How to Become a

Marine Dock Attendant

The complete career guide to be a Marine Dock Attendant: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $23,440
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 11.2%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Flexible Hours
    Career Attribute

A marine dock attendant is responsible for maintaining and monitoring dock operations for all departments, such as the smooth transfer of products to and from vessels. Small repairs dock maintenance and occasional marine construction support are part of the role requirements.

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What is a Marine Dock Attendant?


Here is the list of duties you can expect to perform while working as a marine dock attendant:

  • Maintain accurate rental records, maintenance and dock logs to keep a record of all events in chronological order for future reference.
  • Coordinate with facility personnel via radio communication or telephone, to give updates on the status of the transfer and report any problems that emerge.
  • Ensure that the marine dock area is organised and clutter-free before leaving the premises.
  • Establish proper safety protocols for staff, customers and dock equipment, in accordance with standard safety regulations.
  • Perform efficient and high-speed fuelling of ships or other vessels which includes positioning hoses and sampling.

Day In The Life

A marine dock attendant’s work varies depending on the type of company he or she is working for. Basic shift duties at the dock will involve mastering dock opening and closing procedures, providing reliable and cheerful customer service and following the instructions of managers closely. Work with other staff to direct customers to their vessels in an organised and timely manner.

You will often need to commute to the work site as instructed by the supervisor within a specific time frame. No matter where the job takes you, you will be prepared by carrying all necessary equipment from your vehicle to the facility before starting on the work. For transferring and moving products, you will be in constant contact with important authorities like the United States Coast Guard, the Department of Agriculture and INS when a vessel has to be approved. When the job demands, you will operate hydraulic, mechanical and electrical machinery to position the dock arm close to the vessel when needed.

Work Schedule And Typical Hours

A dock attendant works two to four shifts per week, based on the current workload and staffing constraints. Each shift length is approximately four to five hours. Most employees have to work opening shifts from 7 am onwards and closing shifts at around 8 pm. Working on the weekends and on holiday is quite common. In the summer, during Memorial Day or Labor Day, there is high demand for vessels and dock maintenance personnel.

Growth Of The Job

Jobs in this career path are expected to grow at an average rate, in keeping with other occupations in the country. Most positions experience a high turnover rate with employees moving on to other work or seeking early retirement due to the high physical skills requirement. International and overseas transportation of goods via cargo ships is increasing, resulting in more jobs for this type of occupation. New technologies in operating equipment and tools at the dock is making the job easier and a more attractive option for entry-level candidates.

Typical Employers

Companies that provide logistics, product handling and operations support at major oil refineries, storage terminals and chemical plants require many marine dock attendants to ensure efficient flow of traffic at dock areas. So do marine contractors that are involved in construction and other on-dock operations. Maintenance of an organised dock is expected by employers such as Human Capital Pursuit, SGS Petroleum Service Corporation, West Michigan Port Operators, Borel Docks, Rowing Dock and more.

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How To Become a Marine Dock Attendant

You need to be at least 16 years of age to apply for entry-level jobs in this field. Being physically fit is also essential since you must be comfortable standing for several hours, walking and climbing the stairs, pick up 60-80 pounds to waist and carry up to 300 feet. Since attention to detail plays an important role in the type of work you engage in, having great eyesight and the dedication to be on-task is a must.

A minimum of a high school diploma or GED is required for most positions. Keeping a clean driving record and possessing a captains’ license is an advantage when looking at potential employment. You can gain direct experience through an apprenticeship with a marine dock operator or experienced marine dock attendant for specialized knowledge on dock duties. A few institutions offer certified courses for hands-on experience and practice as a marine dock attendant, manager or operator.

Marine Dock Attendant Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Marine Dock Attendant salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Marine Dock Attendant's can make an average annual salary of $23,440, or $11 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $18,960 or $9 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #787 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Marine Dock Attendants

  • 0%   Doctorate
  • 0.8%   Masters
  • 8.4%   Bachelors
  • 6.8%   Associates
  • 23.3%   College
  • 42.8%   High School
  • 17.9%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Marine Dock Attendant job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 11,800 jobs for a total of 117,600 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 11.2% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #158 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Marine Dock Attendants

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Other automotive repair and maintenance 34,500 4,700 5%
Gasoline stations 24,300 1,000 1%
Other general merchandise stores 12,500 3,800 4%

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