The 3 Main Types of Jobs on a Tugboat

The marine industry is quite vast which creates a lot of job opportunities. Conventional and unconventional jobs are available allowing a person to choose the most fitting job as per his or her requirements.



Tugboat jobs are one of the many different job areas in the marine industry that people can find employment in. Tugboats are those which help ships and other vessels to move in constricted areas like canals and ports. Vessels needing tugging include barges, offshore oil rigs and ships that have been broken down and need repairing.

Like every other marine jobs, even tugboat jobs have specific classification and follow a certain hierarchy. Some of the various types of tugboat jobs can be listed down as follows:

  • Captain: The tugboat captain is like the captain of any other ship. He has to have leadership skills and needs to be a team player in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the tugboat operations. Other job requirements include experience of working in a tugboat in the position of a mate, excellent technological skills with respect to operation of the radars, speed of the tugboat, etc. and acting as recruiters for new tugboat employees.


Education-wise, the captain of the tugboat needs to have the required certification which is classified on the basis of tonnage of the tugboat. Additionally, certain companies engaged in tugboat operations require the applicants to have experience of having worked in specific water areas. The captain of the tugboat also needs to have a STCW 95 certification in order to be eligible to apply for the post.


  • Mate: The second-most important position on the tugboat is that of the mate. The mate has to work in close co-ordination with the captain and under his guidance ensure that the tugboat carries out its operation smoothly. The mate is in-charge of the overall navigation and towing functionalities. The mate needs to have prior experience; a fire-fighting and controlling certificate and has to have excellent English speaking skills.

As regards educational qualifications, the mate of the tugboat needs to have certification as per the tonnage of the tugboat. This includes a tug of 100 tons, 200 tons, 500 tons and 1600 tons. Also, the mate needs to have a STCW 95 certification.


  • Engineer: As is with any object involving complex machinery and fuel, the tugboat also requires the assistance of engineers. Since the role of the tugboat is to ensure the safe passage of ships bulky and huge in nature, the tugboats have to be maintained in prime condition at all times.


The role of the engineer in a tugboat is to make sure that the engines – both main and supplemental – are functioning properly. Also in addition to the engines, the engineer is required to make sure that all other equipments and gadgets in the tugboat are in perfect condition and will not cause any failure to the operation when brought into use. Engineers are required to have a marine engineering degree along with a STCW 95 certification.

Other tugboat maritime employment prospects include that of an able seaman to carry out all the menial activities in the tugboat, the steward and the cook. In addition to these, there are several other maritime jobs in the onshore area like that of the engineer of the port in-charge of the onshore maintenance of the tugboat.


You may also like to read-Maritime Security Jobs: Requirements and Preferences



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  1. Murphy says

    Everything is nice. I am a captain, i will like to work in a tugboat. I have all the tugboat licencies. Thank u.

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