Military Quartermasters and Boat Operators

Military Career

General Information


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.

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.

Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure
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Military Outlook

Service Branches

Jobs in this career field may be available in other service branches. Call or email a particular branch for more info.

Military Status

  • Enlisted
    • Hands-on/specialized
    • High school diploma required
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Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • High school 52%
  • Post-secondary certificate 24%
  • Less than high school 22%
  • Some college 0%
  • Master's degree 0%
  • Doctoral degree 0%
  • Bachelor's degree 0%
  • Associate's degree 0%
  • Post baccalaureate 0%
  • Post-doctoral training 0%
  • Post-master's certificate 0%
  • First professional degree 0%

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 techniquesLog and message-handling proceduresUse of compasses, radar, charts, and other navigational aidsNavigational mathematicsStanding-watch proceduresShip structureLog and message-handling procedures

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  • Administration and Management
  • Mechanical
  • Education and Training
  • Chemistry
  • Transportation

Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
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