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Career and Education Opportunities for Ship's Captains in Seattle, Washington

Ship's captains can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Seattle, Washington area. There are currently 1,490 working ship's captains in Washington; this should grow by 10% to 1,640 working ship's captains in the state by 2016. 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. In general, ship's captains command vessels in oceans, bays, and coastal waters.

The income of a ship's captain is about $33 per hour or $70,670 per year on average in Washington. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $29 per hour or $61,960 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Nautical, people working as ship's captains in Washington earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Nautical nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can study to be a ship's captain, among sixty-five schools of higher education total in the Seattle area. Given that the most common education level for ship's captains is a post-secondary certificate, you can expect to spend a short time training to become 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 Seattle 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Ship's Captain Training

Seattle Community College-Central Campus - Seattle, WA

Seattle Community College-Central Campus, 1701 Broadway Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122. Seattle Community College-Central Campus is a medium sized college located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,402 students. Seattle Community College-Central Campus has a one to two year program in Marine Science/Merchant Marine Officer which graduated nine 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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.