sailor or Marine Oiler Work Experience

Who Employs Sailors and Marine Oilers?

Sailor or Marine Oiler Sectors

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being a Sailor or Marine Oiler may also be interested in:

  • Pump Operators, Except Wellhead Pumpers

Career changers with experience as a Sailor or Marine Oiler sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

  • Conveyor Operators and Tenders
  • Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators
  • Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers


Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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