Skip navigation

Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels - 53-5021.00

O*NET-SOC Description

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

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Boat Captain
  • Captain
  • Ferry Boat Captain
  • First Mate
  • Harbor Pilot
  • Mate
  • River Pilot
  • Ship Pilot
  • Tugboat Captain
  • Vessel Master

SOC Occupation Groups

53-0000 Transportation and Material Moving Occupations
53-5000 Water Transportation Workers
53-5020 Ship and Boat Captains and Operators
53-5021.00 Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels

Related Occupations

Tasks

  • Advise ships' masters on harbor rules and customs procedures.
  • Arrange for ships to be fueled, restocked with supplies, or repaired.
  • Assign watches or living quarters to crew members.
  • Calculate sightings of land, using electronic sounding devices and following contour lines on charts.
  • Conduct safety drills such as man overboard or fire drills.
  • Consult maps, charts, weather reports, or navigation equipment to determine and direct ship movements.
  • Direct courses and speeds of ships, based on specialized knowledge of local winds, weather, water depths, tides, currents, and hazards.
  • 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.
  • Dock or undock vessels, sometimes maneuvering through narrow spaces, such as locks.
  • Inspect vessels to ensure efficient and safe operation of vessels and equipment and conformance to regulations.
  • Interview and hire crew members.
  • Learn to operate new technology systems and procedures through instruction, simulators, or models.
  • Maintain boats or equipment on board, such as engines, winches, navigational systems, fire extinguishers, or life preservers.
  • Maintain records of daily activities, personnel reports, ship positions and movements, ports of call, weather and sea conditions, pollution control efforts, or cargo or passenger status.
  • Measure depths of water, using depth-measuring equipment.
  • Observe loading or unloading of cargo or equipment to ensure that handling and storage are performed according to specifications.
  • Operate ship-to-shore radios to exchange information needed for ship operations.
  • Perform various marine duties, such as checking for oil spills or other pollutants around ports or harbors or patrolling beaches.
  • Prevent ships under navigational control from engaging in unsafe operations.
  • Provide assistance in maritime rescue operations.
  • Purchase supplies or equipment.
  • Read gauges to verify sufficient levels of hydraulic fluid, air pressure, or oxygen.
  • Report to appropriate authorities any violations of federal or state pilotage laws.
  • Serve as a vessel's docking master upon arrival at a port or at a berth.
  • Signal crew members or deckhands to rig tow lines, open or close gates or ramps, or pull guard chains across entries.
  • Signal passing vessels, using whistles, flashing lights, flags, or radios.
  • Stand watches on vessels during specified periods while vessels are under way.
  • Steer and operate vessels, using radios, depth finders, radars, lights, buoys, or lighthouses.
  • Supervise crews in cleaning or maintaining decks, superstructures, or bridges.
  • Tow and maneuver barges or signal tugboats to tow barges to destinations.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Acquire supplies or equipment.
  • Arrange maintenance activities.
  • Assist others during emergencies.
  • Choose optimal transportation routes or speeds.
  • Communicate with others to coordinate material handling or movement.
  • Determine geographic coordinates.
  • Direct maintenance or repair activities.
  • Direct material handling or moving activities.
  • Direct passenger or freight transport activities.
  • Explain regulations, policies, or procedures.
  • 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 equipment operation to ensure proper functioning.
  • Monitor surroundings to detect potential hazards.
  • Monitor work environment to ensure safety or adherence to specifications.
  • Notify others of emergencies, problems, or hazards.
  • Operate communications equipment or systems.
  • Operate ships or other watercraft.
  • Provide safety training.
  • Read maps to determine routes.
  • Recommend personnel decisions or human resources activities.
  • Record operational details of travel.
  • Signal others to coordinate vehicle movement.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Able Seaman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Apprentice, Allergy/Immunization Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Apprentice, Flight and Operational Medical Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Apprentice, Independent Duty Medical Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Apprentice, Neurodiagnostic Medical Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Craftsman, Allergy/Immunization Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Craftsman, Flight and Operational Medical Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Craftsman, Independent Duty Medical Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Craftsman, Neurodiagnostic Medical Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Helper, Allergy/Immunization Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Helper, Flight and Operational Medical Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Helper, Independent Duty Medical Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Helper, Neurodiagnostic Medical Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Journeyman, Allergy/Immunization Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Journeyman, Flight and Operational Medical Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Journeyman, Independent Duty Medical Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Journeyman, Neurodiagnostic Medical Technician (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aerospace Medical Service Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aids to Navigation (Coast Guard - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Assistant Navigator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Basic MK 18 Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) Operator and Maintainer (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Boat Crew Specialist (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Boat Group Officer (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Boatswain (Coast Guard - Warrant Officer only)
  • Boatswain Specialty (Coast Guard - Warrant Officer only)
  • Boatswain's Mate (Coast Guard - Enlisted)
  • Boatswain's Mate (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Bridge Crewmember (Army - Enlisted)
  • Cannon Crewmember (Army - Enlisted)
  • Causeway Barge Ferry Coxswain (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Causeway Barge Ferry Pilot (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Causeway Lighterage Craftmaster (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Cavalry Scout (Army - Enlisted)
  • Chief of The Boat (All Submarines) (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Chief of the Boat (COB) (All Submarines) (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Coastal Riverine Force (CRF) Coxswain (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Coastal Riverine Force (CRF) Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Combat Engineer (Army - Enlisted)
  • Combat Engineer (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Combat Medic Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Craft (CRRC) Coxswain (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Commanding Officer, Afloat (Captain) (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Commanding Officer, Afloat (Captain) (Navy - Warrant Officer only)
  • Commanding Officer, Afloat (Commander) (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Commanding Officer, Afloat (Commander) (Navy - Warrant Officer only)
