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Ship and Submarine Officers

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Service Branches

  • Army logo
  • navy logo
  • Coast Guard logo

Work Environment

Ship and submarine officers work aboard their vessels. Engineering officers are subjected to hot humid and noisy environments. Submarine officers work in confined spaces for extended periods.

  • 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.

    $28,354 - $502,205


Ship and submarine officers command watercraft vessels on oceans, bays, sounds, lakes, and coastal waters. They are responsible for the proper operation and safety of the vessel, including discipline of the crew and seaworthiness of the vessel. Ship and submarine officers also direct diving activities in connection with underwater salvage, repair or rescue work, and administer or instruct all phases of diving.

Military Training

Officers typically enter the Military after they have completed a four-year college degree; enlisted service members can transition to officer positions through a variety of pathways and earn a degree while serving. Job training for ship and submarine officers primarily consists of classroom instruction and on-the-job learning in one of the following departments: air weapons operations communications engineering deck administration or supply. Like other officers they complete a comprehensive training program covering responsibilities military structure and etiquette traditions and leadership development. Job-specific training content may include:

  • Management and organization of ship or submarine operations
  • Piloting and navigation of ships
  • Interpretation of maritime laws and policies

Helpful Attributes

  • Ability to organize and direct the work of others
  • Interest in sailing and being at sea

Related Civilian Careers

  • Commercial Divers
  • Lifeguards, Ski Patrol and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers
  • Motorboat Operators
  • Human Resources Specialists