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How to Become a Barge Captain

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How to Become a Barge Captain. A barge is a vessel used in the workboat industry. These large, flat-bottomed boats are used to transport freight. As the captain of a barge, you can earn a good salary and benefits. You'll also have opportunities to advance your career. Read on to learn more.

Have a high school diploma in order to become a barge captain. Focus on math skills and communication skills. As a barge captain, you'll be responsible for managing the budget of the vessel's operating expenses. You must make sure that the barge maintains a cost-effective performance. You must have good written communication skills to keep logs and write reports.

Get a job on a barge as a seaman in order to gain experience. You must have at least 2 years of experience working on a barge or other similar work boat before you can advance in your career. Some companies that use barges will provide on-the-job training.

Develop good leadership skills if you want to become a barge captain. The barge captain supervises the crew's daily work duties. You must make sure that each crew member receives proper instruction for his or her specific duties. Be a good people-person because you must also be responsible for settling any disputes between crew members.

Take a course through the United States Coast Guard. They have training courses available to train for several kinds of work on sea vessels and work boats that service rivers. These courses can take up to 3 years to complete. You must pass an exam and receive certification in order to become a barge captain.


Be prepared for long hours on the water if you want to become a barge captain. Make sure you are physically and mentally prepared.