Third Mate

Navigate the ship while acting as a safety officer.
picture of Third Mate

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$31,000 – $117,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Third Mates do?

A Third Mate works on a ship, ensuring that it reaches its destination without hitting anything. Third Mates also serve as Safety Officers for the ship, making sure that all safety equipment is working and that no one is harmed if an emergency does occur.

If you’re a Third Mate, you probably work on a very large ship, such as a cargo ship, a fishing vessel, a cruise liner, or a tugboat. These ships must be constantly monitored to ensure that they stay on course, don’t run aground, or hit another ship. You take over navigation responsibilities for at least part of the day, watching over the ship’s controls carefully. You adjust the ship’s course, if necessary, and notify the Captain if something goes seriously wrong.

When you’re not standing watch, you spend some time inspecting the ship’s safety equipment. You check that fire extinguishers are working, firefighting hoses don’t have tears, and lifeboats are secure and intact. You may perform fire drills on your ship to make sure everyone knows what to do if an emergency breaks out.

You may be away from home for long periods of time. As a result, you’ll think of your bunk bed as your home away from home, and your crewmates as your extended family. Often, you won’t be able to leave the ship during the entire voyage, but you’ll be able to see incredible beauty from the deck. You’ll learn to get up early to see the spectacular sunrises on the flat horizon.

Should I be a Third Mate?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Third Officer, Training Mate

    How to become a Third Mate

    Most Third 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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