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Quartermasters and Boat Operators

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Service Branches

  • Army logo
  • Marines logo
  • navy logo

Work Environment

Quartermasters and boat operators work aboard all types of boats and in all types of weather conditions. When not piloting boats they may work on or below deck repairing boats and equipment or overseeing cargo storage. When ashore they may work in offices that make nautical maps or in harbor management offices. Some boats are operated in combat situations.

  • Military Status


  • Median Military Salary This is the median, or the midpoint, of the salary range for this career.


    Military Salary Range Salary varies based on years of service, degree level, special pays, family status and location.

    $22,740 - $291,238


Quartermasters and boat operators focus on small boat safety, handling, operation, navigation, communications, and maintenance. They supervise the embarking and disembarking of troops from the vessel, establish and enforce safety procedures, oversee deck maintenance, and supervise maintenance of life saving equipment.

Military Training

All enlisted service members complete basic military training which includes time spent in a classroom and in the field and covers tactical and survival skills physical training military life and customs and weapons training. Quartermasters and boat operators in the Military will gain skills through classroom study and on-the-job experience. Job-specific training topics relate to boat operations and may include:

  • Boat handling techniques
  • Log and message-handling procedures
  • Use of compasses radar charts and other navigational aids
  • Navigational mathematics
  • Standing-watch procedures
  • Ship structure
  • Log and message-handling procedures

Helpful Attributes

  • Ability to follow detailed instructions and read maps
  • Ability to work with mathematical formulas
  • Interest in sailing and navigation

Related Civilian Careers

  • Motorboat Operators