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Career and Education Opportunities for Ship's Captains in Houston, Texas

Ship's captains can find many career and educational opportunities in the Houston, Texas area. There are currently 2,670 working ship's captains in Texas; this should grow by 18% to about 3,150 working ship's captains in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for ship's captains are expected to grow by about 17.3%. In general, ship's captains command vessels in oceans, bays, and coastal waters.

The average wage in the general category of Nautical jobs is $19 per hour or $39,170 per year in Texas, and an average of $24 per hour or $50,501 per year nationwide.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can study to be a ship's captain, among eighty-one schools of higher education total in the Houston area. 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 Houston 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.
  • 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.


Texas A & M University at Galveston - Galveston, TX

Texas A & M University at Galveston, 200 Seawolf Parkway, Galveston, TX 77554. Texas A & M University at Galveston is a small university located in Galveston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,612 students and an admission rate of 91%. Texas A & M University at Galveston has a bachelor's degree program in Marine Science/Merchant Marine Officer which graduated thirty-five 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.


Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas photo by Hequals2henry

Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.