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All About Ship Captains

Ship Captain Job Description Command vessels in oceans, bays, lakes, rivers, or coastal waters.

What Do Ship Captains Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Inspect vessels to ensure efficient and safe operation of vessels and equipment and conformance to regulations.
  • Calculate sightings of land, using electronic sounding devices and following contour lines on charts.
  • Signal crew members or deckhands to rig tow lines, open or close gates or ramps, or pull guard chains across entries.
  • Measure depths of water, using depth-measuring equipment.
  • Resolve questions or problems with customs officials.
  • Steer and operate vessels, using radios, depth finders, radars, lights, buoys, or lighthouses.

Ship Captain Needed Skills

These are the skills Ship Captains say are the most useful in their careers:

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Types of Ship Captain

  • Deck Officer
  • Tow Boat Captain
  • Oil Tanker Captain
  • Deep Submergence Vehicle Operator
  • Water Vessel Captain

What Kind of Ship Captain Job Opportunities Are There?

In the United States, there were 38,800 jobs for Ship Captain in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 3,400 new jobs for Ship Captain by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 4,400 job openings in this field each year.

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

The states with the most job growth for Ship Captain are Nevada, Georgia, and Tennessee. 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 Captain Make?

The salary for Ship Captains ranges between about $35,410 and $144,690 a year.

Salary Ranges for Ship Captains

Ship Captains who work in Texas, Oregon, or Maryland, make the highest salaries.

How much do Ship Captains make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $79,750
Alaska $72,570
California $70,840
Delaware $74,790
Florida $78,880
Georgia $73,410
Hawaii $52,830
Illinois $67,020
Iowa $75,600
Kentucky $79,130
Louisiana $93,010
Maine $61,410
Maryland $86,460
Massachusetts $57,700
Michigan $83,040
Minnesota $73,910
New Hampshire $51,490
New Jersey $75,170
New York $95,370
North Carolina $55,710
Ohio $47,810
Oregon $100,150
Pennsylvania $74,780
South Carolina $67,090
Tennessee $54,480
Texas $103,950
Virginia $77,370
Washington $90,890
Wisconsin $48,190

What Tools & Technology do Ship Captains Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Ship Captains may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Autodesk Revit
  • Computerized maintenance management system CMMS
  • Log book software
  • Jeppesen Marine Nobeltec Admiral
  • Maptech The CAPN
  • KNMI TurboWin

How to Become a Ship Captain

Individuals working as a Ship Captain have obtained the following education levels:

Ship Captain Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Ship Captain Work Experience

Where do Ship Captains Work?

Ship Captain Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Ship Captains work:

Ship Captain Industries

Similar Careers

Those who work as a Ship Captain sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

Image Credit: {} via CC0 Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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