Matroses are members of the deck department of an inland water transportship. They may work on the helm, on the deck, in the cargo hold and in the engine room. They may be called on to use emergency, lifesaving, damage control, and safety equipment. They perform all operations connected with the launching of lifesaving equipment and are expected to be able to operate deck machinery, mooring and anchoring equipment.
The following job titles also refer to matrose:
No formal educational credential is generally required to work as a matrose.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Matrose is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Matrose career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to matrose.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of matrose. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of matrose with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of matrose.
- Types of cargo: Distinguish different types of cargo e.g. bulk cargo, liquid bulk cargo and heavy materials.
- International regulations for cargo handling: The body of conventions, guidelines and rules which dictate the activity of loading and unloading cargo in international ports.
- Inland waterway police regulations: Understand waterway rules, legal requirements, and relevant police regulations. Handle and maintain buoys, marking systems, and day and night signs.
- Influence of winds and currents in the steering of ships: Know what influence current, wind strength, and wind direction have on a vessel’s navigation and manoeuvring abilities.
- National regulations on handling cargo: The national regulations governing the loading and unloading of cargo in ports within that country.
- On board hazards: Prevent on board (electrical) hazards and effectively deal with them should they occur; ensure safe embarkation and disembarkation of the vessel.
- European classification of inland waterways: Understand the European CEMT classification of inland waterways; use modern information systems to compare the dimensions of the waterway to those of the vessel.
- Vessel safety equipment: Gain theoretical and practical knowledge of safety equipment used in vessels, including devices such as lifeboats, life rings, splash doors and fire doors, sprinkler systems, etc. Operate equipment during emergency situations.
- Passenger transport regulations: Have knowledge of passenger transport conventions and regulations.
- Environmental aspects of inland waterway transportation: Consider ecological aspects of the operation of ships in order to use vessels in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner. Understand environmental aspects when navigating inland waterways.
- Principles of combustion engines: Basic knowledge and understanding of different types of engines and their construction and performance.
- Anchors used in inland water transport: Name and recognise different types of anchors used in inland water transport (IWT); explain the characteristics of different anchors and their specific uses.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of matrose.
- Use modern electronic navigational aids: Use modern navigational aids such as GPS and radar systems.
- Launch lifeboats: Launch and retrieve lifeboats following international maritime regulations.
- Assess trim of vessels: Assess the trim stability of vessels, referring to the stability of a vessel while it is in a static condition.
- Help to control passenger behaviour during emergency situations: Know how to use life-saving equipment in emergency situations. Provide assistance if leakages, collisions or fires should occur, and support the evacuation of passengers. Know crisis and crowd management, and administer first aid on board.
- Facilitate safe disembarkation of passengers: Assist passengers when they leave the vessel, aircraft, train, or other mode of transport. Keep the safety measures and procedures in mind.
- Provide first aid: Administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation or first aid in order to provide help to a sick or injured person until they receive more complete medical treatment.
- Maintain ropes: Maintain splices and knots in ropes.
- Execute safety assurance exercises: Organise and execute safety exercises; ensure safety in potentially dangerous situations.
- Secure cargo in stowage: Secure cargo stowage with basic knowledge of stowing methods; ensure efficient and safe transport of goods.
- Use Riverspeak to communicate: Use Riverspeak to communicate in technical and nautical terms.
- Maintain service record book: Maintain service record book, in which data related to the on-board time, activities, signatures of skippers, and other details are recorded.
- Moor vessels: Follow standard procedures to moor vessels. Manage communication between the ship and the shore.
- Ensure integrity of hull: Ensure sure that water does not break the hull; prevent progressive flooding.
- Undertake navigation safety actions: Recognise unsafe situations and perform follow-up actions according to the safety regulations. Immediately warn ship management. Use personal protective and rescue equipment.
- Assess stability of vessels: Assess the two kinds of stability of vessels, namely transversal and longitudinal.
- Use equipment for safe stowage: Use tools and equipment to perform safe stowage and ensure proper loading and securing of goods.
- Communicate reports provided by passengers: Transmit information provided by passengers to superiors. Interpret passenger claims and follow up requests.
- Clean parts of vessels: Clean engine rooms and vessel components using appropriate cleaning materials; ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
- Follow written instructions: Follow written directions in order to perform a task or carry out a step-by-step procedure.
- Apply regulations on cargo transport operations: Display knowledge of relevant local, national, European and international regulations, standards, and codes concerning the operation of freight transport.
- Use waterway traffic control systems: Operate various systems of waterway traffic control; cooperate with traffic control operators, lockkeepers and bridge keepers.
- Adjust weight of cargo to capacity of freight transport vehicles: Adapt weight of cargo to capacity of freight transport vehicles. Oversee the maximum load capacity of the vehicle in question and the weight of each individual crate in the shipment.
- Operate marine communication systems: Operate on board marine communication systems; communicate with other ships or with on-shore control centre e.g. to send urgent messages concerning safety; transmit or receive alerts, etc.
- Use ballasts: Manipulate ballast system; empty and refill ballast tanks.
- Assist anchoring operations: Assist during anchoring operations; operate equipment and assist in anchor manoeuvres.
