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Apr 6, 2005
How to be a Seaman or Work at Seas
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If you have always loved boats, the water and all things nautical, you might want to become a Seaman or work on the seas.


What is a Seaman?


A Seaman is NOT classified as a laborer. Instead, he/she is intended to include any person that furthers the mission of a vessel while assigned to that vessel or to a fleet of vessels.


Employees serving onboard restaurant boats, tankers, freighters, jack-up rigs, semi-submersibles, towboats, tugboats, supply boats, lay barges, barges, fishing vessels, casino boats, and others, regardless of whether or not those boats are moored at port, can be classified as Seamen under the Jones Act, so long as the boat is in navigation during hours of operation.


Other Sea-based job titles:

  • Captain
  • Engineer
  • Mechanic
  • Boat Operator
  • Able seaman/woman
  • Boatswain--military
  • Deck Officers (Water Transport)
  • Deckhand Fishing Vessel Deckhands
  • Water Transport Engine Room Crew
  • Water Transport Engineer Officers
  • Ordinary seaman/woman
  • Tunnel operator--ship
  • Wheelsman/woman
  • Other marine industry professional

Work environment


Working in or on the seas and oceans means working in all kinds of weather--and damp, cold conditions are common. Many newer vessels are air-conditioned, soundproofed and comfortable. However, you may be on board for long periods.

There is always the possibility that you may have to abandon ship (due to collision or other misfortune), or the risk of injury or death from falling overboard. Thus, a life jacket must always be within reach if not worn.



While at sea


Aboard a ship, the chain of command insures safety and assigns responsibility. Crews change with the seasons and only a few stay to become officers. Sometimes the people drawn to these positions are megalomaniacs but there are also the caring, patient, and knowledgeable ones who may become mentors and friends.

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