Water Transport Deck and Engine Room Crew

Occupation:Water Transport Deck and Engine Room Crew
Category:Trades and Transportation

About the job

Nature of work:

Workers in this group stand watch, operate and maintain deck equipment, perform other deck and bridge duties and assist ship engineer officers to operate, maintain and repair engines, machinery and auxiliary equipment aboard ships or self-propelled vessels. They are employed by marine transportation companies and federal government departments.

Job duties:
Workers in this group perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Stand watch and steer ship or self-propelled vessel under the direction of the officer on watch.
  • Operate, maintain and repair deck equipment such as winches, cranes, derricks and hawsers.
  • Assist ship engineer officers in performing routine maintenance work and repair to ship's engine, machinery and auxiliary equipment.
  • Monitor engine, machinery and equipment indicators, record variables and report abnormalities to ship engineer officer on watch.
  • Lubricate moving parts of engines, machinery and auxiliary equipment.
  • Operate and maintain off-loading liquid pumps and valves.
  • Clean engine parts and keep engine room clean.
  • Clean, chip and paint deck surfaces.
  • Handle mooring lines, and splice and repair ropes, wire cables and cordage.
Sample job titles:
  • deckhand
  • engine room crew member - ship
  • marine engineering mechanic
  • marine engineering technician
  • mechanical assistant - water transport
  • seaman/woman
  • small vessel machinery operator

To work in these jobs, you should have good health, physical stamina, and strength. Agility, coordination, and a mechanical aptitude would be helpful. You must be able to work methodically, take direction, work as a member of a team, and carry out instructions given by supervisors. On occasion, protective clothing, goggles, and safety boots must be worn. In these jobs, you may be exposed to noise and fumes. For some jobs, you should be willing to travel long distances and for extended periods of time.

Job requirements:
  • Some secondary school education is required.
  • On-the-job training is provided.
Other considerations:

Training and testing for various endorsements and certification, including the Marine Emergency Duty (MED) certificate, occur following employment as a deck crew member. Senior positions in this group, such as able seaman/woman, require experience. Progression to deck or ship engineer officer positions is possible with experience, additional training and deck officer certification by Transport Canada.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to remain largely the same over the next few years. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Water Transport Deck and Engine Room Crew most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 43% of Water Transport Deck and Engine Room Crew who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $65,716. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Water Transport Deck and Engine Room Crew320stable20Moderate
Minimum: $14.50
Median: $20.50
Maximum: $30.95
Minimum: $19,011
Median: $58,920
Maximum: $93,907
Occupations in Trades and Transportation57,925Decline slightly3,400High
Minimum: $13.00
Median: $20.35
Maximum: $34.00
Minimum: $7,580
Median: $37,269
Maximum: $79,787
Water Transport Deck and Engine Room CrewCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
Percent employed full-time96%89%
Percent self-employed49%13%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentWater Transport Deck and Engine Room CrewCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton17%$42,76113%$32,974
Annapolis Valley5%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeWater Transport Deck and Engine Room CrewCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
Median Age5147
GenderWater Transport Deck and Engine Room CrewCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
EducationWater Transport Deck and Engine Room CrewCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school16.9%x18.2%$25,753
High school26.5%x25.5%$28,089
Trades certificate25.3%x29.4%$40,890
College certificate or diploma31.3%x22.6%$39,023
University certificate or diplomaN/Ax1.0%$35,969
Bachelor's degreeN/Ax2.7%$36,972
University advanced certificate or diplomaN/Ax0.2%$41,705
Master's degreeN/Ax0.3%x
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.0%$3,714
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

Small Vessel Machinery Operator
Not Provincially Regulated:This job may be regulated by a federal regulatory body.
Regulating body:
Transport Canada - Marine Safety Services
45 Alderney Drive
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4K2
(855) 859-3123
(902) 426-6657
No contacts were found under this occupation profile

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
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