Ship and Boat Captains


Education and training requirements vary by the type of job. Officers and engineers usually must have a bachelor's degree. Most water transportation jobs require the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a Merchant Marine Credential (MMC).

Related College Majors

Marine Science/Merchant Marine Officer - More About This Major

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Average Tuition (excluding room and board) for Schools with this major: $6,622.00 per year

Military Training

Job training consists of classroom instruction and practical experience in one of the following departments: air, weapons, operations, communications, engineering, deck, administration, or supply. Training length varies depending on specialty. Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses. Course content typically includes:

  • Management and organization of ship or submarine operations
  • Piloting and navigation of ships
  • Interpretation of maritime laws and policies

Certifications or Licenses

All mariners working on ships with U.S. flags must have a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) from the U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center.

General Qualifications

Customer-service skills. Many motorboat operators interact with passengers and must ensure that passengers have a pleasant experience. Hand-eye coordination. Officers and pilots who steer ships have...

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  • Transportation
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Mechanical
  • Administration and Management

Most Common Education Levels

The level of education attained by people currently working in this career.

Most Common Education

Schools with the Highest Enrollment for Featured Major

Schools with the Highest Enrollment for Featured Major
Learn more
Number of Students
Texas A & M University-College...
ECPI University
College of Southern Idaho
South Central Louisiana Techni...
Northwestern Michigan College
Clatsop Community College
Alpena Community College
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
California Maritime Academy
Maine Maritime Academy
Data supplied by Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center of Education Statistics, Defense Manpower Data Center. (View our update schedule). Contact any business, college or military service branch to answer additional questions.

Financial aid is only available for those who qualify.