Skip navigation

Sailors and Marine Oilers - 53-5011.00

O*NET-SOC Description

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.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Able Bodied Seaman (AB Seaman)
  • Able Bodied Watchman (AB Watchman)
  • Able Seaman
  • Boat Crew Deck Hand
  • Bosun
  • Deck Hand
  • Deckhand
  • Deckhand Engineer
  • Oiler
  • Tankerman

SOC Occupation Groups

Related Occupations


  • Attach hoses and operate pumps to transfer substances to and from liquid cargo tanks.
  • Break out, rig, and stow cargo-handling gear, stationary rigging, or running gear.
  • Chip and clean rust spots on decks, superstructures, or sides of ships, using wire brushes and hand or air chipping machines.
  • Clean and polish wood trim, brass, or other metal parts.
  • Examine machinery to verify specified pressures or lubricant flows.
  • Give directions to crew members engaged in cleaning wheelhouses or quarterdecks.
  • Handle lines to moor vessels to wharfs, to tie up vessels to other vessels, or to rig towing lines.
  • Load or unload materials, vehicles, or passengers from vessels.
  • Lower and man lifeboats when emergencies occur.
  • Lubricate machinery, equipment, or engine parts, such as gears, shafts, or bearings.
  • Maintain a ship's engines under the direction of the ship's engineering officers.
  • Maintain government-issued certifications, as required.
  • Measure depth of water in shallow or unfamiliar waters, using leadlines, and telephone or shout depth information to vessel bridges.
  • Operate, maintain, or repair ship equipment, such as winches, cranes, derricks, or weapons system.
  • Overhaul lifeboats or lifeboat gear and lower or raise lifeboats with winches or falls.
  • Paint or varnish decks, superstructures, lifeboats, or sides of ships.
  • Participate in shore patrols.
  • Provide engineers with assistance in repairing or adjusting machinery.
  • Read pressure and temperature gauges or displays and record data in engineering logs.
  • Record data in ships' logs, such as weather conditions or distances traveled.
  • Relay specified signals to other ships, using visual signaling devices, such as blinker lights or semaphores.
  • Splice and repair ropes, wire cables, or cordage, using marlinespikes, wire cutters, twine, and hand tools.
  • Stand by wheels when ships are on automatic pilot, and verify accuracy of courses, using magnetic compasses.
  • Stand gangway watches to prevent unauthorized persons from boarding ships while in port.
  • Stand watch in ships' bows or bridge wings to look for obstructions in a ship's path or to locate navigational aids, such as buoys or lighthouses.
  • Steer ships under the direction of commanders or navigating officers or direct helmsmen to steer, following designated courses.
  • Sweep, mop, and wash down decks to remove oil, dirt, and debris, using brooms, mops, brushes, and hoses.
  • Tie barges together into tow units for tugboats to handle, inspecting barges periodically during voyages and disconnecting them when destinations are reached.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Assist others during emergencies.
  • Clean vessels or marine equipment.
  • Connect hoses to equipment or machinery.
  • Control pumps or pumping equipment.
  • Direct maintenance or repair activities.
  • Inspect equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Inspect material-moving equipment to detect problems.
  • Load shipments, belongings, or materials.
  • Maintain material moving equipment in good working condition.
  • Maintain professional knowledge or certifications.
  • Maintain watercraft engines or machinery.
  • Measure the level or depth of water or other liquids.
  • Monitor equipment gauges or displays to ensure proper operation.
  • Monitor surroundings to detect potential hazards.
  • Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
  • Operate ships or other watercraft.
  • Paint surfaces or equipment.
  • Record operational details of travel.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Secure watercraft to docks, wharves or other vessels.
  • Set up material handling gear or equipment, such as rigging, packaging, or temporary structures.
  • Signal others to coordinate vehicle movement.
  • Verify information or specifications.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Able Seaman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Boat Crew Specialist (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Boatswain's Mate (Coast Guard - Enlisted)
  • Boatswain's Mate (Navy - Enlisted)
  • DDG 1000 ZUMWALT Class Integrated Power System (IPS) Electrical Maintenance Technician - Journeyman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • DDG 1000 Zumwalt Class Integrated Power Systems Operations Journeyman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Marine Deck Officer (Army - Warrant Officer only)
  • Marine Safety Specialist Deck (Coast Guard - Warrant Officer only)
  • Marine Safety Specialist Engineer (Coast Guard - Warrant Officer only)
  • Maritime Expeditionary Security Force (MESF) Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Mine Warfare Manager (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Mine Warfare Specialist (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Minesweeping Boatswain's Mate (Navy - Enlisted)
  • NAMTS Watertight Closure Maintenance Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Navy Afloat Maintenance Training Strategy (NAMTS) Corrosion Control Program Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Navy Lighterage Deck Supervisor (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Ordinary Seaman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Patrol Boat Coxswain (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Quartermaster (Navy - Enlisted)
  • RL - Special Duty Officer - Strategic Sealift Officer (SSO) (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Seaman (Coast Guard - Enlisted)
  • Seaman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Seaman Apprentice (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Seaman Recruit (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Ships and Boats Mate (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Special Warfare Boat Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) Specialist (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) Specialist Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) Specialist Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) Specialist Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) Specialist Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) Specialist Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Watercraft Engineer (Army - Enlisted)
  • Watercraft Operator (Army - Enlisted)
  • Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic (Army - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Able Seaman

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Able Seaman
  • Deckhand
  • Marine Oiler
  • Ordinary Seaman
  • Quartermaster
  • Sailor, Pleasure Craft