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Moving people and cargo by water vessels - this goes back to America's earliest days while remaining important today for U.S. commence and industry.

Captains, mates, marine mechanics, and pilots are just some of the occupations needed for both kinds of water transportation. Career and employment opportunities in water transportation are expected to slowly increase over the next 10 years while additional openings will occur to replace those experienced individuals who will retire. Several hundred students also are selected for admissions each year to the prestigious United States Merchant Marine Academy.

Work in the water transportation industry can be physically demanding at times, but there also are rewards from working on the water. Earnings vary widely with particular water transportation positions and length of experience. Ships engineers, captains, mates, and pilots all tend to average over $24 per hour, while entry-level sailors and marine oilers usually earn less.

Stacked Containers - copyright © 2006

Many of water transportation workers are members of labor unions, with the Seafarers' International Union and International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots among the most predominant.

Four sites have information on water transportation. We highlight the sites and the content we think you'll find useful as you explore your career options in this area of transportation.

For a quick overview of what each site below offers, click the link.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration; U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and U.S. Coast Guard.

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