• Ship Captain Job Description

    A ship captain is someone who commands the crew and operations of a ship to ensure the ship’s safety and success in carrying out its functions. Their job involves studying maps and charts to determine the best route to a destination, organizing and overseeing crew activities, supervising the maintenance of the ship and supervising the loading, unloading and storage of cargo.

    A ship captain should be well organized, disciplined, responsible and adaptable, and have the ability to work at sea, lead and manage a crew, and make good decisions under pressure. They should be familiar with the roles of all crew members to assist and direct them in carrying out their responsibilities.

  • What does a Ship Captain do?

    Ship captains may do some or all of the following:

    • direct and coordinate ship crew members
    • monitor the position of the ship with navigational aids and charts and direct the piloting of the ship
    • oversee the maintenance of the ship’s engines
    • oversee the loading and unloading of passengers and cargo
    • ensure that proper procedures and safety practices are observed in managing the ship’s activities
    • inspect and examine the ship to ensure it is seaworthy and safe for passengers and crew
    • manage the ship’s budget
    • manage the evacuation of the ship in event of crisis
  • Where does a Ship Captain work?
  • Working Conditions

    Ship captains may travel onboard ships for up to 3 months at a stretch, and then take 3 months leave. They work at sea in all weather conditions.

  • What is Required to Become a Ship Captain ?

    To become a ship captain, you will need years of seafaring experience. You can apply for the position of a deck officer or third officer, and after some years rising through the ranks and gaining the necessary experience, you will be qualified to become a ship captain. To qualify for the position of a deck officer or third officer, you'll need to pass medical and personality tests.

  • Modules
  • Specializations
  • Knowledge, Skills and Attributes

    Ship captains need to have:

    • patience
    • adaptability
    • manual dexterity
    • mechanical aptitude
    • alertness and quickness
    • confidence and assertiveness
    • integrity and dependability
    • physical strength and stamina
    • good eyesight and normal color vision
    • good memory
    • good attention to detail
    • good hand-eye coordination
    • good interpersonal skills
    • good listening and communication skills
    • good judgment and decision making skills
    • good observational skills
    • swimming skills
    • analytical and problem solving skills
    • time management and organization skills
    • leadership, persuasion and negotiation skills
    • math and computer skills
    • the ability to manage finance
    • the ability to remain calm under pressure
    • the ability to work at sea and cope with being away from home for long periods of time
    • the ability to read and interpret maps, charts and diagrams
    • knowledge of electrical and mechanical systems
    • knowledge of safety procedures and methods
    • knowledge of maritime laws and regulations
    • knowledge of how to navigate and control a ship
    • knowledge of ship engine maintenance


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Alternative Careers
  • Train Driver
  • Sailor
  • Ship Engineer
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