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Summary Report for:
53-5021.01 - Ship and Boat Captains

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

Sample of reported job titles: Captain, Boat Operator, Charter Boat Captain, Ferry Boat Captain, Harbor Tug Captain, Tow Boat Captain, Tug Captain, Relief Captain, Ship Captain, Tugboat Captain

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Steer and operate vessels, using radios, depth finders, radars, lights, buoys, or lighthouses.
  • Compute positions, set courses, and determine speeds, using charts, area plotting sheets, compasses, sextants, and knowledge of local conditions.
  • Inspect vessels to ensure efficient and safe operation of vessels and equipment and conformance to regulations.
  • Measure depths of water, using depth-measuring equipment.
  • 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.
  • Monitor the loading or discharging of cargo or passengers.
  • Calculate sightings of land, using electronic sounding devices and following contour lines on charts.
  • Signal passing vessels, using whistles, flashing lights, flags, or radios.
  • Maintain boats or equipment on board, such as engines, winches, navigational systems, fire extinguishers, or life preservers.
  • Signal crew members or deckhands to rig tow lines, open or close gates or ramps, or pull guard chains across entries.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Bridge cranes — Electric deck cranes; Grabbing cranes; Hydraulic deck cranes
Depth gauges — Echo sounders; Sounding rods
Fire extinguishers — Portable carbon dioxide fire extinguishers; Portable dry chemical fire extinguishers; Portable water fire extinguishers
Fire suppression system — Carbon dioxide CO2 fire extinguishing systems; Carbon dioxide CO2 flooding systems; Foam fire extinguishing systems
Marine craft communications systems — Bridge to bridge radiotelephones; High frequency HF radiotelephone systems; Ultra high frequency UHF radiotelephone systems; Voice pipes
Marine signaling systems — Semaphores; Ship's whistles; Signal flags; Signal light controls
Vehicle navigation systems — Dynamic positioning DP systems; Electronic chart display and information systems ECDIS; Long range navigation LORAN systems; Voyage management systems VMS

Technology used in this occupation:

Data base user interface and query software — KNMI TurboWin; Log book software
Facilities management software — Computerized maintenance management system CMMS software
Route navigation software — Jeppesen Marine Nobeltec Admiral; Maptech The CAPN

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Knowledge

Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

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Skills

Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Abilities

Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Spatial Orientation — The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

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Work Activities

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

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Work Context

Face-to-Face Discussions — 99% responded “Every day.”
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 94% responded “Very important results.”
Frequency of Decision Making — 95% responded “Every day.”
Telephone — 87% responded “Every day.”
Freedom to Make Decisions — 78% responded “A lot of freedom.”
Structured versus Unstructured Work — 84% responded “A lot of freedom.”
Work With Work Group or Team — 82% responded “Extremely important.”
Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 84% responded “Every day.”
Duration of Typical Work Week — 93% responded “More than 40 hours.”
Contact With Others — 83% responded “Constant contact with others.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
38   Post-secondary certificate Help
25   Associate's degree
13   Less than high school diploma

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses

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Interests

Interest code: ER

Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Work Styles

Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

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Work Values

Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Related Occupations

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33-1021.01 Municipal Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisors
33-1021.02 Forest Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisors
33-2011.01 Municipal Firefighters   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
33-2011.02 Forest Firefighters Bright Outlook
45-1011.08 First-Line Supervisors of Animal Husbandry and Animal Care Workers
47-1011.00 First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers Bright Outlook
49-1011.00 First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers Bright Outlook   Green Occupation Green
53-5021.03 Pilots, Ship
53-5031.00 Ship Engineers

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels.
Employment data collected from Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels.
Industry data collected from Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels.

Median wages (2013) $33.62 hourly, $69,920 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 35,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 21,300
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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