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 Santa Rosa, California

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for ship's captains in the Santa Rosa, California area. There are currently 2,000 jobs for ship's captains in California and this is projected to grow 10% to about 2,200 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for ship's captains are expected to grow by about 17.3%. Ship's captains generally command vessels in oceans, bays, and coastal waters.

Ship's captains earn about $25 hourly or $53,360 per year on average in California and about $29 per hour or $61,960 yearly on average nationally. Ship's captains earn more than people working in the category of Nautical generally in California and more than people in the Nautical category nationally.

The Santa Rosa area is home to seven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Santa Rosa where you can get a degree as a ship's captain. The most common level of education for ship's captains is a post-secondary certificate. It will take a short time to learn to be a ship's captain if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Santa Rosa include:

  • Airline Pilot. Pilot and navigate the flight of multi-engine aircraft in regularly scheduled service for the transport of passengers and cargo. Requires Federal Air Transport rating and certification in specific aircraft type used.
  • 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.


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.


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: Santa Rosa, California

Santa Rosa, California
Santa Rosa, California photo by Njaelkies Lea

Santa Rosa is situated in Sonoma County, California. It has a population of over 155,796, which has grown by 5.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Santa Rosa, 159, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Santa Rosa are priced at $193,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty new homes were built in Santa Rosa, down from three hundred sixty-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Santa Rosa are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 27.6% of Santa Rosa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Santa Rosa is 10.1%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Santa Rosa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 32.1%, is less than both the national and state average. United Pentecostal Church, Bethlehem Lutheran Church and Bennett Valley Baptist Church are among the churches located in Santa Rosa. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Santa Rosa is home to the Sonoma County Administration Center and the Quarry Picnic Area as well as Live Oak Park and Coffey Park. Shopping malls in the area include Montgomery Village Shopping Center, Saint Francis Shopping Center and Flamingo One Stop Shopping Center. Visitors to Santa Rosa can choose from Amansi, Astro Motel and Beautiful Weddings & Events for temporary stays in the area.