How many types of tugboat jobs are there?

If you’re interested in a career in the tugboat, you may have considered working on the tugboat. This is an interesting career path. You’ll work closely with other crew members towing a variety of vessels and work in an exciting and dynamic environment.

 This article covers everything you want to know.

  1. Tugboat Position Types  and Job Requirements 
  2. How to Start a Career in a Tugboat 
  3. Required Training  and How to Advance Your Career  
  4. Maritime Training Noon 

The tugboats are an integral part of the maritime industry, with large ships and barges Helping navigate difficult waterways. It’s a highly skilled career that offers stable, well-paying employment as you move up the ranks. This article explains how to get your first job on the tugboat, the positions available on a tugboat, and how to further your education and advance your career.

Tugboat Position Types  and Job Requirements

Working aboard a tugboat is a unique career path in the maritime industry. Mastering every operation requires specialized training and years of learning the ropes, and ensuring every onboard operation works as intended requires the help of an experienced crew. A dedicated team must work together. 

When working on the tugboat, there are four main positions: Deckhand, engineer, navigator, and master. Depending on the size of the ship, these positions have ranks and may be filled by more than one person as a deckhand, engineer, or officer. Here, we will provide an overview of each job category and their job content.

Tugboat Deckhand

The general crew aboard a tugboat performs all essential deck operations and assists the master or officer in maneuvering the ship. Although they have some specific duties,  they are also required to complete a variety of other duties as required by the police officer. The main duties you can expect as a tugboat deckhand are: 

Docking Assistance

The tugboat is responsible for keeping the tugboat safe when docking and unberthing from docks and other vessels. Preparing a barge for towing or pushing requires some skill and knowledge to do the job properly, and deck officers work with senior officers.

Towing Equipment Setup Assistance

The tugboat assists experienced tugboat members in setting up the rigging of tugs and barges. There is much to learn about how to do this safely, and it is an essential step in the learning process before a deckhand is promoted to a higher rank within the crew.

Maintenance and repair of machinery and tools on board

While engines and large machinery are the responsibility of the engineer, The tugboat are responsible for the maintenance and repair of small tools and machinery on deck.

Clean Deck and Cabin Areas

The tugboats are responsible for keeping the deck tidy and clean to provide a safe and professional working environment.

Learning from the Navigator and Master

The tugboat needs to constantly learn, especially on tugboats. There is a lot to know in this industry, and we must always be vigilant to avoid accidents and ensure the safety of the ship and other team members.

Stand Watch

The tugboat are responsible for maintaining watch for extended periods and must be able to remain alert and alert while working for several hours. When The tugboat are not on duty, they are required to rest, recuperate, and stay alert and ready for the next shift.

Performing Physical Tasks

As a deckhand, you are responsible for lifting heavy equipment, and although mechanical assistance may be available, you must be comfortable moving your body while on duty. The tugboat are expected to be able to easily use stairs and ladders when transporting goods at sea.

Know the Safety Task

The tugboat must know how to use the safety equipment on board and how to act in an emergency without endangering others or the ship.

Understand Safety Tasks

The tugboat must follow the instructions of ship safety personnel to protect the ship, personnel, and cargo on board. These tasks include keeping lookouts, checking people and luggage, and watching for anything out of the ordinary.

Performing miscellaneous duties

The tugboat must also use power tools, painting equipment, and personal protective equipment as necessary. Before you decide to become a tugboat deckhand, you should be aware of the physical and time demands of the job.

Intensive work schedule

The tugboat and other crew members on tugboats often work several days a day. Do it before you have a few days off. This is ideal for people who want to get all their work done at once and are willing to work long hours to do so.Tugboat captain salary is quite high than others.

Physical Abilities

For those wishing to work in the shipping industry, it is important to have sufficient hearing to intercept communications. Additionally, you may not have color vision issues that prevent you from seeing navigation aids or electronic devices properly. To reach the rank of Competent Seaman or Seafarer (more on that later), you must also pass a physical exam. Would you like to aim for a high position on a tugboat? Let’s take a look at some of the other position tasks you might be able to accomplish.

Vessel Chief Engineer 

The Vessel Chief Engineer is responsible for the regular mechanical maintenance of the tugboat. This is their job:

Maintenance and repair of mechanical systems and complex machinery

It is the job of a marine engineer to ensure that engines and major mechanical systems are in good working order. This means engineers are responsible for troubleshooting critical mechanical failures and overseeing maintenance operations. Tugboat captain salary is quite high than others.

How to start a career on a tugboat 

Because working on a tugboat is a specialized field. To understand all the important steps required to successfully operate a boat, you need to start from the bottom and work your way up. These are the steps to get a job in a tugboat and prepare for a successful career: 

Finding a job as a deckhand

Everyone has to do their part. Getting a job as a deckhand on a tugboat is the next step. No one should be skipped. Fortunately, you don’t need sea time to start your career aboard a tugboat as a deckhand. However, some companies require you to obtain an Ordinary Seaman’s Certificate, which is the most basic qualification in the U.S. Coast Guard. Tugboat captain salary is quite high than others.

Jobs to gain  time and experience at sea

Once you get a job as a deckhand, you will need to learn basic skills and work to earn time at sea. To advance in rank and become eligible for higher certification exams, you must sail aboard a tug of the tonnage and range for which you are applying.

Obtaining STCW Certification

All crew members must complete STCW training to be authorized to work outside the borders of U.S. territories. Aside from being mandatory for some towing companies, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with basic safety and security procedures. In this training, you will learn how to prepare for emergencies and take precautions.

Learn from the Captain and Senior Crew

While working as a deckhand, you will have to learn all about senior crew operations. The more you learn, the better you will be prepared to take the certification exams to earn your certification, and the better your standing will be.

training Required and How to Advance Your Career 

Working as a deckhand on a tugboat is the first step to a rewarding career. Let us take a brief overview of the future development of tugboats and their requirements. Some companies require you to apply for a seaman’s license before becoming a deckhand. The OS license is an entry-level certification that does not require sailing hours to qualify. To qualify for an OS license, you will need: 

  1. Transportation Worker Identification Credential – TWIC – Proof of enrollment in the program. The TWIC program conducts a background check to determine your suitability to work in the transportation industry.
  2. Completed application to  USCG 
  3. Be at least 16 years of age  
  4. Proof of U.S. citizenship 
  5. Proof of  recent drug testing and random screening registration 
  6. Social Security number 
  7. Three letters of recommendation  
  8. Application  fee Ordinary 

After receiving a sailor’s license, they must pass a drug test to maintain their license, but if they do not upgrade, they do not need to submit proof of their sailing time to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Would You Like To Get A Job As A Deckhand On A Tugboat? 

With training and experience, you can start your path to higher positions. To obtain a senior position in the marine industry, you will need to accumulate sailing time and experience that will qualify you to take the license upgrade exam. The next step to becoming a regular seafarer is a competent seaman’s license. This requires being 18 years of age or older and having at least 180 days of sea time combined with approved training and emergency lifeboat pilot training.

To become a captain, you will need to invest time in the lower levels and continue training to improve your license while earning time at sea. If she wants to become a captain someday, she must be at least 21 years old and have 540 days of recorded sailing experience as a tugboat helmsman. Once you have gained the appropriate experience and time at sea, you can enroll in a training academy to prepare for the U.S. Coast Guard exam requirements.

Scroll to Top