Sailors operate marine vessels of all kinds, ensuring passenger and crew safety in the process. Cruise ships, yachts, sail training and educational vessels, cargo carriers, tugboats, passenger ferries, rescue vessels and tankers all employ sailors to clean and maintain the vessel, assist passengers, stand watch, handle lines, navigate and steer.
Before you start writing your sailor job description, think about what specific tasks are relevant to the day-to-day work on your vessel. For example, if you operate a historic ship that focuses on overnight educational experiences, your write-up will differ from one focusing on ocean-going salvage expeditions.
In any case, sailors need physical strength and dexterity along with mechanical skills and the ability to take direction and follow the chain of command. Depending on your vessel’s focus, your ideal candidate may need good customer service skills and public speaking ability. See the sailor job description template below for more ideas.
Sailor Job Summary
Are you a hard-working, experienced sailor looking for steady work and solid pay? If not, are you a physically fit, dedicated worker looking for a challenging job in a unique environment? Our nonprofit organization is looking to fill the position of deckhand on our fleet of three historic sail training vessels. If selected for this role, you will have the exciting job of operating and maintaining a square-rigged vessel in the grand tradition of seafaring explorers. You will see the coast, if not the entire world, and will have the opportunity to learn a trade with ongoing opportunities for advancement.
- Ensure safe vessel operations by following established procedures and chain of command at all times, whether in port or underway
- Maintain vessel by varnishing, sanding, scrubbing, cleaning, polishing and repairing under the direction of the boatswain or engineer
- Stand watch on a four-hour rotation while underway, performing engine room checks and sail adjustment as necessary, observing and recording vessel’s progress by means of visual checks and use of radar screens, verifying that vessel is on-course and reporting to the watch-leader every 30 minutes
- Prepare vessel for sea by stowing and securing items, checking and repairing both standing and running rigging and performing passenger and crew counts
- Work as part of a unit to carry out assignments, including vessel maintenance, maneuvering and emergency response
- Greet passengers and record names on the passenger manifest, sometimes collecting payments and making change
- Assist passengers while underway and during emergency procedures
- Work one shift per week in the galley and one shift per week with the engineer as cross-training
Job Skills & Qualifications
- Be physically fit and able to work on your feet all day
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be comfortable working aloft (after onboard training)
- Able Seaman credential
- Sail endorsement
- 1 or more years of experience working on the water
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Sailor Job Responsibilities
The potentially hazardous nature of the water transportation industry makes it crucial to find sailors who are well qualified to work for your company. When you write your sailor job description, think carefully about the tasks required for the position and describe them as specifically as possible. This will enable your readers to more accurately decide if they could fulfil the necessary duties.
One way to make the job responsibilities section of your sailor job description stronger is to list each task with its own bullet point. This creates a clear distinction between duties and is easy for potential applicants to read. As you write your bullets, start them with an action verb to better illustrate the type of work required. When you keep your list at 6-8 bullet points, you can clearly demonstrate the main duties of the sailor position without overwhelming possible candidates.
Here are some example sailor job responsibilities to help you as you write your own:
- Assist with the operation and maintenance of nonmilitary vessels
- Navigate the vessels using proper equipment
- Comply with all commands given by superiors
- Ensure all passengers and cargo remain safe throughout the entirety of voyages
- Maintain knowledge of all safety and emergency procedures for water vessels
Sailor Job Specifications
Although the job qualifications and skills section of your sailor job description may be short, don’t rush through it. Take the time required to think through the most important abilities, and confer with other members of the management team when necessary. A strong qualification and skills section can reduce the number of poorly fitting candidates who apply.
Remember it is essential for sailors to be in good physical condition. They may need to perform daily tasks that are laborious, mandating strength and agility. As you write your sailor job description, remember to include any physical prerequisites demanded by the position.
In some cases, it may be beneficial to write a section for necessary skills and those that are helpful but not as essential. This distinction can enable the readers to decide whether or not they would be ideal candidates before they apply. It can also entice the type of jobseeker you’re looking for so you get an increased number of potential candidates.
Here are some example sailor job specifications to consider as you write this section: