Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels


Salary Median (2020)


Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)

-0.3% (little or no change)


What Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels Do

Command or supervise operations of ships and water vessels, such as tugboats and ferryboats. Required to hold license issued by U.S. Coast Guard.

Other Job Titles Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels May Have

Boat Captain, Boat Operator, Captain, Ferry Boat Captain, First Mate, Ship Captain, Ship Pilot, Tugboat Captain, Tugboat Mate, Vessel Master

How Leaders Describe a Typical Day at Work

Captain & Project Director ,

Kānehūnāmoku Voyaging Academy & Mana Maoli

While having a cup of tea, walk down to the water, observe whats happening in the environment--where is the sun, whats the wind like, whats the tide, etc. As the staff and crew arrive, prepare for the school group that is coming today. As we all prepare and get ready for the day, everyone gets assigned their responsibilities. After the school group leaves, we clean up, get back to paperwork and emails, maybe have lunch together and talk about the day and get ready for the next day.

Tasks & Responsibilities May Include

  • Direct courses and speeds of ships, based on specialized knowledge of local winds, weather, water depths, tides, currents, and hazards.
  • Prevent ships under navigational control from engaging in unsafe operations.
  • Serve as a vessel's docking master upon arrival at a port or at a berth.
  • Consult maps, charts, weather reports, or navigation equipment to determine and direct ship movements.
  • Steer and operate vessels, using radios, depth finders, radars, lights, buoys, or lighthouses.

This page includes information from theO*NET 26.1 Databaseby the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under theCC BY 4.0license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.