• Sailor Job Description

    A sailor is a low ranking member of the crew of a commercial or naval ship or boat, especially one who is below the rank of officer. A sailor works under an officer and assist them in the operation of a water vessel.

    A sailor should be calm, clever, patient, observant, adaptable and careful, and have the ability to think and work quickly. They should be physically fit and healthy to cope with the physical demands of their job. They should also have basic understanding of mechanical systems to maintain and repair ship and deck equipment.

  • What does a Sailor do?

    Sailors may do some or all of the following:

    • set and strike the ship's flag
    • watch and ensure that unauthorized persons do not enter the ship at seaport
    • load or unload the ship's cargo
    • measure the depth of water
    • sweep and wash the ship's floor
    • operate and maintain ship and deck equipment
    • stand, watch and steer the ship according to the instructions of the officer on watch
  • Where does a Sailor work?
  • Working Conditions

    Sailors work on sea-going vessels such as passenger ships, tankers and freighters. They may work in all weather conditions and in small and cramped spaces on ships. They usually travel and may be away from their family and home for long periods of time. Their work can be dangerous, as they risk falls, fire, collisions, and sinking.

  • What is Required to Become a Sailor ?

    There are no specific entry requirements to become a sailor, as skills are learned on the job.

  • Modules
  • Specializations
  • Knowledge, Skills and Attributes

    Sailors need to have:

    • patience
    • adaptability
    • promptness
    • humility
    • cautiousness
    • integrity and dependability
    • manual dexterity
    • mechanical aptitude
    • alertness and quickness
    • confidence and assertiveness
    • physical strength and stamina
    • good memory
    • good hand-eye coordination
    • good eyesight, hearing and color vision
    • good listening and communication skills
    • good observational skills
    • swimming skills
    • welding and carpentry skills
    • the ability to remain calm under pressure
    • the ability to work at sea and in cramped spaces
    • the abiility to follow instructions accordingly
    • the ability to cope with being away from home for long periods of time
    • knowledge of fire safety and fire-fighting methods
    • knowledge of backing, trimming, anchoring, and clearing lines
    • knowledge of draft control, reefing, spinnaker handling, tacking and jibing
    • knowledge of first aid and rescue techniques
    • knowledge of all parts of ship
    • knowledge of sea rules
    • knowledge of basic engine maintenance


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Alternative Careers
  • Ship Engineer
  • Train Driver
  • Ship Captain
  • Chauffeur
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