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What You Need to Know About Ship Captain

Position Description Command vessels in oceans, bays, lakes, rivers, or coastal waters.

List of Ship Captain Job Duties

  • Collect fares from customers or signal ferryboat helpers to collect fares.
  • Direct or coordinate crew members or workers performing activities such as loading or unloading cargo, steering vessels, operating engines, or operating, maintaining, or repairing ship equipment.
  • Adjust navigation according to weather conditions.
  • Sort logs, form log booms, or salvage lost logs.
  • Arrange for ships to be fueled, restocked with supplies, or repaired.
  • Compute positions, set courses, and determine speeds, using charts, area plotting sheets, compasses, sextants, and knowledge of local conditions.

Qualities of a Ship Captain

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.

  • Oil Tanker Captain
  • Lighter Captain
  • Marine Superintendent
  • Tugboat Captain
  • Ferry Boat Captain

Are There Job Opportunities for Ship Captains?

There were about 38,800 jobs for Ship Captain in 2016 (in the United States). 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. The BLS estimates 4,400 yearly job openings in this field.

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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.

Average Ship Captains Salary

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

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

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Ship Captains 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 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

Are there Ship Captains education requirements?

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How Long Does it Take to Become a Ship Captain?

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Who Employs Ship Captains?

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Below are examples of industries where Ship Captains work:

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You May Also Be Interested In…

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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