What can Able Seamen do?

Able seamen work as a guard at merchant ship at sea. The duty of an Able Seamen has to simply give standing job near a steering wheel of a ship and must hold an experience of an expert. The able Seamen has to always alert to face the emergencies, lifesaver, control all the damages and repair them and gives a standing watch to maintain the environment on the ship.


  • The person has to maintain the balance of a ship by measuring the depth of water.
  • Always remain in standing position and watch all around to look for the particular obstruction that comes on the way in the sea.
  • Also, maintain a visual communication with the other most ships.
  • Verify the accuracy and speed of a ship on regular intervals.
  • Operate all the ship components like deck machinery.
  • Do proper navigation and also give directions to crew members.
  • Ability to handle all the repairs and maintain all the equipment.
  • Indulge also in other tasks like cleaning and painting the mental structures of a ship.
  • Participate in handling ropes and cables during every shift time.
  • Must work with all crew safety drills.

Work Environment

Able seamen have to work in such a luxurious environment and the working hours are not ideal as one have remained always in an alert position. This job is to prove to be hardeners and needs persons who are carrying a high experience in this field. The shifts in this field are available 24 hours and the entire team has to work continuously if some emergency takes place. Sometimes,  this job is surrounded with the large storms, high winds, and varying temperatures.

Pros & Cons

  • One of the challenging, exciting job and sometimes become dangerous.
  • The responsibilities are much greater and sometimes it may be a risky job.
  • Have to take large responsibility of proper maintenance and always remain in a watchful position.

How to become Able seamen?

To qualify and reach the job of Able seamen, one must carry following skills and requirements.

  • To become Able seamen, the age considers above 18 years.
  • An entry level job which does not require any qualification experience, exams or training.
  • Only requires qualifying sea service experience or completed a lifeboatman course.
  • Additional requirements like application form CG 719-B, Drug screen and physical, proof of citizenship as well as social security card must be there.
  • Good command over the English language.
  • Hold a certification of STCW which is safety training course.
  • Capacity to work under high pressure and must suitable to work in all shifts.
  • Consider minimum, 3 years experience in the role of able seamen.


Able seamen can earn up to an average range of salary above 3 Lakhs annually. The pay is not specified on the too much experience. some of the able seamen also paid according to the hourly rates if they work more than the allotted working hours.

Job Prospects

The job opportunities for the able seamen positions is expected to be a positive movement since 2004 and the vacancies in this field are moving with the 14% and average growth of 2% yearly. It is assumed that the demand of able seamen will grow up as the number of jobs is up to a range of 5020 that will fill up to the year of 2018. So for the coming new years, it is a good opportunity for those who are reflecting in this field.

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