Job Corps
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A seaman looking through binoculars at helm of large cargo ship




Participants in this career pathway will work towards certification as an able seaman whose duties include standing watch on deck, working on equipment maintenance, and performing most of the labor required on a ship.

Career Details


Students in are trained in the following subject areas:

  • Steering vessels and operating navigational instruments
  • Demonstrating the ability to operate, install, and maintain various types of electrical controls and safety devices
  • Maintaining engines and other onboard equipment and performing minor repairs
  • Having a basic knowledge of survival skills and techniques
  • Using tools and equipment properly
  • Responding to fire, flooding, medical emergencies, and man-overboard situations

Career Options

Career Options

Most Seamanship graduates go to work on ships or other sailing vessels, traveling for long periods of time. Work schedules and conditions vary by the type of ship. Most work long hours while they are on the ship.


Before entering the program, students must:

  • Certification and Watch-keeping Assessment
  • Basic navigation, knot-tying, and blueprint-reading skills
  • Complete the core curriculum with passing scores on all written and performance tests.
  • Have strong math and reading skills.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent.


As a Job Corps student, you will have the opportunity to earn credentials in your training area that may lead to greater employment opportunities, higher wages, and promotions.


While on the job, you will be expected to display the following traits at all times:

  • Attention to detail
  • Dependability
  • Initiative
  • Persistence
  • Self-control
  • Teamwork

Seamanship Numbers to Know


National average earning potential for this career


Months needed to complete career training


Centers offering training in this program

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