Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 27,600 people employed as sailors and marine oilers in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $46,720.
Entry level employees earn approximately $29,120 per year and senior employees earn approximately $78,340
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Tie barges together into tow units for tugboats to handle, inspecting barges periodically during voyages and disconnecting them when destinations are reached.
- Attach hoses and operate pumps to transfer substances to and from liquid cargo tanks.
- Handle lines to moor vessels to wharfs, to tie up vessels to other vessels, or to rig towing lines.
- Read pressure and temperature gauges or displays and record data in engineering logs.
- 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.
- Maintain government-issued certifications, as required.
- Examine machinery to verify specified pressures or lubricant flows.
- Maintain a ship's engines under the direction of the ship's engineering officers.
- Break out, rig, and stow cargo-handling gear, stationary rigging, or running gear.
- Lubricate machinery, equipment, or engine parts, such as gears, shafts, or bearings.
- Measure depth of water in shallow or unfamiliar waters, using leadlines, and telephone or shout depth information to vessel bridges.
- Clean and polish wood trim, brass, or other metal parts.
- Participate in shore patrols.
- Overhaul lifeboats or lifeboat gear and lower or raise lifeboats with winches or falls.
- Stand gangway watches to prevent unauthorized persons from boarding ships while in port.
- Record data in ships' logs, such as weather conditions or distances traveled.
- Splice and repair ropes, wire cables, or cordage, using marlinespikes, wire cutters, twine, and hand tools.
- Load or unload materials, vehicles, or passengers from vessels.
- Chip and clean rust spots on decks, superstructures, or sides of ships, using wire brushes and hand or air chipping machines.
- Provide engineers with assistance in repairing or adjusting machinery.
- Operate, maintain, or repair ship equipment, such as winches, cranes, derricks, or weapons system.
- Paint or varnish decks, superstructures, lifeboats, or sides of ships.
- Give directions to crew members engaged in cleaning wheelhouses or quarterdecks.
- Stand by wheels when ships are on automatic pilot, and verify accuracy of courses, using magnetic compasses.
- Steer ships under the direction of commanders or navigating officers or direct helmsmen to steer, following designated courses.
- Relay specified signals to other ships, using visual signaling devices, such as blinker lights or semaphores.
- Lower and man lifeboats when emergencies occur.
- Sweep, mop, and wash down decks to remove oil, dirt, and debris, using brooms, mops, brushes, and hoses.