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What Is a Shipyard Laborer and How to Become One

What Is a Shipyard Laborer?

Shipyard laborer is an umbrella term for someone that works at a dock and completes a variety of duties related to boats and shipping. Your main responsibilities in this career revolve around helping the shipping process to run smoothly. You may use loading equipment or a vehicle like a forklift to move cargo like lumber from trucks to a boat, or your responsibilities may be more in maintenance, like cleaning the dry dock or assisting with construction projects. Experience with hand tools is crucial for this career, as you may be responsible for completing a wide range of tasks.

How to Become a Shipyard Laborer

Most shipyard laborers learn their trade on the job and have little to no formal education beyond a high school diploma or GED certificate. However, you can go to vocational school for construction or maintenance trades to gain additional knowledge and skills before finding a position at a shipyard. One of the most important qualifications for this job is a clean criminal background. Many shipyards connect with Naval ports or other potentially sensitive areas, so it's important that all those working in a shipyard have passed background checks and can pass periodic drug tests to keep captains and crew members safe.