7533 Boat and cable ferry operators and related occupations

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Lead statement

This unit group includes workers who operate lock gates, bridges and similar equipment along canal systems and workers who operate cable ferries and ferry terminals. This group also includes boat operators, and owner-operators, who operate small motorboats or watercraft to transport passengers or freight. Workers in this group are employed by the federal government, cable ferry companies, ferry terminals, marine companies and canal, port or harbour authorities. Owner-operators of small boats are self-employed.

Example Titles

  • bridgemaster
  • cable ferry operator
  • canal lock operator
  • charter boat operator
  • ferry terminal worker
  • launch master
  • linesman/woman – canal lock system
  • loading bridge operator
  • lockmaster
  • motorboat operator
  • scow captain
  • sightseeing boat operator
  • small craft operator
  • water taxi operator

Main duties

Lock equipment operators perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate telecommunication equipment or use portable loudspeakers to direct movements of vessels in lock area
  • Operate controls to open or close lock gates
  • Operate controls to raise, lower or turn bridges
  • Observe progress of vessels passing through locks.

Cable ferry operators perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Signal passengers and motor vehicles to embark and disembark
  • Operate cable ferry across narrow waterway
  • Perform routine maintenance and repairs to engine, cables and winches.

Ferry terminal workers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate controls to adjust landing bridge, position or remove gangplank, open or close doors and gates, and secure or remove docking devices
  • Signal passengers and motor vehicles to embark and disembark
  • May collect tickets or fares from passengers.

Boat operators perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate motorboats, launches, small ferry boats and other similar vessels to transport passengers or freight
  • Maintain boats and equipment on board, such as engines, winches, derricks, fire extinguishers and life preservers
  • May perform other duties, such as checking for oil spills or other pollutants around ports and harbours, patrolling beaches and measuring depth of water.

Employment requirements

  • Some secondary school education is usually required.
  • On-the-job training is provided.
  • Master of a Small Craft or Master of a Small Passenger Craft certificate, issued by Transport Canada, is required for boat operators.

Additional information

  • There is little or no mobility among lock equipment operators, cable ferry operators and ferry terminal workers.
  • Mobility between boat operators in this unit group is possible.
  • Progression from boat operator positions to deck officer positions is possible with additional training, experience and certification.

Exclusions