Career Overview For Harbor Master


Read here a brief summary about harbor-masters career. This information will help you to get better knowldge about this profession.


The Harbor Master works both from behind a desk and outside in the open (sea) sky. Depending on the size of the port (or other allocated area), the harbor master is charged with a region or part of a region.

There're different levels within the Harbor Mastership. The secondary Harbor Master is responsible for the practical checks, passing on the issues encountered and responding to possible details. The higher Harbor Master is responsible for managing various secondary Harbor Masters or is responsible for an area, or part of an area, himself / herself. The scientific harbor master deals with policy-technical and specialist issues and will lead a group of subordinate harbor masters.

The duties of the practical Harbor Masters include checking the safety-related aspects during the daily activities in the port, checking the draft in the port (and reporting if this isn't the case, so that action can be taken) and checking the 'quay' (whether it can still accept mooring ships).

The areas of specialization for the Higher / Scientific can cover Traffic and Operations, Transport Safety, Port Safety and Legislation and Enforcement. This naturally applies to the larger ports, such as those in Rotterdam or IJmuiden. The smaller ports will be satisfied with one or a few people who take care of all these matters. In addition, the Harbor Masters will perform these tasks in 'marinas' as 'part-time' activities, if it isn't already a hobby.

The Harbor Master doesn't have a '9 to 5' mentality, as security in the ports must be guaranteed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What are the Prospects for Harbor Masters Career?

At the end of his / her employment, the Harbor Master can obtain an extended contract with his / her current employer, if the requirements are met. It's also possible to carry out the known tasks for the same type of employer, or even for the same employer, in a different region / port.

If you no longer wish to continue working as a Harbor Master, but if you don't want to leave the sector, you could consider further learning, so that you could, for example, occupy a higher management position at Rijkswaterstaat or a Port Authority, if the right vacancies are available.

If one wants to say goodbye to the sector, there's the possibility of getting a job in the leading middle management at the government or within the business community. One could also become a supervisor or supervising employee with some retraining.

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