Tugboat Dispatcher

Dispatch tugboats to guide ships entering or leaving port.
picture of Tugboat Dispatcher

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$21,000 – $59,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Tugboat Dispatchers do?

Dispatches tugboats to guide ships entering or leaving port and to tow barges and log rafts: Receives written or oral customer request for services. Determines equipment required, such as tugs, barges, or derricks according to size, location and work performed. Selects tugboat captain from roster and notifies captain of order requirements, using radiotelephone. Obtains ship berthing and bunkering permits from port authorities. Reviews weather data and navigation charts and estimates time required to perform requested services. Maintains records and prepares bills for services. May notify captain of tugboat by radiotelephone of order changes. May dispatch work crews to tugboats in response to emergency requests from captain.


Should I be a Tugboat Dispatcher?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Dispatcher, Tugboat, Turn Keeper

    How to become a Tugboat Dispatcher

    Most Tugboat Dispatchers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9bagaa&chl=no+college+%2888%25%29|certificate+%282%25%29|associate%27s+%281%25%29|bachelor%27s+%289%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,88,88
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