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.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to matrose:

able seaman
able seawoman

Minimum qualifications

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

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to matrose.

engine minder
ordinary seaman
marine mechanic

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.

ship duty engineer
ship assistant engineer
marine cargo inspector

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of matrose.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of matrose.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

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

  1. Matrose – ESCO
Last updated on August 21, 2022

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