Literally thousands of businesses and organizations are counted on to provide critical service and support to the marine sector. They range from the very large ports and the St. Lawrence Seaway, for example, to small companies providing essential products and services, everything from spare parts to groceries. They combine to offer countless jobs and careers, both blue and white collar.
"In 2006, I became the first female member of the Harbour Masters office in Hamilton. Almost 15 years later, I am the Harbour Master of two Canadian Ports, one of those being the busiest Canadian Port on the Great Lakes."
Vicki | Harbour Master
Ports are where much of the marine sector comes together, from arriving and departing ships to the movement of cargoes to the transiting of passengers. Ports are among the biggest employers in Canada's marine sector. Cargo and logistics experts, dock workers, IT and security specialists, are just a few examples of the skilled professionals that keep these critical hubs humming. Become a key link in this vital supply chain.
"I participated in the project to renew the electrical control systems at locks 3 and 4 in Beauharnois (Quebec). It was a very gratifying experience."
- Robert
Canal Service Technician
The Seaway is a strategic and modern inland waterway that is an essential part of the North American transportation infrastructure and a lifeline to business with the rest of the world. The Seaway's team of skilled professionals oversees thousands of vessel transits each year, providing safe and efficient passage deep into the continent to the West and to Atlantic tidewater to the East.
Marine pilots are seasoned mariners who use their knowledge of local waters to safely guide vessels to their destination. Typically possessing more than 20 years of education and at-sea experience before being licensed, pilots board vessels requiring service in compulsory pilotage areas on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, in the waters of the Port of Churchill and on the St. Lawrence-Great Lakes Waterway. There are approximately 400 licensed marine pilots working in Canada.

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"Maritime pilotage consists of conning of a vessel (to conduct or direct the steering and handling) from one point to another within a navigation zone that usually holds many difficulties. In addition to requiring excellent technical skills, the pilot must be able to adapt very quickly since every ship piloted is different. Every successful pilotage mission offers a great feeling of accomplishment!."
- Simon | Marine Pilot
"Not only did I have a guaranteed job, once I graduated, I was also given a free education, a place to live, food and even the uniform I wore and an allowance every month for extra expenses. The marine industry is very versatile and offers multiple career opportunities at sea and on land."
- Joy| National Secretary-Treasurer
"Being a lawyer, with a long-standing interest in both international trade and federal public affairs, is useful to deal with the many formal processes that support and govern shipping."
Tristan | General Counsel
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The administration and management of ports depends on a deep roster of professionals applying their talent in key departments, with job and career opportunities to match virtually every skillset, including:

- Business Development
- Communications
- Engineering
- Environmental and Sustainability Programs
- Finance/Accounting
- Harbour Captain
- Human Resources
- Information Technology
- Infrastructure and Construction
- Internal Audit
- Legal Services
- Operations/Maintenance
- Real Estate
- Safety and Security
On the operations side, stevedores, also known as dockers or longshoremen/longshorewomen, load and unload ships. They usually work in teams, as well as in tandem with port equipment specialists who operate cranes and large machinery, handling everything from containers to cars to cargoes of all shapes and sizes.
Stevedoring is skilled work that requires complex decision making for the efficient and safe handling of materials, including those hazardous in nature. Stevedores are employed directly by terminal operators or through employer associations responsible for recruiting, training and deploying labour.
The members of the information technology service play an important role in the Seaway's daily activities, whether passing ships through the system, maintaining infrastructure or implementing long-term projects for asset renewal. The Seaway offers a variety of IT positions, from database administrators to networking to telecommunication.
A large team of talented and passionate engineers work to ensure the dependability and durability of the Seaway's infrastructure. These engineering professionals — civil, electrical and mechanical— eliminate infrastructure hazards, assess solution options and design and implement large-scale projects necessary for the waterway's long-long success.
Operations are the Seaway's raison d'être. Trade and operational employees range from Lock Operators to Ship Inspectors to Carpenters and Hydrography Technicians, all playing an essential role in keeping customers' cargo moving, and contributing to the success of the waterway.
The Seaway offers many career opportunities in supervision and administration with managerial positions in Operations, Engineering, Sustainable Development, Human Resources and Public Relations. The Seaway's culture of excellence is fuelled by members of the management team, whose leadership and communication skills foster an open and cooperative environment.
The Seaway's versatile staff of Accounting Clerks, Market Development personnel and Administrative Assistants support the various facets of administration and operations. Employees are all focused on customer satisfaction and devote their energy to providing outstanding service to both internal and external clients.
The 110 marine pilots operating in British Columbia have been in the business of keeping BC's waters safe since the mid-1800s. Marine pilot candidates typically start their career in the local fishing and tug and tow industry, ferry services, the Canadian Coast Guard or deep sea before they are tested and trained as pilots. The most critical credential is local knowledge, which can be acquired through a combination of mates' or masters' time at sea.

