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Sailor or Marine Oiler

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All About Sailors and Marine Oilers

Job Description & Duties 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

  • Measure depth of water in shallow or unfamiliar waters, using leadlines, and telephone or shout depth information to vessel bridges.
  • Overhaul lifeboats or lifeboat gear and lower or raise lifeboats with winches or falls.
  • Record data in ships' logs, such as weather conditions or distances traveled.
  • Load or unload materials, vehicles, or passengers from vessels.
  • Participate in shore patrols.
  • Give directions to crew members engaged in cleaning wheelhouses or quarterdecks.

What a Sailor or Marine Oiler Should Know

When polled, Sailors and Marine Oilers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

Repairing: Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

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

Other Sailor or Marine Oiler Job Titles

  • Water Tender
  • Sailor
  • Ship Laborer
  • Boat Deckhand
  • Marine Technician

Is There Job Demand for Sailors and Marine Oilers?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 33,800 jobs in the United States for Sailor or Marine Oiler. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,600 new jobs for Sailor or Marine Oiler by 2026. There will be an estimated 4,400 positions for Sailor or Marine Oiler per year.


The states with the most job growth for Sailor or Marine Oiler are Idaho, Tennessee, and Minnesota. Watch out if you plan on working in Kentucky, Indiana, or Mississippi. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Sailors and Marine Oilers Make A Lot Of Money?

The typical yearly salary for Sailors and Marine Oilers is somewhere between $23,880 and $72,510.


Sailors and Marine Oilers who work in Michigan, Minnesota, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

How much do Sailors and Marine Oilers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $38,890
Alaska $43,120
Arkansas $31,810
California $44,960
Connecticut $42,040
Delaware $40,140
Florida $64,300
Georgia $34,040
Hawaii $39,550
Illinois $48,060
Iowa $36,740
Kentucky $40,640
Louisiana $46,430
Maine $32,450
Maryland $50,110
Massachusetts $36,190
Michigan $53,450
Minnesota $52,430
Mississippi $39,890
Missouri $50,720
New Jersey $36,750
New York $48,740
North Carolina $33,020
Ohio $40,070
Oregon $50,580
Pennsylvania $38,960
South Carolina $35,270
Tennessee $31,110
Texas $40,210
Virginia $44,060
Washington $51,720
West Virginia $48,770
Wisconsin $45,370

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 Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Computerized maintenance management system CMMS
  • Log book software
  • KNMI TurboWin

How to Become a Sailor or Marine Oiler

Individuals working as a Sailor or Marine Oiler have obtained the following education levels:


What work experience do I need to become a Sailor or Marine Oiler?


Who Employs Sailors and Marine Oilers?


Sailors and Marine Oilers work in the following industries:


You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming a Sailor or Marine Oiler might also be interested in the following careers:

Are you already one of the many Sailor or Marine Oiler in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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