Operate small motor-driven boats. May assist in navigational activities.
Sample of reported job titles: Boat Operator, Charter Boat Operator, Crew Boat Operator, Launch Operator, Launchman, Pilot Boat Operator, Water Taxi Operator
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- Operate engine throttles and steering mechanisms to guide boats on desired courses.
- 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.
- 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.
- Perform general labor duties such as repairing booms.
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- Analytical or scientific software — Echo sounder software; Radar software
- Expert system software — Autopilot software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Map creation software — Cartography software
- Mobile location based services software — Global positioning system GPS software
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- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Geography — Knowledge of 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.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening — 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.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
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- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Spatial Orientation — The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- Response Orientation — The ability to 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.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Glare Sensitivity — The ability to see objects in the presence of a glare or bright lighting.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Peripheral Vision — The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one’s side when the eyes are looking ahead.
- Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
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- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Navigate water vessels.
- Operate ships or other watercraft.
- Follow safety procedures for vehicle operation.
- Direct emergency management activities.
- Direct passenger or freight transport activities.
- Maintain watercraft engines or machinery.
- Arrange maintenance activities.
- Secure watercraft to docks, wharves or other vessels.
- Measure the level or depth of water or other liquids.
- Notify others of emergencies, problems, or hazards.
- Direct material handling or moving activities.
- Clean vessels or marine equipment.
- Maintain work equipment or machinery.
- Position material handling equipment.
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- Face-to-Face Discussions — 95% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 87% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 63% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 61% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 69% responded “Every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather
- Frequency of Decision Making
- Physical Proximity — 61% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Work With Work Group or Team
- Exposed to Contaminants — 39% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 65% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 34% responded “Some freedom.”
- Outdoors, Under Cover
- In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 34% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 54% responded “Very important.”
- Consequence of Error — 52% responded “Very serious.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 51% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 38% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 38% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 27% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Work Schedules
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 63% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 55% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Spend Time Sitting
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 31% responded “Very important.”
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|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|26||Some college, no degree|
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Interest code: RCE Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
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- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$26.88 hourly, $55,910 annual|
|Employment (2020)||2,600 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Faster than average (10% to 15%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||300|
|Top industries (2020)||
Transportation and Warehousing
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific
- International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots
- National Association of Charterboat Operators
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Water transportation workers
- Pacific Whale Watch Association
- Passenger Vessel Association
- Seafarers International Union
- The American Waterways Operators
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