BC Coast Pilots and Fraser River Pilots are constantly looking for the next generation of pilots, and are happy to hear from those who wish to learn more about this exciting and rewarding career.

The Great Lakes Pilotage Authority manages the safe pilotage of sea vessels through the Great Lakes system of lakes and locks, employing approximately 50 full-time licensed pilots. The Authority also administers and monitors a pilotage certification system for Canadian officers, authorizing them to perform pilotage duties on Canadian ships.

Great Lakes pilots are experienced mariners, having worked as captain or chief officer on the Great Lakes, Gulf of St. Lawrence or overseas. Their experience and knowledge, combined with specialized training, prepare them for the challenges of piloting vessels in local waters.
Marine pilotage services on the St. Lawrence and Saguenay rivers are provided by the Laurentian Pilotage Authority, numbering approximately 200. St. Lawrence pilots have been active longer than any other pilot group in Canada and are renowned for their responsiveness and proactive measures for safety and efficiency, including managing a pilot-owned training facility equipped a with state-of-the art simulator.

To acquire the knowledge and expertise required to qualify as a pilot, candidates must hold a navigation officer certificate and have ten years of experience as ship's captain or senior officer. Upon fulfilling all conditions, candidates then become apprentice pilots for a minimum of two years.
Atlantic Pilotage Authority marine pilots make a vital contribution to the protection of the environment, safeguarding the lives of mariners and preserving and promoting economic wellbeing. The Authority provides licensed pilots to ships entering the region's ports to ensure safe passage through the pilotage area.

The Authority recruits highly skilled mariners with significant and diversified experience within the shipping industry and continuously trains pilots from apprentice level to unlimited full class A licence. Candidates interested in a challenging and rewarding career, and becoming part of the rich tradition of marine pilotage in Canada, can contact the Atlantic Pilotage Authority.

The CMSG is the national association representing the majority of navigation officers, including masters, mates and pilots, engineers and other marine officers working aboard Canadian vessels. The CMSG has collective agreements covering every segment of shipping from offshore supply vessels to tankers, freighters, towboats, lakers, deep sea vessels, passenger ferries and Pilotage operations in every part of Canada from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

With a growing Canadian fleet and an aging workforce, there is a growing demand for licenced officers to fill positions immediately.

The SIU represents the majority of unlicensed seafarers working aboard vessels on the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, on the East and West Coasts and in the Canadian Arctic. The SIU Canada is affiliated with the Seafarers' International Union of North America and has been serving unlicensed seafarers since 1938. SIU Canada members have acquired the reputation of being amongst the best-trained and most qualified sailors in the world. The SIU represents thousands of qualified Canadian seafarers across the country and works closely with international labour organizations to ensure that seafarers are being represented fairly not only in Canada, but around the globe.

SIU seafarers have access to job opportunities in different sectors of the marine industry, including on vessels on inland and coastal waters, ranging from cargo vessels to tugs to cruise ships. Upon completion of the Unlicensed Apprentice (UA) Program, new recruits have the skills necessary to begin a new and exciting career and pursue training that moves them up the career ladder into more skilled and higher-paying positions.
A marine surveyor is responsible for conducting surveys and inspections on ships' structure and marine equipment according to domestic and international rules to determine overall condition, quality, safety, and insurability of assets.
Shipbuilding is a major business activity in Canada, employing thousands of professionals and skilled tradespeople alike, from engineers to naval architects to welders to electricians. The sector consists of firms with specialized capabilities in manufacturing, ocean technologies, offshore oil and gas structure and equipment, vessel construction, repair and maintenance in addition to activities related to research and development, design, engineering, testing, evaluation and architectural services.
ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIALIST: Sustainability is a key focus of marine with professionals employed across the industry, in government and within leading marine environmental and sustainability initiatives.

MARINE INSURANCE: (Brokers and Underwriters): Marine insurance covers the loss and damage of ships, cargoes, terminals, and personnel. Marine insurance brokers work directly with clients to find policies that best meet their insurance needs. Insurance underwriters work for an insurance company and make decisions regarding the specific terms and premiums associated with policies.

MARITIME LAWYER: Maritime law covers all activities associated with the carriage of goods or persons by sea. Maritime lawyers may work in shipping companies or law firms. The scope of legal work includes ensuring compliance with shipping regulations, matters related to ship finance, insurance, commercial contracts and shipbuilding.

SHIPPING AGENT: Shipping agents manage the transactions of ships at the ports which they visit, carrying out the myriad duties and obligations required by the ship's crew and local authorities. They also provide local knowledge and expertise to shipowners and managers.

MARINE CONSULTANT: Marine consultants provide companies and government agencies with a range of expert advice ranging from commercial to technical to operational. A marine consultant typically has significant industry experience.