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Sailor or Marine Oiler

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What You Need to Know About Sailor or Marine Oiler

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.

A Day in the Life of a Sailor or Marine Oiler

  • Clean and polish wood trim, brass, or other metal parts.
  • Load or unload materials, vehicles, or passengers from vessels.
  • Participate in shore patrols.
  • Stand gangway watches to prevent unauthorized persons from boarding ships while in port.
  • Overhaul lifeboats or lifeboat gear and lower or raise lifeboats with winches or falls.
  • Tie barges together into tow units for tugboats to handle, inspecting barges periodically during voyages and disconnecting them when destinations are reached.

Things a Sailor or Marine Oiler Should Know How to Do

Below is a list of the skills most Sailors and Marine Oilers 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.

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.

  • Floatman
  • Ordinary Seaman
  • Marine Firefighter
  • Barge Hand
  • Able Bodied Watchman (AB Watchman)

Sailor or Marine Oiler Employment Estimates

There were about 33,800 jobs for Sailor or Marine Oiler in 2016 (in the United States). 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.

Average Sailors and Marine Oilers Salary

The salary for Sailors and Marine Oilers ranges between about $23,880 and $72,510 a year.


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

Tools & Technologies Used by Sailors and Marine Oilers

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:


How Long Does it Take to Become a Sailor or Marine Oiler?


Where do Sailors and Marine Oilers Work?


Sailors and Marine Oilers work in the following industries:


Other Jobs You May 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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