In the coastal areas of the southeastern United States, the marine industry is a booming business. Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina offer many marine-related jobs because of the hundreds of the nearly 1,000 miles of coastline in these three states. Here is a list of the 12 best boat jobs.


To start off our list of the best boat jobs lets look at an entry level position. A dockhand is an excellent opportunity to become introduced to the marine industry. Marinas welcome inexperienced hard-working individuals who have a passion for the water. Dockhands will learn the ropes, so to speak, by securing vessels to the dock and assisting marina patrons’ needs. 

Forklift Driver

Today many marinas have dry rack storage. Dry rack storage requires heavy equipment and operators to pull and stow the boats. Forklift drivers are highly trained to safely maneuver in tight spaces with valuable cargo on their forks. Some marinas may even teach a dockhand to step into the role. 


Working as a mate may be day trips or extended amounts of time away from home. Mates are instrumental in the vessel’s operation by handling lines, assisting the captain, cleaning the exterior, and other duties. Working as a mate is a step in the right direction to becoming a captain. 

Charter Boat Captain

Whether it be fishing, sunset cruises, nature tours, or any other type of charter, it’s hard to argue against the fact that charter boat captains are one of the best boat jobs. To become a charter boat captain, you must either serve as a mate or own and use a private boat for an extended number of hours. Once the hours are completed and you have passed your coast guard test, you’re a certified captain. Work for a company or purchase a boat and start your own charter captain business. 

Wildlife Conservation Officer

Wildlife conservation officers are critical in protecting the coastal waters from being overfished. Regulations are in place to prevent the overharvesting of fish and crustaceans. Conservation officers enforce these regulations in addition to checking for valid fishing licenses. This is an excellent opportunity for those who enjoy law enforcement and the water. 

Marine Biologist

Yes, scientist spends a lot of time on boats. Marine biologists study the oceans, sounds, and tributaries to ensure that the ecosystem is adequately balanced. Although the scientist may not drive the ship, a marine biologist still may enter the water diving, in submarines, or gather data from the vessel’s deck. 


Take your love of cooking to the high seas. Whether you’re aboard a long-range fishing boat, shipping vessel, yacht, or research vessel, chefs are in high demand. Boat chefs cook for the crew, and if it is a charter, the guests as well. Chefs aboard ships are typically paid more money annually than on land, but you will be required to travel. 

Yacht Stewardess

A yacht stewardess job can be a fun experience, especially in your younger years. Most stewardess opportunities are aboard yachts, so travel will be extensive. As a stewardess, your job will be to handle the guest’s needs, leading to little rest but the chance to travel to exotic locations aboard gorgeous yachts. 

Boat Mechanic

A boat mechanic performs repair work to inboard, outboard, jetboat motors, or any other type of marine propulsion. Boat mechanics can start a business or work for a company that offers engine repair services. Today, many marine mechanics are mobile and travel to the marina where a boat is kept to perform the work. In addition you could consider starting a mobile marine business for the greatest flexibility. 

Marine Technician

A marine technician can fall under a broad umbrella of work performed. Marine technicians are shore-based and, depending on their training, can handle electrical wiring, plumbing, engine repair, install marine electronics, and other types of work. However, this is a great opportunity if you’re looking to remain shoreside. 

Marine Engineer

A marine engineer and a marine mechanic are not the same. Marine engineers typically stay aboard the vessel, whereas a mechanic is shore-based. Marine engineers handle various types of work aboard ships, including engine repair, plumbing, electrical, and almost any other system you can imagine. Ideal for someone who prefers travel. 

In Conclusion, working on a boat is an enjoyable experience because you are able to enjoy the outdoors. However, like any job there is still work to be done.