Inland Waterway Operator

Inland waterway operators navigate ships in inland waterways, transporting goods and passengers.

Inland waterway operators normally work for inland waterway goods and passenger transport companies, port companies and port authorities, and water and shipping authorities. They also work in port and ship construction, water transport rental and cargo handling.

Course structure – areas of study

  • In the first year of training
  • Teach new employees about the structure and organization of shipping companies
  • Plan and organize working and living together on-board
  • Plan use of inland water vessels
  • Use and maintenance of on-board systems
  • Discern behavior of inland vessels when navigating and anchored
  • Visual and acoustic signals when navigating and anchored
  • In the second year of training
  • Legal and economic aspects of preparing transport processes
  • Use and maintenance of on-board systems
  • Transport goods and passengers
  • Navigate waterways
  • Use and maintenance of hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical equipment
  • In the third year of training
  • Use and maintenance of auxiliary engine equipment
  • Hull and equipment maintenance
  • Load and unload inland vessels
  • Plan measures for disruptions in normal operations
  • Plan and implement measures in case of damage

Career opportunities

Inland waterway operators find employment with inland waterway goods and passenger transport companies, port companies and authorities as well as water and shipping authorities.

After training, inland waterway operators have to decide on a field and specialization. The choices range from goods transport on inland freight vessels, passenger transport on ferries and excursion boats to working as a helmsman, mechanic or ferryman.

Training Centers

Vocational training takes place in multiregional professional block courses. For Saarland, the relevant organization is Schiffer-Berufskolleg RHEIN.

In some cases courses can be held at other schools.









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