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Employment: Water Transportation Occupations




Water transportation workers held more than 72,000 jobs in 2004. The total number who worked at some point in the year was perhaps twice as large because many merchant marine officers and seamen worked only part of the year. The following tabulation shows employment in the occupations that make up this group:

Captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels 29,000
Sailors and marine oilers 28,000
Ship engineers 12,000
Motorboat operators 3,400

About 33 percent of all workers were employed in water transportation services. About 17 percent worked in inland water transportation—primarily the Mississippi River system—while the other 16 percent were employed in water transportation on the deep seas, along the coasts, and on the Great Lakes. Another 25 percent worked in establishments related to port and harbor operations, marine cargo handling, or navigational services to shipping. The Federal government employed approximately 5 percent of all water transportation workers, most of whom worked on supply ships and are Civilian Mariners of the Department Navy’s Military Sealift Command.