Seaman Duties

For those who are attracted to the ocean and aren't afraid of hard work, the profession of a seaman provides an opportunity to enjoy the ocean while pursuing a career. However, before you pack your bags for the open sea, you may want to know some of a seaman's duties. This will help you make an informed choice about your future career.

  1. Maintenance

    • Maintenance on a ship is generally performed by the class of seaman known as ordinary seamen. On a large ship, this can take up a good part of the crew's time. Basic maintenance duties on a ship include deck scrubbing, cleaning of the crew's quartering areas, and maintaining lines and cables by splicing them together and coiling them for storage. Further, cleaning a ship's hull is heavy duty work that involves chipping rust off of the ship with hand tools; the chipped area must then be painted over.

    Navigation and Piloting

    • Seamen are also tasked with making sure that a ship is navigated safely through the waters. This involves turning the wheel itself on the bridge as well as following maps and navigating with a compass, chart and other equipment. Captains and mates who supervise able and ordinary seamen on the ship are entrusted with planning the ship's route and communicating with other vessels regarding the ship's path. Less skilled seamen may be called upon to stand watch while the vessel comes into or leaves port.

    Trade Duties

    • Many seamen have trades that they must use onboard their ships, such as carpentry and welding. These skills may be used in crafting new structures on the ship or in repairing old ones, depending on the needs of the craft.


    • Even though ships have strict safety regulations, working on a ship at sea can be a dangerous job. All seamen, from an ordinary seaman up to captains and mates, must have training in safety procedures to avoid accidents on the ship. Additionally, seamen must be trained in first aid procedures as well as firefighting.


    • Ordinary and able seamen do not have management duties. However, captains and mates do. They supervise the work flow of the ship and oversee everything that takes place. In their management capacities, the captains and mates work closely with the department heads of the shipping companies they work for to ensure that tasks are being carried out properly and that the vessels are safe and seaworthy.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit seaman is fishing image by Siavka from

You May Also Like

  • Able Seaman Duties

    Able Seaman Duties. The majority of the active crew on-board a ship will be made up of able seamen, whose responsibility it...

  • Navy Seaman 1st Class Duties

    Navy Seaman 1st Class Duties. A Seaman 1st Class in the Navy is the third lowest rank, also referred to as E-3....

  • Ordinary Seaman Job Description

    A U.S. Merchant Mariner begins a career at sea as an ordinary seaman. With minimal medical requirements and no education requirements, "the...

  • How to Become an Able Seaman

    Become an able seaman by getting a job on a commercial vessel as an ordinary seaman. You must perform routine duties such...

  • Duties of a Facilities Manager

    Facility management is an interdisciplinary field requiring expertise in business, interior design, environmental management, and construction. Duties of a facility ...

  • How to Become a Merchant Seaman

    The merchant seaman is a professional. Beyond a profession, it is your way of life. You will leave hearth and home behind...

  • Jobs on Oil Tankers

    Jobs on Oil Tankers. There are three departments on an oil tanker: the Deck Department, the Engine Department and the Steward's Department....

  • The Average Salary of Navy Seaman Reserves

    Naval Reservists are paid four days pay for the two days that they drill each month. The pay is based upon their...

  • How to Get Certified As an Able Seaman

    Working on the deck department on a merchant vessel, an Able Seaman or "AB" reports to the ship's boatswain (i.e. deck foreman)...

Related Ads

Related Searches
Basic but Sometimes Overlooked Tips Can Save You Time and Money Read Article

Basic but Sometimes Overlooked Tips Can Save You Time and Money