Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Ship's Captains in San Francisco, California

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for ship's captains in the San Francisco, California area. About 2,000 people are currently employed as ship's captains in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow 10% to about 2,200 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for ship's captains, which sees this job pool growing by about 17.3% over the next eight years. Ship's captains generally command vessels in oceans, bays, and coastal waters.

Ship's captains earn about $25 per hour or $53,360 annually on average in California and about $29 hourly or $61,960 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Nautical, people working as ship's captains in California earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Nautical nationally.

There are eighty-six schools of higher education in the San Francisco area, including one within twenty-five miles of San Francisco where you can get a degree to start your career as a ship's captain. Given that the most common education level for ship's captains is a post-secondary certificate, you can expect to spend a short time studying to be a ship's captain if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Ship's Captain

Ship's Captain video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, ship's captains command vessels in oceans, bays, and coastal waters.

Ship's captains steer and operate vessels, using radios and lighthouses. They also maintain records of daily efforts, personnel reports, ship positions and movements, ports of call, weather and sea conditions, pollution control efforts, and/or cargo and passenger status. Equally important, ship's captains have to examine vessels to insure efficient and safe operation of vessels and equipment, and conformance to regulations. They are often called upon to monitor the loading and discharging of cargo or passengers. They are expected to direct and schedule crew members or staff performing activities such as loading and unloading cargo, steering vessels and operating, maintaining, and repairing ship equipment. Finally, ship's captains measure depths of water, using depth-measuring equipment.

Every day, ship's captains are expected to be able to understand events and object details at a distance. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for ship's captains to manage ships to be fueled, restocked with supplies, and/or repaired. They are often called upon to purchase supplies and equipment. They also read gauges to confirm sufficient levels of hydraulic fluid and oxygen. They are sometimes expected to signal crew members or deckhands to rig tow lines, open or close gates and ramps, and pull guard chains across entries. Somewhat less frequently, ship's captains are also expected to calculate sightings of land, using electronic sounding devices, and following contour lines on charts.

Ship's captains sometimes are asked to perform various marine duties such as checking for oil spills or other pollutants around ports and harbors, and patrolling beaches. They also have to be able to compute positions and decide on speeds, by using charts, area plotting sheets and knowledge of local conditions And finally, they sometimes have to tow and maneuver barges, or signal tugboats to tow barges to destinations.

Like many other jobs, ship's captains must be reliable and be able to take change and lead.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Francisco include:

  • Ship Pilot. Command ships to steer them into and out of harbors, estuaries, and sounds, and on rivers, lakes, and bays. Must be licensed by U.S. Coast Guard with limitations indicating class and tonnage of vessels for which license is valid and route and waters that may be piloted.
  • Truck Driver. Drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,000 GVW, to transport and deliver goods, livestock, or materials in liquid, loose, or packaged form. May be required to unload truck. May require use of automated routing equipment. Requires commercial drivers' license.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Ship's Captain Training

California Maritime Academy - Vallejo, CA

California Maritime Academy, 200 Maritime Academy Dr, Vallejo, CA 94590. California Maritime Academy is a small school located in Vallejo, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 812 students and an admission rate of 79%. California Maritime Academy has a bachelor's degree program in Marine Science/Merchant Marine Officer which graduated seventy-two students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Coastal Navigation Certification: Coastal Navigation Certification requires the successful completion of knowledge and skills, as demonstrated by passing a written examination.

For more information, see the US Sailing website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California photo by Optigan13

San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.