Dredge Captain

Keep the waterways free of mud by dredging them clean.
picture of Dredge Captain

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$31,000 – $117,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Dredge Captains do?

The waterways of the world are just one avenue for moving products from one place to another. Whether it’s a cruise ship delivering passengers or a barge hauling off garbage, rivers, harbors, and straits must be accessible. But shifting sands and debris often clog the bottom of those much-needed waterways. So Dredge Captains run their ships to dredge (or dig out) unwanted materials, and keep marine commerce up and running.

As a Dredge Captain, you’re a Ship Captain. That means you’re top dog, and you supervise the efforts of everyone from the First Mate to the Deckhands. You’re in charge of hiring, firing, evaluating, motivating, and training.

If that doesn’t keep your calendar full, your responsibilities as a Dredge Captain also put you in charge of the dredging operations. You might aim your bow at a specific waterway, or travel from one to another in search of underwater excavation needs.

Once you’ve maneuvered your ship to the desired destination, you fire up the computer, tap into the satellites, and bust out the equipment. There are three main types of dredgers. But whether you use a scoop to, well, scoop the contents of the seafloor into a waiting ship, a hydraulic dredge to filter the debris out of copious quantities of water, or an airlift dredge to dry-vac the goods, you always manage to move materials out of the way of Mariners who rely on access to the area.

Should I be a Dredge Captain?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to become a Dredge Captain

    We recommend at least a Certificate. Check out these schools offering Dredge Captain-related education!
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