Marine Transport Professionals
Marine Transport Professionals control and manage the operations of ships, boats and marine equipment.
directing fishing operations by using knowledge about the species sought, fishing areas, seasons and the capabilities of the vessel and crew
directing crew in catching fish, molluscs and crustacea at varying depths using nets, lines, poles, pots and traps
planning, controlling and coordinating the operational and maintenance requirements of a ship's propulsion and domestic plant and equipment
operating plant and equipment and performing routine maintenance on ship's systems including mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, steam generating, and fire prevention and control systems
controlling and directing shipping operations to ensure the safe and efficient loading and transport of cargo and passengers
ensuring compliance with regulations pertaining to safety at sea and protection of the marine environment
directing the activities of the deck crew for navigational support tasks, berthing and unberthing, maintenance, cleaning and painting of superstructures, and repair and replacement of defective deck gear and equipment
navigating a ship by supervising the ship's course and speed according to predetermined passage plans and safety procedures
examining and approving design plans of hulls and equipment such as main propulsion engines, auxiliary boilers and turbines, electrical power generating plant, refrigeration and airconditioning plant and pumping systems
conducting periodic surveys throughout a ship's life to ensure standards are maintained
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow moderately
- is likely to reach 12,700 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 84% of people employed as Marine Transport Professionals work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 18 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 55 hours per week in their main job. This is 11 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $2,998 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $2,196
- 1 in 4 earn more than $5,390
Median hourly earnings are $74, this is much more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Marine Transport Professionals||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Marine Transport Professionals||All Jobs Average|
Around 57% of Marine Transport Professionals live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Queensland and Western Australia have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Marine Transport Professionals is 46 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 5% of the workforce. This is 43 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Marine Transport Professionals||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||5.9||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A certificate III or IV in maritime or fishing operations is usually needed to work as a Marine Transport Professional. Some workers have a diploma or advanced diploma.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Maritime VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Marine Transport Professionals||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||4.5||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||7.1||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Marine Transport Professionals who work well in a team, can communicate clearly with a diverse range of people and are reliable.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
57%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
57%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
55%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Reading work related information.
54%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Talking to others.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Teaching people how to do something.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
45%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
43%Management of material resources
Providing the right equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do work.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Looking for ways to help people.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
63%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
61%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
54%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
52%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
46%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
45%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
45%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
43%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
42%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
38%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
36%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
See details that are far away.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Know where things are around you.
Do two or more things at the same time.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Communicate by speaking.
Read and understand written information.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Write in a way that people can understand.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
46%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
82%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
81%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
79%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
75%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
73%Working with mechanical equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.
69%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
68%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
68%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
67%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
66%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
65%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
62%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
61%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
59%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
57%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
57%Coaching and developing others
Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.
56%Guiding and directing staff
Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.
55%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
55%Working with electronic equipment
Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing electronic devices and equipment.
54%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Talk with people face-to-face.
97%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
96%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
95%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
93%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
91%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
Talk on the telephone.
88%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
88%In an enclosed vehicle or equipment
Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).
Work with people in a group or team.
84%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
84%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
84%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
83%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
82%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
Work to strict deadlines.
79%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
78%Bright or inadequate lighting
Work in extremely bright or dark lighting conditions.
75%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-5021.01 - Ship and Boat Captains.