Ordinary Seaman

Stand deck department watches.
picture of Ordinary Seaman

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$22,000 – $57,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Ordinary Seamen do?

Stands deck department watches and performs variety of duties to preserve painted surfaces of ship and to maintain lines, running gear, and cargo-handling gear in safe operating condition: Watches from bow of ship or wing of bridge for obstructions in path of ship. Turns wheel while observing compass to steer and maintain ship on course. Mops or washes down deck, using hose, to remove oil, dirt, and debris. Chips and cleans rust spots from deck, superstructure, and sides of ship, using hand or air chipping hammer and wire brush. Paints chipped area. Splices wire rope, using marlinespike, wirecutters, and twine.


Should I be an Ordinary Seaman?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Vessel Ordinary Seaman

    How to become an Ordinary Seaman

    Most Ordinary Seamen have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9baaaa&chl=no+college+%2869%25%29|certificate+%2831%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,69,69
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