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On-Call Deckhand OS/AB

at State of Washington

Pay: up to $21.9/hour
$21.9 - $
Posted: 12/7/2019
Job Status: On Call
Job Reference #: 2603975
Categories: Marine

Job Description

Overall Job Objective


The Opportunity:
Washington State Ferries is excited to announce that we are currently seeking On-Call Deckhands, both Ordinary Seamen (OS) and Able Bodied Seamen (AB). This is a grand opportunity to provide an extremely valuable service for millions of travelers while building a career with the largest ferry system in the United States.

As an on-call employee, you must be available for all shifts including morning, mid-morning, evening, weekends, and holidays. These essential on-call positions provide back-up for scheduled absences, but are even more critical when it comes to filling last minute staff shortages that require a quick response time. Please take into consideration that most of our shifts start on the west side of Puget Sound, and that most of our crewing needs during the summer months are in Anacortes, WA. 

Ordinary Seaman (OS): The OS is responsible for the safety of the passengers and the cleanliness of the boats. As an OS, you are responsible for housekeeping and maintenance of the seating areas and restrooms. The OS assists with passengers and answers questions, responds to concerns, operates the transfer span for embarkation and departure, assists in the loading and unloading of foot passengers and vehicles, stands gangplank watch, assists in line handling, and may perform additional duties as assigned. Every OS stands by to assist Able Seamen with fire, rescue, and evacuations.
Able Bodied Seaman (AB): The AB is responsible for the safety of the passengers, and loading and offloading of vehicles on the vessel car deck. During a watch (shift), the AB performs duties on the vehicle deck and pilothouse, and is responsible for the safety and security of the vessel and passengers. ABs assist passengers and answer questions, respond to concerns, operate the transfer span for embarkation and departure, assist in loading and unloading of foot passengers and vehicles, assist in line handling, stand lookout, and may perform duties as Boatswain and Quartermaster. 
Depending on specified assignment, the following work may apply: 
  • Support directing traffic onto the car deck and securing the vehicles before departure; assist with removing inoperable vehicles from the deck
  • Operate lift to secure vehicle-loading bridge using an automated system
  • Participate with crew in emergency drills including fire, abandon ship and rescue, performing aspects of the drill such as handling fire hose for testing and preparing rescue boat for launch and recovery
  • During emergencies, fulfill duties on the muster list, and/or duties as assigned, to assist in rescue procedures
  • Perform a full range of general maintenance duties: general cleaning, stripping and waxing floors, restocking supplies, clearing litter, etc.
  • Provide excellent customer service, and assist passengers as required or necessary, including assistance with boarding, response to concerns or issues (escalate to the Mate when necessary)
  • Participate in training as directed, such as when standing wheelhouse watch
  • Help foster a safe experience for the customer, crew, and vessel
  • Other duties as assigned 

To be considered for this position, you must:  
  1. Be in possession or in the process of obtaining a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). For information and to apply for this credential please follow link: **NOTE: It can take 2-4 weeks to process your application for this identification card, so if you are seriously interested in one of these positions do not delay.
    • OS or AB endorsed Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC), and
    • United States Coast Guard Medical Certificate. Must use a 719K long form (including color vision exam).
    • Must obtain all listed credentials by February 1, 2020 
    • For more information on teh MMC please go to this website:
  2. Attend an information session and complete a standardized written English reading comprehension assessment.
  3. Pass a physical agility test and pre-employment drug screening after receiving a conditional job offer

Essential Job Functions: 
  • Ability to demonstrate an understanding of safe working practices. Experience from the maritime environment are a plus
  • Ability to lift and comfortably carry up to 50 lbs
  • Ability to read, comprehend, and speak the English language
  • Ability to climb ladders
  • Ability to wear up to 60 lbs. of firefighting gear including a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) *Must be clean shaven
  • Ability to clearly identify and distinguish colors with or without corrective lenses
  • Ability to don a firefighting suit up to 60 lbs
  • Ability to perform firefighting and lifesaving efforts and lift/control fully charged fire hoses
  • Ability to work outside in various weather conditions 

At a minimum, the ideal candidate will possess:
  • High School Diploma or GED equivalent
  • A valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)
  • A valid Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC), OS or AB
  • A valid Medical Certificate using the 719K long form
  • Knowledge of commonly used nautical terms
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal 
  • Ability and willingness to work on-call 24/7, including holidays, and be punctual and reliable at all time

Anticipated Timeline
November – December 2019
Accept applications

January 2020
Qualifying applicants are invited to information session. Information sessions will take place during the third and fourth week of January. During this event, we will verify credentials and conduct a written English comprehension assessment.
February 2020
Successful candidates are invited to interview.
Contingent offers made; candidates required to complete self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) questionnaire, a pre-employment drug screening, and physical agility tests.
Final offers made to selected candidates.
March 2020 – June 2020
New Employee Orientation and training class: 12 days, both on and off-site.  Once you have completed the orientation and training class, you will be an on-call employee with the Washington State Ferries (WSF). As part of the WSF team, you will be expected to fulfill your work position obligations immediately. 
Applications for this position are only accepted electronically. If you do have an account set up on, you will need to create one in order to proceed. Click the green 'Apply' button on this screen to get started! Note: Please be sure to use an email address you check regularly as communication for this recruitment will be done primarily through email.  Failure to respond in a timely manner may result in your name being removed from consideration for this employment opportunity. 
Contact us: 
For inquiries about this position please contact Cori Shull at please reference recruitment number 19DOT-WSF-DECKHAND.

WSDOT is an equal opportunity employer. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, disabled and Vietnam era veterans, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons with disabilities needing assistance in the application process, or those needing this job announcement in an alternative format may contact the listed recruiter.

WSDOT does not use the E-Verify system. For more information, please visit