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Mates- Ship, Boat, and Barge
SOC Code: 53-5021.02

Supervise or coordinate activities of crew aboard ships, boats, barges, or dredges.

Sample of reported job titles: Able Bodied Seaman (AB Seaman), Able Bodied Tankerman (AB Tankerman), Deck Engineer, Deckhand, First Mate, Mate, Relief Master, Relief Mate, Tugboat Mate, Vessel Master


  • Stand watches on vessels during specified periods while vessels are under way.
  • Assume command of vessels in the event that ships' masters become incapacitated.
  • Steer vessels, using navigational devices, such as compasses or sextants, or navigational aids, such as lighthouses or buoys.
  • Determine geographical positions of ships, using lorans, azimuths of celestial bodies, or computers, and use this information to determine the course and speed of a ship.
  • Inspect equipment, such as cargo-handling gear, lifesaving equipment, visual-signaling equipment, or fishing, towing, or dredging gear, to detect problems.
  • Observe loading or unloading of cargo or equipment to ensure that handling and storage are performed according to specifications.
  • Participate in activities related to maintenance of vessel security.
  • Arrange for ships to be stocked, fueled, or repaired.
  • Supervise crew members in the repair or replacement of defective gear or equipment.
  • Supervise crews in cleaning or maintaining decks, superstructures, or bridges.
  • Observe water from ships' mastheads to advise on navigational direction.

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software - KNMI TurboWin; Log book software
  • Facilities management software - Computerized maintenance management system CMMS
  • Route navigation software - Jeppesen Marine Nobeltec Admiral; Maptech The CAPN

Tools Used

  • Alarm systems - Fire alarm switches; Ship alarm systems
  • Anchor chocks - Ship anchor chocks
  • Anchor lines - Mooring cables; Mooring chains; Natural fiber mooring ropes; Synthetic mooring ropes
  • Anchor rollers - Electric windlasses; Hand capstans; Hydraulic capstans; Hydraulic windlasses (see all 5 examples)
  • Binoculars - Surveillance binoculars
  • Blocks or pulleys - Sheave blocks
  • Bridge cranes - Electric deck cranes; Grabbing cranes; Hydraulic deck cranes
  • Centrifugal pumps - Centrifugal cargo pumps
  • Cinch rescue loops - Rescue slings
  • Compasses - Dividers
  • Depth gauges - Echo sounders; Sounding rods; Sounding tapes
  • Desktop computers
  • Direction finding compasses - Magnetic compasses; Navigational compasses
  • Emergency medical services first aid kits - First aid kits
  • Fall protection lanyard - Safety lanyards
  • Fire extinguishers - Portable carbon dioxide fire extinguishers; Portable dry chemical fire extinguishers; Portable water fire extinguishers
  • Fire pump sets - Emergency fire pumps
  • Fire retardant apparel - Firefighting suits
  • Fire suppression system - Carbon dioxide CO2 fire extinguishing systems; Carbon dioxide CO2 flooding systems; Foam fire extinguishing systems
  • Flares - Pyrotechnic distress signals
  • Gas generators - Emergency generators
  • Gear pumps
  • Gyroscopic instruments - Gyrocompasses
  • Hoists - Cargo derricks; Chain cargo falls; Magnet hoists
  • Insulated clothing for cold environments - Thermal protective aids TPA
  • Insulated or flotation suits - Immersion suits
  • Ladders - Pilot ladders
  • Life rings - Life buoys
  • Life vests or preservers - Life vests
  • Lifeboats or liferafts - Life rafts; Totally enclosed motor propelled survival craft TEMPSC
  • Lifts - Lifeboat davits
  • Loading equipment - Container lift trucks; Lifting spreaders
  • Marine craft communications systems - Bridge to bridge radiotelephones; High frequency HF radiotelephone systems; Ultra high frequency UHF radiotelephone systems; Voice pipes (see all 5 examples)
  • Marine signaling systems - Semaphores; Ship's whistles; Signal flags; Signal lights
  • Personal computers
  • Plotter printers - Parallel plotters
  • Radio navigation instruments - Radio direction finders RDF
  • Respirators
  • Rope float lines - Line throwing appliances
  • Rotary pumps - Rotary displacement pumps
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety harnesses or belts - Safety belts
  • Safety helmets
  • Screw Pumps - Screw displacement pumps
  • Sextants
  • Slings - Lifting slings
  • Sonars - Fathometer sonar equipment
  • Straight edges - Parallel rules
  • Telegraph sounders - Electric telegraphs; Mechanical telegraphs
  • Triangles - Drafting triangles
  • Vehicle navigation systems - Automatic radar plotting aids ARPA; Dynamic positioning DP systems; Electronic chart display and information systems ECDIS; Long range navigation LORAN systems (see all 7 examples)
  • Vehicular global positioning system GPS - Differential global positioning systems DGPS; Global positioning systems GPS
  • Winches - Electric mooring winches; Hydraulic mooring winches; Manual winches; Steam winches


  • 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.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • 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.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • 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.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.


  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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 there is a problem.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Spatial Orientation - The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
  • 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).
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Glare Sensitivity - The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.
  • Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.


  • Interest code: ERC
    • 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.
    • 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.

Work Context

  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 86% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable
  • Consequence of Error - 84% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 72% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 72% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 76% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 62% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 65% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Telephone - 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 43% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 23% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 61% responded “Very important results.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 43% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 38% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Physical Proximity - 47% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 32% responded “Very important.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 58% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Time Pressure - 43% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Electronic Mail - 45% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Whole Body Vibration - 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 35% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 38% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 39% responded “Every day.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions - 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment - 46% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover - 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Letters and Memos - 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 38% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 44% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 41% responded “About half the time.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 36% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 44% responded “More than half the time.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
70%High school diploma or equivalent
21%Post-secondary certificate
8%Bachelor's degree

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • 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.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Work Values

  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Recognition - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $34.10 hourly, $70,920 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 39,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 4,400

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