  • Commanding Officer, Afloat (Lieutenant Commander) (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Commanding Officer, Afloat (Lieutenant Commander) (Navy - Warrant Officer only)
  • Commanding Officer, Afloat (Lieutenant) (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Commanding Officer, Afloat (Lieutenant) (Navy - Warrant Officer only)
  • Commanding Officer, Afloat (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Conversion NEC BM Boatswain's Mate Basic (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Conversion NEC QM Quartermaster Basic (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Convoy Commodore (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Convoy Commodore Staff Officer (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Critical Skills Operator (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • CWO - Boatswain, Surface (Navy - Warrant Officer only)
  • CWO - Special Warfare Combatant-Craft (Navy - Warrant Officer only)
  • Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Deep Submergence Vehicle Crewmember (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Deep Submergence Vehicle Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Diving Officer (Deep Sea, He02) (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Diving Officer (General) (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Diving Officer (Saturation) (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Diving Officer (Ship Salvage) (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Diving Specialist (Coast Guard - Warrant Officer only)
  • Dry Combat Submersible Officer (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Electronics Technician, Submarine, Navigation (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Executive Officer, Afloat (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • First Lieutenant, Afloat (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Force Protection Boat Coxswain (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Harbor/Docking Pilot (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Health Services Management (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Health Services Management Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Health Services Management Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Health Services Management Craftsman, Health Information Technology (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Health Services Management Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Health Services Management Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Health Services Management Journeyman, Health Information Technology (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Health Services Management Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Hospital Corpsman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Ice Operations (Coast Guard - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Infantryman (Army - Enlisted)
  • Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Landing Craft Air Cushion Craftmaster (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Landing Craft Air Cushion Deck Engineer (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Landing Craft Air Cushion Operator/Navigator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Landing Craft Utility Craftsmaster (Navy - Enlisted)
  • LCAC Craft Engineer/Assistant Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • LCAC Loadmaster (Navy - Enlisted)
  • LDO - Deck, Surface (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • LDO - Special Warfare Technician (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • M1 Armor Crewman (Army - Enlisted)
  • Marine Deck Officer (Army - Warrant Officer only)
  • Military Police (Army - Enlisted)
  • Mineman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Minesweeping Boatswain's Mate (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Navigation Administrator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Navigation and Plotting Specialist (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Navigation Equipment Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Navigation Manager (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Navigation Specialist (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Navy Lighterage Deck Supervisor (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Officer in Charge, Afloat (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Officer in Charge, Combat Craft (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Operations Officer, Afloat (General) (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Ordinary Seaman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Pararescue (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Pararescue Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Pararescue Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Pararescue Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Pararescue Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Pararescue Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Quartermaster (Coast Guard - Enlisted)
  • Quartermaster (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Quartermaster Journeyman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Reconnaissance Marine (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • RL - Engineering Duty Officer - Ship Engineering (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • RL - Special Duty Officer - Strategic Sealift Officer (SSO) (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Seaman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Ship Salvage Operations Officer (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Ship's Boatswain (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Ship's Docking Pilot Officer (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Ship's Navigator (General) (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Ship's Navigator (Inertial Systems) (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Ships and Boats Mate (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Special Warfare Boat Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman Basic (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman Master (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman Senior (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Staff Special Projects Operations Officer (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Submarine Advisory Team Watch Officer (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Submarine Assistant Navigator (ANAV) (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Submarine Rescue Systems Officer (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Surface Ship Watch/Division Officer (Basic) (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • 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)
  • Tugmaster (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Unit Supply Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • URL - Special Warfare (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • URL - Submarine Warfare (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • URL - Surface Warfare (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Watercraft Operator (Army - Enlisted)
  • Wheeled Vehicle Repairer (Army - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • OFFICER IN CHARGE OF NAVIG WATCH
  • PILOT, SHIP

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Barge Captain
  • Cadet, Deck
  • Captain, Fishing Vessel
  • Deep Submergence Vehicle Operator
  • Derrick-Boat Captain
  • Dredge Captain
  • Dredge Mate
  • Ferryboat Captain
  • Ferryboat Operator
  • Master, Passenger Barge
  • Master, Riverboat
  • Master, Ship
  • Master, Yacht
  • Mate, Fishing Vessel
  • Mate, Ship
  • Pilot, Ship
  • Tugboat Captain
  • Tugboat Mate