Service Branches

  • navy logo
  • Coast Guard logo

Work Environment

Seamen work aboard all types of ships and submarines. On ships they often work outdoors on deck while servicing shipboard equipment.

  • Military Status


  • Average Military Salary



Seamen are responsible for the smooth operation of the majority of occurrences above deck. They are capable of performing almost any task in connection with deck maintenance, small boat operations, navigation, and supervising all personnel assigned to a ship's deck force or shore unit. They have a working knowledge of all programs performed in, or related to, the marine environment. They must establish and maintain knowledge of ropes and cables, including different uses, stresses, strains, and proper stowing. They facilitate upkeep of ships' external structures, riggings, deck equipment, and lifeboats.

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. Job training for seamen consists of classroom instruction on-the-job learning in various training environments and through receiving advanced civilian/industry certifications and licenses (credentials) which may require additional education training or experience. Training programs vary depending on service and specialty.

Helpful Attributes

  • Ability to work closely with others
  • Interest in sailing and being at sea
  • Preference for physical work

Related Civilian Careers

  • Laborers and Freight, Stock and Material Movers, Hand
  • Riggers
  • Maintenance and Repair Workers, General
  • Motorboat Operators
  • Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers and Repairers