Be a part of a thriving industry! Washington maritime provides more than 148,000 jobs.
Salaries $20,000 above the Washington State average. Great benefits. Celebrating diversity. Opportunities for travel and adventure. Teamwork. Advancement. High tech skills. A commitment to community and sustainability. And these careers don't just include sea-based positions; the maritime industry employs countless land-based workers as well.
Check out great maritime careers and learn more about why our maritime matters with these videos on our YouTube Channel:
“I’ve lived all over Washington State throughout my life and decided to attend Bellingham Technical College where I received an AA in applied sciences and pipe welding. Before I had officially decided on the program, people tried to talk me out of pursuing such a male dominated industry out of the fear a woman couldn’t succeed. I decided to prove them wrong and jumped in feet first. I ended up being one of seven women in the program.
“My degree helped me to go on to get an apprenticeship at Vigor. I’ve been here for two-and-a-half years and value the on-the-job training. The first ship I worked on was the Washington State Ferry Suquamish. And since then I’ve gotten to work on all kinds of ships, including NOAA research vessels and Navy destroyers. I like being by the water every day, and the satisfaction that comes with looking back on a day of work and being able to physically see what I made or accomplished. Not everyone gets those kinds of tangible results in their jobs.
“I also enjoy the people I work with and look forward to seeing where this industry takes me.”
Crowley Marine Services
“I’ve been in the maritime industry for more than 25 years. Currently I am chief engineer on the West Coast for Crowley in San Pedro, a company which I’ve been employed going on 17 years now. Some of my responsibilities are to repair equipment, as well as maintaining vessel systems in accordance with company procedures. In my current assignment I work hard to ensure the tugs that ships depend on can perform the right way when we need them, such as the Veteran, a 90-ton bollard pull tugboat that I serve now.
“My maritime career has allowed me to travel the globe, and I meet many interesting people as well as providing a great future for my family. I have the flexibility to live where I want, and that allows me a lot of freedoms while I am not at work. This is an excellent company to work for. Crowley and the maritime industry work to enhance my career and help me achieve balance in my personal life.”
Janic fell in love with the maritime industry in her hometown of Quebec City. Following graduation from the University of Southampton in England, she returned home to Canada and cast her net over the job market.
“I sent my resume to 43 shipyards throughout the U.S. and Canada,” she said. “I was eventually hired by Joe Martinac, Jr. (of J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp. in Tacoma, Washington) and began building tugs, including the America and Pacific Star, which ended up in the Foss fleet as charters.” Trepanier spent five years at the shipyard and was the eventual architect of 12 tugs.
Trepanier is a resident expert on sealift engineering and is the door to all technical engineering requests from the fleet. She traveled to Korea three years in a row to act as the on-site engineer and was also critical to Foss’s projects in Russia. She’s now managing the construction of four new 90-ton harbor tugs under construction at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders on Whidbey Island.
“The most important thing for me is to love what I do every day and accomplish something I can be proud of. Find what you’re passionate about, work hard, stay accountable and enjoy what you do.”
Chief of Staff
Washington State Ferries
A Washington State Ferries employee for more than 25 years, Nicole McIntosh started as an entry-level transportation design engineer and worked her way up to terminal engineering director and was recently named chief of staff. As WSF’s second in command, she leads, manages, directs and controls all operations on behalf of Assistant Secretary Amy Scarton.
A licensed civil engineer, Nicole is a University of Washington graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. As terminal engineering director, she led the development of the nation’s first terminal design manual and the largest terminal engineering capital construction program in history. Nicole also received the Governor’s Award for Leadership in Management in 2015 for her ability to set priorities and achieve results, manage risk and model leadership attributes.
Elliott Bay Design Group
“Growing up, I had never seen a boat bigger than a canoe, so joining the marine industry was beyond my imagination. However, in college, after talking to several accomplished maritime professionals and learning about their experiences, my interest in this complicated yet intimate industry peaked. Now, I am a Naval Architect, currently focusing on floating and submerged structures. EBDG has provided me with such endless opportunities including ferry repair and maintenance projects that require vessel inspections and owner’s representation.
“The benefits of a maritime career, in my opinion, is second to none. Fundamental knowledge of every aspect of engineering and its discipline is required to build and operate complex ships and structures. I strive to gain that knowledge every day. At EBDG, I enjoy getting to work with intelligent and practical minds who share the same passion and commitment to this industry as I have.”
“My maritime career began in 2004 when I started my education at the Merchant Marine Academy. I grew up in a small town in Maryland and was looking for a way to get out and see the world. Entry into the maritime world was a shot in the dark, as the largest body of water near where I grew up is a man-made lake. I am going on 14 years (including four years of college) in the maritime industry and it has been an adventure!
“I graduated from USMMA in 2008 and went straight to the union hall and sailed on my license for about two years. From there I decided to move shore side where I spent five years at Naval Sea Systems Command working on multiple platforms, with a majority of time in the support ships, boats, and crafts project management office. In 2015, I was recruited by Vigor to work on a new construction steel barge project, Anhydrous Ammonia Barge. From there I moved over to the repair side of the house before moving into a role on the MSV(L), a new construction aluminum project for the US Army.
“I like that every project presents different challenges and opportunities, and I’m constantly motivated because I learn something new every day and get to work towards delivering quality product to our customers.“
Washington State Ferries
The maritime industry wasn’t Olivia Walker’s first career choice. Her original vocation with the Job Corps was accounting before she got drawn in by the hands-on aspect of seamanship. The single mother of four hasn’t looked back since, working as an oiler for Washington State Ferries for the past seven years.
Currently assigned to the Puyallup engine room, Olivia says work has been valuable in developing her skills in troubleshooting systems, leadership and lifesaving. Although it was tough going through the on-call phase and securing a steady schedule at WSF while raising a family, she says the best part about her career is being able to be on the water and still return to her children every night.
“My dad worked at Todd Shipyard (now Vigor) for 35 years as a painter, so I grew up watching him work on projects like the Washington State Ferries (WSF). In fact, one of my earliest memories is when they launched the WSF M/V Tacoma, which is still in operation today. When I graduated from Western Washington University with a general studies degree, I was looking for a good job with good benefits and he encouraged me to apply at Vigor.
“I started as a project administrative assistant in ship repair before working my way up into the project manager role for new construction. In that roll I worked on the two most recent WSF boats – M/V Chimacum and M/V Suquamish. I’m currently exploring opportunities to build future ferries that will have a lower carbon footprint and have a lower impact on the Puget Sound’s ecosystem.
“The maritime industry has every aspect of business, from HR to legal to naval engineering. There’s lots of opportunities out there. I love that I get to look out into Puget Sound every day and see a final project and know I made a positive impact on so many lives. I work with great people at all levels and areas of the company and also really enjoy that aspect.”
Marine Operations Watch Supervisor
Washington State Ferries
Marie Waterman plays a vital role in keeping the Washington State Ferries system running. As one of WSF’s six marine operations watch supervisors, she serves as the main point of contact for terminal, vessel and staff operations via telecommunications, radio and electronic communications. Staffed 24/7 with often only one person on duty at a time, the watch supervisors manage day-to-day operational emergencies and irregularities from WSF’s operations center in Seattle, often coordinating the safe transport of people.
Working aboard a ferry or for the organization for 37 years, Marie started cleaning up the galley and worked her way up to chief steward before becoming one of WSF’s first web agents in 1992, updating all content on the web site, responding to customer emails and sending alerts. A watch supervisor since 2006, she says she never dreamed of working in the maritime field because she got seasick every time she stepped on a boat during childhood.