Stevedore Jobs: Career and Salary Facts

Read about a job as a stevedore. Learn about work responsibilities, training, salary and opportunities for advancement to see if this is the right job for you. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information At a Glance

Stevedores oversee the safe loading and unloading of cargo from ships docked in port. They often work with different types of equipment, such as cranes and winches, and oversee work crews of dock hands. The following chart gives you an overview of what you need to know about this job.

Education Required Less than a high school diploma
Training Short-term on-the-job training for most jobs
Key Skills Physical strength and stamina, team work, knowledge of safe work practices
Certification Some jobs may require certification for operating loading equipment
Job Outlook (2012-2022) 10% for all hand laborers and material movers*
Median Salary (2015) $44,250**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com

Where Do Stevedores Work?

According to the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), more than 2 billion tons of domestic and import/export cargo move through U.S. ports and waterways each year. The U.S. Department of Transportation reported that, as of 2014, the top five ports in the country, ranked by cargo volume, were the ports of South Louisiana, Houston, New York-New Jersey, Beaumont, Texas, and Long Beach, California. Stevedoring companies operating at these facilities may represent some of your best job prospects.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

As a stevedore you will manage the loading and unloading of cargo ships. This entails hiring longshoremen, supervising the stacking cargo containers in a staging area or on a ship, making sure loads are balanced and securing containers to prevent slippage. For the dwindling quantity of goods shipped as break bulk cargo, you will arrange to have it moved by hand truck to or from the dock area, stacked on pallets, protected from water, monitored to deter pilferage and transferred to and from ships.

What Could I Earn?

March 2015 figures from Salary.com show that stevedores earned a median salary of $44,250. Most stevedores earned between $42,570 and $60,329 per year as of that year.

What Training Programs Are Available?

The vast majority of stevedores are trained on the job by their employers. The U.S. military also maintains cargo handling programs at some Navy bases. Each training program will acquaint you with the use of cranes and H-frame rigs for cargo containers and the traditional winch, block and tackle for break bulk cargo. A very limited number of colleges and universities offer professional development programs for marine terminal operators. These cover port technology, operations at cargo and passenger terminals, port economics, port regulations and labor relations.

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