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Career Profile: Motorboat Operators

Operate small motor-driven boats. May assist in navigational activities.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 2,600 people employed as motorboat operators in the United States. The median annual salary is $55,900. Entry level employees earn approximately $27,820 per year and senior employees earn approximately $77,630 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Position booms around docked ships.
  • Maintain desired courses, using compasses or electronic navigational aids.
  • Follow safety procedures to ensure the protection of passengers, cargo, and vessels.
  • Direct safety operations in emergency situations.
  • Perform general labor duties such as repairing booms.
  • Operate engine throttles and steering mechanisms to guide boats on desired courses.
  • Service motors by performing tasks such as changing oil and lubricating parts.
  • Arrange repairs, fuel, and supplies for vessels.
  • Maintain equipment such as range markers, fire extinguishers, boat fenders, lines, pumps, and fittings.
  • Organize and direct the activities of crew members.
  • Report any observed navigational hazards to authorities.
  • Issue directions for loading, unloading, and seating in boats.
  • Clean boats and repair hulls and superstructures, using hand tools, paint, and brushes.
  • Tow, push, or guide other boats, barges, logs, or rafts.
  • Take depth soundings in turning basins.
  • Oversee operation of vessels used for carrying passengers, motor vehicles, or goods across rivers, harbors, lakes, and coastal waters.
  • Secure boats to docks with mooring lines, and cast off lines to enable departure.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
2,600
Annual Openings:
300
Increase in Openings by 2030:
15%
Annual Salary Range:
$27,820 - $77,630
Education Requirements:
Some college