What does a Motorboat Operator do?

Median Pay $50,350
Growth Rate 9%
Citation Retrieved from BLS.gov

A motorboat operator transports passengers or products by boat on a small scale. These workers operate smaller vessels for water-based tours, fishing or diving trips, or shuttle service. They may even patrol a harbor or other small body of water.

How to Become a Motorboat Operator

how to become a motorboat operator

There may not be an educational requirement to become a motorboat operator. However, employers want to know you’re experienced on the water and that you hold a Motorboat Operator Certificate. There are Motorboat Operator Certification Courses (or MOCC) that prepare you to earn your certification and they contain classroom (or online) coursework and hands-on experience. These courses can take a few days to complete and generally take less than 40 hours of your time.

The Motorboat Operator Certification Course prepares you to safely operate or become a crew member for a service-owned watercraft. Along with basic operation of the vessel, you’ll also learn how to prepare the craft, navigation, emergency and rescue procedures, as well as how to handle a fire. To pass your certification, you must pass a written exam and pass an on-the-water, hands-on component.

Job Description of a Motorboat Operator

A motorboat operator may navigate a water craft and may also work as a crew member. They must be able to prepare their vessel; this includes cleaning the craft, performing basic repairs, adding fuel, and ensuring there is adequate emergency equipment for the passengers on board. If the operator is leading other crew members, they must also ensure the crew is operating their tasks safely and effectively. This includes docking the vessel, boarding passengers and seating passengers safely, and off-loading passengers.

These operators often work as a guide for tours, fishing charters, or scuba trips. In these instances, the operator must also be skilled to provide these services in addition to operating their craft.

Motorboat Operator Career Video Transcript

Motorboat operators run small, motor-driven boats that carry only a few passengers. They operate fishing charters, tours, and harbor patrols. Their technical tasks include refueling, checking and changing the oil and other fluids, navigation, and ensuring any cargo or materials are secure. For passenger boats, motorboat operators pick up passengers and help them board and instruct them in emergency procedures. Some also act as tour guides or fishing guides in their work.

Motorboat operators are exposed to all kinds of weather, and must follow safety procedures to keep themselves and passengers safe. Motorboat operators typically go out for a few hours at a time and return home each night. Many work in locations that are vacation destinations, and have seasonal schedules. While there are no standard educational requirements for motorboat operators, many employers prefer candidates who have a motorboat operator certificate.

Article Resources

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 53-5022 Motorboat Operators.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.