NOC 2273 – Deck officers, water transport



Deck officers, water transport, operate and command ships or self-propelled vessels to transport passengers and cargo on oceans and coastal and inland waters, and supervise and co-ordinate the activities of deck crews. This unit group also includes Canadian Coast Guard deck officers. They are employed by marine transportation companies and federal government departments.

Transport Canada administers a deck officer certification program, consisting of several levels. Progression from one level of certification to the next requires additional experience, training and testing.

Mobility between employers is possible for positions requiring the same level of certification.

Progression to management positions in transportation is possible with experience.

Main Duties

Deck officers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Command and operate ships or other self-propelled vessels, such as barges or oil rigs, to transport passengers and cargo
  • Command and operate coast guard vessels to provide ice-breaking and search and rescue services, and to maintain control over ships operating in Canadian waters
  • Board vessels at berth or from pilot boats to advise ships’ captains on the course to steer for safe passage into and out of ports, seaways or other waterways under pilotage authority
  • Plan and execute safe navigational passage using navigational aids
  • Determine geographical position using navigational instruments, maps and charts
  • Guide vessels in rivers, canals, and other confined or hazardous waters and waterways
  • Maintain vessels’ navigational instruments and equipment
  • Direct and oversee the loading and unloading of cargo
  • Supervise and co-ordinate the activities of deck crews
  • Record vessel progress, crew activities, weather and sea conditions in the ship’s log.

Employment Requirements

  • Completion of secondary school is required.
  • Completion of deck officer cadet program from an approved nautical institute
    One to three years of experience as a member of a deck crew is required.
  • A deck officer certificate of competency, issued by Transport Canada, is required.
  • For ship pilots, a ship pilot licence and a master certificate of competency are required.

All Titles

  • apprentice master – minor waters
  • captain – water transport
  • captain, ferryboat
  • captain, offshore rig
  • captain, passenger ship
  • captain, self-propelled barge
  • captain, self-propelled drilling rig
  • captain, ship
  • chief officer, Coast Guard vessel
  • chief officer, ship
  • chief officer, ship operations
  • Coast Guard vessel commanding officer
  • Coast Guard vessel first watchkeeping officer
  • Coast Guard vessel navigation officer
  • Coast Guard vessel second officer
  • Coast Guard vessel second watchkeeping officer
  • Coast Guard vessel third officer
  • Coast Guard vessel third watchkeeping officer
  • commanding officer – water transport
  • commanding officer, Coast Guard vessel
  • commanding officer, dredge
  • commanding officer, offshore rig
  • deck officer – cadet
  • deck officer – water transportdeck officer
  • deck officer, self-propelled barge
  • deck officer, self-propelled oil rig
  • dredge captain
  • dredge commanding officer
  • dredge mate
  • ferryboat captain
  • ferryboat first mate
  • ferryboat master
  • ferryboat operator
  • first mate – inland waters
  • first mate, ferryboat
  • first mate, foreign-going
  • first mate, home trade
  • first mate, offshore drilling rig
  • first mate, self-propelled drilling rig
  • first mate, ship
  • first watchkeeping officer, Coast Guard vessel
  • foreign-going first mate
  • foreign-going second mate
  • harbour pilot
  • home trade first mate
  • home trade master
  • home trade second mate
  • hovercraft master
  • inland navigation mate
  • junior mate, ship
  • launchman/womanlaunchman, launchwoman, waterman, waterwoman
  • master – inland waters
  • master – minor waters
  • master – water transport
  • master mariner
  • master, dredge
  • master, ferryboat
  • master, hovercraft
  • master, self-propelled drilling rig
  • master, ship
  • mate – water transport
  • mate, home trade
  • mate, inland navigation
  • mate, merchant navy
  • mate, self-propelled drilling rig
  • mate, ship
  • merchant navy mate
  • navigation officer – water transport
  • navigation officer, Coast Guard vessel
  • officer, deck
  • officer, deck – water transport
  • officer, navigation – water transport
  • offshore drilling rig first mate
  • offshore rig captain
  • offshore rig commanding officer
  • passenger ship captain
  • pilot – water transport
  • pilot, harbour
  • pilot, ship
  • river pilot
  • riverboat captain
  • second deck officer
  • second mate
  • second mate – inland waters
  • second mate, foreign-going
  • second mate, home trade
  • second mate, ship
  • second officer, Coast Guard vessel
  • second watchkeeping officer, Coast Guard vessel
  • self-propelled barge captain
  • self-propelled barge deck officer
  • self-propelled drilling rig captain
  • self-propelled drilling rig first mate
  • self-propelled drilling rig mate
  • self-propelled oil rig deck officer
  • ship first mate
  • ship master
  • ship pilot
  • ship watchkeeping mate
  • ship’s captain
  • ship’s mate
  • skipper, tugboat
  • third mate, ship
  • third officer, Coast Guard vessel
  • third watchkeeping officer, Coast Guard vessel
  • tugboat captain
  • tugboat master
  • tugboat skipper
  • watchkeeping mate, ship
  • watchkeeping officer – water transport
  • watchkeeping officer, Coast Guard vessel
  • waterman/woman


  • Engineer officers, water transport (2274)
  • Fishing masters and officers (8261)
  • Shore captains (See 0731 Managers in transportation)
  • Water transport deck and engine room crew (7532)


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