Deck Officers, Water Transport

(NOC 2273)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Deck officers, water transport, operate and command ships to carry passengers and cargo on oceans and coastal and inland waters, and supervise and coordinate the activities of deck crews. This group also includes Canadian Coast Guard deck officers. They work for marine transportation companies and federal government departments.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 40 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 2585 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

This occupation did not experience widespread layoffs because of the pandemic. Most deck officers work for cargo ships, interprovincial ferries, or federal government organizations like the Coast Guard, which continued to operate throughout the pandemic. Some cargo shippers may have had a reduced need for deck officers throughout 2020 as the number of containers passing through the Port of Halifax declined somewhat. Deck officers working for businesses that provide services to the Atlantic offshore oil industry may have been laid off as low oil prices prompted the cancellation or deferral of some planned projects.

This occupation is relatively small, with no major increase or decrease in total employment expected. Many workers in this occupation are approaching retirement age. Attrition will be the main source of vacancies. Employers sometimes have trouble finding local jobseekers to fill positions and hire workers from outside Nova Scotia.

The median employment income for the 50% of Deck Officers, Water Transport who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $85,125. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, the 59% of those who worked full-time, year-round had a median employment income of $43,600. (Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$18.54

Minimum

$38.94

Median

$51.28

Maximum

Annual Pay

$20,281

Minimum

$80,949

Median

$179,235

Maximum

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Hourly Pay

$18.00

Minimum

$37.80

Median

$48.46

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Deck officers, water transport, operate and command ships to carry passengers and cargo on oceans and coastal and inland waters, and supervise and coordinate the activities of deck crews. This group also includes Canadian Coast Guard deck officers. They work for marine transportation companies and federal government departments.

Job duties

Deck officers:

  • Command and operate ships or other vessels like barges or oil rigs to carry passengers and cargo.
  • Command and operate coast guard ships to provide ice-breaking and search and rescue services, and to maintain control over ships operating in Canadian waters.
  • Board vessels at berth or from pilot boats to advise ships' captains on the course to steer for safe passage into and out of ports, seaways, or other waterways under pilotage authority.
  • Plan and execute safe navigational passage using navigational aids.
  • Determine geographical position using navigational instruments, maps, and charts.
  • Guide boats in rivers, canals, and other confined or hazardous waters and waterways.
  • Maintain vessels' navigational instruments and equipment.
  • Direct and oversee the loading and unloading of cargo.
  • Supervise and coordinate the activities of deck crews.
  • Record vessel progress, crew activities, weather, and sea conditions in the ship's log.

Sample job titles

  • captain - water transport
  • deck officer - water transport
  • ferryboat operator
  • master - water transport
  • master mariner
  • mate - water transport
  • navigation officer - water transport
  • ship first mate
  • ship pilot
  • tugmaster

Skills

You should enjoy being at sea. A sense of responsibility and strong leadership qualities are needed. You must be in good health and meet eyesight and colour vision requirements. Problem-solving and decision-making skills are also important. Mechanical skills may also be helpful.

Job requirements

  • High school is required.
  • Completion of deck officer cadet program from an approved nautical institute or one to three years of experience as a member of a deck crew is required.
  • A deck officer certificate of competency, issued by Transport Canada, is required.
  • For ship pilots, a ship pilot licence and a master certificate of competency are required.

Other considerations

Transport Canada administers a deck officer certification program, consisting of several levels. Movement from one level of certification to the next requires additional experience, training and testing. Movement between employers is possible for positions requiring the same level of certification. Progression to management positions in transportation is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

645

employed in 2016

96.9%

employed full-time

2.3%

self employed

8.5%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
91.5%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
47.5

median age

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

25,875

employed in 2016

91.5%

employed full-time

7.6%

self employed

20.0%
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80%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

46.5%

Halifax

21.3%

Southern

18.9%

Cape Breton

8.7%

North Shore

4.7%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

48.1%

Transportation and warehousing

40.4%

Public administration

4.8%

Manufacturing

2.9%

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

1.9%

Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

What is the age of Employment?

31.0%

45-54

24.0%

55-64

18.0%

35-44

13.0%

25-34

9.0%

15-24

5.0%

65+

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

24.2%

25-34

23.5%

45-54

23.4%

35-44

16.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

44.2%

College Diploma

$113,029 median annual income
18.6%

Trade Certification

$72,515 median annual income
14.0%

High school

$53,136 median annual income
11.6%

Bachelor

$55,733 median annual income
6.2%

Diploma Below Bachelor

$78,677 median annual income

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

33.1%

College Diploma

$59,986 median annual income
29.8%

Bachelor

$63,965 median annual income
11.9%

High school

$45,835 median annual income
9.9%

Master

$65,105 median annual income
6.9%

Trade Certification

$57,773 median annual income

Education & training

Adult High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Masters and Mates

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

Contacts

Canadian Coast Guard College
Sydney, NS

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.