- Prepare engine room for operation: Prepare and start main engine and auxiliary engines; prepare machinery in engine room prior to departure; know and follow starting procedures according to checklist.
- Steer ship in compliance with helm orders: Steer a ship using various propulsion and steering systems, while under supervision and complying with helm orders.
- Perform vessel maintenance and cleaning: Follow the First Mate’s instructions in assisting with equipment maintenance such as painting or varnishing, splicing lines, and wash-down chores.
- Load cargo onto ships: Load and unload cargo onto ships. Oversee cargo loading and discharging operations.
- Perform daily maintenance on ship machinery: Perform daily maintenance tasks on machinery in ships, such as pumps, piping systems and ballast systems.
- Paint ship decks: Detect and remove rust using primers and sealants; paint vessel decks to fend off oxidation process.
- Navigate European inland waterways: Navigate European waterways in accordance with navigation agreements.
- Steer vessels: Operate and steer vessels such as cruise ships, ferries, tankers, and container ships.
- Maintain vessel technical equipment according to instructions: Operate and maintain technical equipment and devices according to technical instructions.
- Obtain information on various nautical subjects: Obtain information on various nautical technical and safety subjects.
- Secure ships using rope: Use rope to secure and untie the ship before departure or upon arrival.
- Use different types of fire extinguishers: Understand and apply various methods of firefighting and various types and classes of fire extinguishing equipment.
- Understand different types of locks and their operation: Master various engineering constructions and functions of bridges and locks in the field of navigation. Conduct locking and entering procedures.
- Read stowage plans: Read and comprehend content of stowage plans; basic knowledge of how to stow various types of cargo.
- Adhere to traffic regulations on inland waterways: Understand and apply traffic rules in inland waterway navigation in order to ensure safety and avoid collisions.
- Operate life-saving appliances: Operate survival craft and their launching appliances and arrangements. Operate life-saving instruments like radio life-saving appliances, satellite EPIRBs, SARTs, immersion suits and thermal protective aids.
- Unmoor vessels: Follow standard procedures to unmoor vessels. Manage communication between the ship and the shore.
- Comply with checklists: Follow checklists and ensure compliance with all the items included in them.
- Assist passenger embarkation: Assist passengers when they embark vessels, aircraft, trains and other modes of transport. Keep safety measures and procedures in mind.
- Maintain vessel engine room: Maintain the engines and engine room equipment of a vessel. Conduct pre-checks prior to departure and ongoing examinations during the voyage.
- Swim: Move through water by means of the limbs.
- Follow verbal instructions: Have the ability to follow spoken instructions received from colleagues. Strive to understand and clarify what is being requested.
- Follow procedures in the event of an alarm: Follow safety procedures in the event of an alarm; act according to company instructions and procedures.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of matrose. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Physical parts of the vessel: Detailed knowledge of the different physical components of the vessel. Provide maintenance and care to ensure optimal operations.
- Vessel fuels: Know and understand characteristics of fuels and lubricants, and the fuel loading specifications of various types of vessels.
- Principles of mechanical engineering: Understand principles of mechanical engineering, physics, and materials science.
- Vessel stability principles: Thoroughly understand the principles of vessel stability; follow safety requirements during loading and unloading of cargo.
- Inland waterway ship building: Understand inland waterway ship building and construction. Operate vessel in compliance with construction legislation.
- Engine components: Know the different engine components, and their operation and maintenance. Understand when repairs and replacement should be undertaken.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of matrose. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Act reliably: Proceed in a way that one can be relied on or depended on.
- Act as a watchstander: Stand watch as a lookout; execute rudder orders to ensure that a steady course is maintained at all times.
- Use different communication channels: Make use of various types of communication channels such as verbal, handwritten, digital and telephonic communication with the purpose of constructing and sharing ideas or information.
- Operate vessel engine room: Operate and maintain the engine room of vessels. Operate the main engine room where the engine and propulsion machinery are located.
- Show confidence: Demonstrate degrees of maturity by fully understanding one’s own qualities and abilities which can serve as sources of confidence in different situations.
- Show intercultural awareness: Show sensibility towards cultural differences by taking actions which facilitate positive interaction between international organisations, between groups or individuals of different cultures, and to promote integration in a community.
- Ensure vessel compliance with regulations: Inspect vessels, vessel components, and equipment; ensure compliance with standards and specifications.
- Prepare simple meals on board: Prepare simple meals using healthy ingredients; work hygienically.
- Distinguish various types of ships: Recognise and name various types of vessels common in European maritime transport; understand the different characteristics, construction details, and tonnage capacities of different vessels.
- Prevent damage to electrical devices on board: Protect on board electrical equipment; identify anomalies and malfunctions in the electro-technology of vessels.
- Perform manual work autonomously: Show the ability to pursue basic manual tasks without the help or assistance of others, not needing supervision or guidance, and taking responsibility for one’s actions.
- Perform services in a flexible manner: Adapt service approach when circumstances change.
- Implement environmental protection measures: Enforce environmental criteria to prevent environmental damage. Strive for the efficient use of resources in order to prevent waste and reduce costs. Motivate colleagues to take relevant steps to operate in an environmentally friendly manner.
ISCO group and title
8350 – Ships’ deck crews and related workers
- Matrose – ESCO