Oregon Public Universities


Classification Specifications


Classification Number: 4527


  Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9 Step 10
Salary Range 28 $4479 $4690 $4914 $5149 $5403 $5670 $5949 $6233 $6541 $6857

The SHIP'S FIRST MATE assists in the operation of an oceangoing vessel, with primary responsibility for directing and overseeing the work of the deck crew. The First Mate commands the vessel when the Ship's Master is absent or incapacitated.


This is the third level of a three-level series. This class is distinguished from the lower Second Mate level by having responsibility for serving as second in command of the vessel in directing and overseeing the work of the deck crew and as the Ship's Master when the Master is absent.


  1. Watch Standing. Typical tasks: navigates the vessel by electronic and other means; maneuvers the vessel as necessary to conduct the oceanographic work; writes navigational logs; directs seamen on watch; operates radiotelephone and other communication equipment; assists Master during special sea or anchor detail.
  2. Vessel Command. Typical tasks: in the Master's absence, commands the vessel by having direct responsibility for the operational readiness and operation of the vessel; assigns duties and responsibilities to ship's crew.
  3. Deck Department Coordination. Typical tasks: directs the deck crew in casting and towing oceanographic research gear; directs ship's deck maintenance and equipment repair; checks and maintains the upkeep of safety and lifesaving equipment on board; insures cargo and deck equipment are properly secured for sea; observes precautions common to the ordinary practice of seamanship; directs the operation and maintenance of deck equipment such as cranes, winches, boats, ground tackle, wire ropes, blocks, and lines.
  4. Miscellaneous. Typical tasks: operates on-board equipment to assist in research projects; consults with research personnel when assigning duties to assist in research projects; trains research staff and students on safety and operating procedures of the vessel; directs fire fighting and first aid procedures.


Employees in this class work daily with research scientists and students while at sea to determine project needs, assign duties, and complete projects. All other contact is with the ship's crew. Duties are assigned and completed on board the ship.


Employees in this class receive general supervision from the Ship's Master. Work is reviewed daily for quality and compliance with established standards by means of written reports and navigational logs. Work is performed under standard agency operating procedures.


Positions in this class are found on ships conducting research at sea for extended periods of time. They require the willingness to work within the environment associated with the position's location.


High School Diploma or equivalent, and 5 years of vessel operations experience, with at least 1 year (360 8-hour or 240 12-hour days of deck service) as a Mate of a motor vessel or comparable military service.

• Possess a 500 gross tons or better Master (Near Coastal) license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard
• Possess a Marine Radio Operator Permit and GMDSS certificate issued by the FCC
STCW endorsements as appropriate for this position.
• Meet Coast Guard drug testing requirements
• Ability to obtain a passport
• Ability to speak, read, and write English