Staff Captain

Lead the staff on a large boat or ship.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$31,000 – $117,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Staff Captains do?

The Staff Captain is the second in command on a ship. On a small vessel, that might mean supervising a few crewmembers. On a massive cruise ship, those responsibilities multiply.

As a Staff Captain, you’ve been at this marine thing awhile. You understand policies and procedures, have no problems handling the ship, and are comfortable giving orders. While ultimately, the employees, cargo, and passengers are the responsibility of the Ship Captain, you shoulder much of that accountability as the Captain’s right hand.

Your Staff Captain duties require a truckload of managerial skills. That’s because you might oversee thousands of employees. Although there are tiers of crewmembers to help with this supervision, you monitor everything from the loading of supplies to the excursions that the Shore Excursion Manager offers to passengers. You ensure that the Safety Officer completes mandatory drills and training so that you know the vessel’s sprinkler systems work and employees know how to react in case of an emergency.

Communication is your middle name. That’s because, while the Captain is behind the wheel, she will want to know about every shrimp shortage in the restaurant and every disagreement between Deckhands. So, you constantly update written logs, create reports, and converse face to face with your boss, the Captain. Oh, and by the way, you also learn from the boss, because you’re able to step into her position at any moment if need be.


Should I be a Staff Captain?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • 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.

  • Also known as: Scow Captain, Sea Captain, Sloop Captain, Sport Fishing Vessel Captain

    How to become a Staff Captain

    Most Staff Captains have an Associate's degree or a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:k9lhha&chl=no+college+%2824%25%29|certificate+%2841%25%29|associate%27s+%2825%25%29|bachelor%27s+%285%25%29|master%27s+%285%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,24,41
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