A ferry boat captain operates ferries, transporting passengers and cargo on a set path between two or more docks in coastal and inland waters. They maintain a schedule, oversee loading and unloading procedures on the ship and supervise and co-ordinate the activities of deck crews. Employment could be through a marine transport company or the federal government.


Information provided by Discover Tourism.


  • Command and operate ferry boats
  • Determine geographic positioning
  • Execute safe navigational passage
  • Maintain navigational instruments and equipment
  • Direct activity of deck crew
  • Direct and supervise loading and unloading of vehicles and foot passengers
  • Be prepared to handle emergency situations
  • Keep ship’s log monitor other vessels along route

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Concentration and focus
  • Technical aptitude
  • Good judgment and problem-solving skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Leadership qualities
  • An ability to work as an effective team member
  • Good health, hearing and vision
  • Proven navigational skills
  • Time management skills
  • Emergency/disaster management skills.
  • Secondary school diploma
  • Transport Canada Deck Officer Certificate, or one to three years experience on a deck crew.

Possible Future Career Paths

  • Ferry Boat Master
  • Ship’s Captain
  • Owner/Operator of a marine transport company

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