A ferryboat captain is responsible for the safe transport of commuters, tourists and vehicles from one shore to another. With the lives of several hundred people in his hands, a ferryboat captain needs focus and must keep the ship's officers and crew performing their duties diligently. Compliance with Coast Guard rules and regulations is paramount to the ship's safe operation.
The average annual salary of a ferryboat captain is $75,410, according to CareerBuilder.com. The job-listing website places the average annual range for wages between a low of $56,739 and a high of $104,136. SalaryExpert.com agrees with these findings, placing the average annual pay slightly lower, at $71,083 per year.
A vessel in U.S. domestic waterways is under the direct command of the captain, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The captain must ensure that the officers and crew follow proper safety procedures and practices; make certain the ferryboat's equipment and machinery are in working order; and be responsible for the safe loading and unloading of passengers and cargo.
To pilot a ferryboat, a license from the U.S. Coast Guard is necessary. To qualify for a license, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that an applicant can either attend a merchant marine academy or log several thousands of hours working as deckhand. However, with or without formal education, all applicant must pass a standard, written exam. Also, to work on a vessel, mariners need to obtain a TWIC from the U.S. Office of Homeland Security, which serves a security clearance to work on U.S. waterways.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the employment outlook for ferryboat captains, as well as for all marine careers, is expected to be strong through the year 2018. In fact, the growth rate is predicted to be 15 percent, which will outpace the average of all occupations, which is 12 percent. An increase in tourism is partly responsible for the strong figures.