Fourth Mate

Take charge of a ship deck and teach rookies the ropes.
picture of Fourth Mate

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$31,000 – $117,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Fourth Mates do?

A ship is often divided into sections so each section can be supervised properly and a crew can be assigned to tackle the tasks particular to it. A Fourth Mate is in charge of the deck of the ship. As a Fourth Mate, you supervise the crew working on that deck.

The crew that you supervise as a Fourth Mate is small. These people may have never worked on a ship before, so you may spend a significant amount of time explaining things. Because of this, you’ll learn to define technical terms without breaking the flow of your speech.

You give each member of your crew a set of tasks to handle each day. You assist them with these tasks and teach them how to do things properly. That means you may scrub the deck, repair minor dents and holes, paint the deck or the hull, lash items to the deck so they don’t come loose in a storm, lower the anchor when you arrive at shore, and pull the anchor back up when it’s time to leave again.

You hold a supervisory position but you also have many people supervising your work. That means you may need to stop what you’re working on so you can take new directions. You’re always courteous, and you work hard and quickly. The more effective you are in your job, the more likely it is that you’ll be promoted, which means you’ll be speaking with other experienced seamen who know your language—no translation needed.


Should I be a Fourth Mate?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Fourth Officer

    How to become a Fourth Mate

    Most Fourth Mates have a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:i9kfaa&chl=no+college+%2831%25%29|certificate+%2855%25%29|associate%27s+%289%25%29|bachelor%27s+%285%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,31,55
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