The captain of a sea vessel is the person directly responsible for commanding the crew and navigating the vessel. As the head of the vessel’s crew, the captain is not only tasked with ordering them and making sure they comply thoroughly, but also training newcomers and preparing them for promotion. A captain must also maintain a concise, descriptive log of the vessel’s lifetime on a daily basis, accounting for everything on board, from personnel to supplies, as well as recording unusual events. Since the captain is in charge of the vessel directly, he/she is also the person to represent the vessel’s crew when communicating with other parties.
Becoming a captain usually requires formal marine education. In some cases, candidates may be required to have attended a specific marine high school and a standard high school diploma is not accepted. The captain must have extensive knowledge of the areas the vessel will be operating in. Additionally, a strong character is an absolute must, as the captain is directly responsible not only for the condition of the vessel, but also for the lives of its crew and passengers.
Ship captains’ salaries range from medium to high, with the primary influencing factors being the size of the vessel under the captain’s command, and more importantly, the captain’s experience. Those who’re starting out can earn between $50,000 – $60,000 annually, while the most experienced captains are able to make well over $130,000 per year, and those aren’t rare cases – salaries of this kind are standard for the most experienced captains.