CAREER GUIDE FOR SHIP AND BOAT CAPTAIN

SOC Code: 53-5021.01

Pay Band(s): 4           (Salary Structure)

Standard Occupational Description: Command vessels in oceans, bays, lakes, rivers, and coastal waters.

Ship and Boat Captain positions in the Commonwealth are assigned to the following Roles in the Watercraft Operations

Watercraft Operations Manager I

While Ship and Boat Captains within the Commonwealth are all located within the Watercraft Operations Career Group, individuals may want to pursue other opportunities within the Commonwealth depending upon individual training, education, knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests.   

Other Career Group(s) that may be of interest are:

Transportation Operations

Program Administration

SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND TASKS

(Technical and Functional Expertise)

Skills
Note: The technical and functional skills listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Ship and Boat Captains commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the skills listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

  1. Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  2. Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  3. Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  4. Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  5. Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  6. Using mathematics to solve problems.
  7. Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  8. 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.

Knowledge
Note: The technical and functional knowledge statements listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Ship and Boat Captains commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the knowledge listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Knowledge of:

  1. Principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  2. 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.
  3. Business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  4. Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  5. And prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  6. Laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

Abilities
Note: The technical and functional abilities listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Ship and Boat Captains commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the abilities listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Ability to:

  1. Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  2. Know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
  3. Quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  4. See details at a distance.
  5. Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  6. Add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  7. Choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
  8. See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  9. See under low light conditions.
  10. See objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.

Tasks
Note:  The following is a list of sample tasks typically performed by Ship and Boat Captains.  Employees in this occupation will not necessarily perform all of the tasks listed. 

  1. Commands water vessels, such as passenger and freight vessels, fishing vessels, yachts, tugboats, barges, deep submergence vehicles, and ferryboats.
  2. Directs and coordinates activities of crew or workers, such as loading and unloading, operating signal devices, fishing, and repairing defective equipment.
  3. Steers and operates vessel or orders helmsperson to steer vessel, using radio, depth finder, radar, lights, buoys, and lighthouses.
  4. Computes position, sets course, and determines speed, using charts, area plotting sheets, compass, sextant, and knowledge of local conditions.
  5. Inspects vessel to ensure safety of crew and passengers, efficient and safe operation of vessel and equipment, and conformance to regulations.
  6. Signals crew or deckhands to rig tow lines, open or close gates and ramps, and pull guard chains across entry.
  7. Monitors sonar and navigational aids and reads gauges to verify sufficient levels of hydraulic fluid, air pressure, and oxygen.
  8. Calculates sighting of land, using electronic sounding devices and following contour lines on chart.
  9. Maintains records of daily activities, movements, and ports-of-call, and prepares progress and personnel reports.
  10. Interviews, hires, and instructs crew, and assigns watches and living quarters.

INTERESTED?

Like people, occupations have traits or characteristics.  These characteristics give important clues about the nature of the work and work environment, and give you an opportunity to match your own personal interests to a specific occupation.  When you choose a job in an occupation that matches your own interests you have taken an important step in planning a successful and rewarding career.

The occupation of Ship and Boat Captain has characteristics Realistic, Enterprising and Conventional as described below:

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.

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.

Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

LICENSURE, REGISTRATION, OR CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

Generally this is required for Ship and Boat Captain positions in state government.

All officers and operators of commercially operated vessels must be licensed by the Coast Guard, which offers various kinds of licenses, depending on the position and type of vessel.

There are two ways to qualify for a deck or engineering officer's license: applicants either must accumulate sea time and meet regulatory requirements or must graduate from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy or one of the six State maritime academies. In both cases, applicants must pass a written examination. Federal regulations also require that an applicant pass a physical examination, a drug screening, and a National Driver Register Check before being considered. Persons without formal training can be licensed if they pass the written exam and possess sea service appropriate to the license for which they are applying.

EDUCATIONAL, TRAINING, AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES 

The Department of Labor provides the following information:

Captains are in overall command of the operation of a vessel, and they supervise the work of all other officers and crew. They determine the course and speed of the vessel, maneuver to avoid hazards, and continuously monitor the vessel's position with charts and navigational aides.

Entry, training, and educational requirements for most water transportation occupations are established and regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard, an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

COMMONWEALTH COMPETENCIES

Competencies are a set of identified behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that directly and positively impact the success of employees and the organization. Competencies can be observed and measured.  When consistently demonstrated, competencies make employees particularly effective in their work.  Competencies help lay out a road map to career success.  You can use the Commonwealth Competencies to help improve your individual performance by adopting behaviors that make high performing employees successful in their jobs. In this way, you can use the Commonwealth Competencies for your further professional development.

The Commonwealth Competencies are:

  1. Technical and Functional Expertise
  2. Understanding the Business     
  3. Achieving Results
  4. Serving the Customer
  5. Teamwork
  6. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  7. Leadership and Personal Effectiveness

The above competencies may be applied to employees throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  They can be rank-ordered by agencies and hiring managers to represent the needs of a specific job.  The rank ordering will change depending upon the occupation, an organization's priorities, the actual job requirements, and the supervisor's preferences. 

Career success is both about what you do (applying your technical knowledge, skills, and ability) and how you do it (the consistent behaviors you demonstrate and choose to use) while interacting and communicating with others.  Hopefully, by studying the Commonwealth competencies, identifying your developmental opportunities, and working to refine your own competence, you can take charge of your career!

For additional information about the Commonwealth Competencies go to: http://jobs.state.va.us/cc_planningctr.htm.  For the competencies, we first list the competencies and then define each.  Finally, we list competency indicators; to describe what successful performance looks like. 

COMMONWEALTH CAREER PATH

Career opportunities in the Commonwealth are not limited to moving “up” to the next highest role and pay band, changing positions, or to becoming a supervisor.  That's because most roles describe a broad group of occupationally related positions that perform a range of work that requires increased knowledge and skills.  For that reason, Commonwealth roles describe the career paths within the same or higher-level role for the same or different Career Group.  The broad salary range and the Commonwealth's pay practices provide flexibility in recognizing career development and advancement. (Salary Structure)

For example: Ship and Boat Captains

PAY BAND

MANAGER ROLES

4

Watercraft Operations Manager I

5

Watercraft Operations Manager II

   

Sample Career Path

Watercraft Operations Manager I

The Watercraft Operations Manager I role provides career tracks for captains involved in watercraft operations. Duties include commanding the vessels, overseeing operations and maintenance systems.

Watercraft Manager II

The Watercraft Operations Manager II role provides career tracks for managers involved in watercraft operations and programs. Duties include managing subordinate managers as well as technical employees and include the full range of managerial duties such as planning, budgeting, staffing, and evaluating.

ADDITIONAL OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: 

O*NET (Occupational Information Network) 

http://online.onetcenter.org/gen_search_page

Virginia Employment Commission 

http://www.alex.vec.state.va.us/

Career One Stop

  http://www.careeronestop.org/

Virginia Career Resource Network 

http://www.vacrn.net/

Maritime Administration

http://www.marad.dot.gov

Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education

 http://www.seafarers.org/phc

U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center

 http://www.uscg.mil/stcw/index.htm

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

http://www.usmma.edu/