Bar Harbor Whale Watch
Profile Jobs

Our Jobs

Many of our crew work late April through the first week of November. We do have some spots for people who need to leave at the end of the summer season to return to school.

We do require lots of types to make our company run smoothly, from bird watchers, boat fanatics, business tycoons, biologists to motorhead engineers.

All jobs on the boats require pre-employment and random drug testing since they are safety related transportation jobs.

Boat crew are required to be US citizens or have permanent alien status.

New crew training is provided, safety/security drills and training are conducted regularly.

We do wear a basic uniform consisting of a polo shirt with our logo and khaki-colored pants or shorts. The marine crew are supplied with jackets for use on the boats.

     Captains, Engineers, Crew, and Dock

  • Captain

    Bar Harbor

    We are looking for upstart captains to move up through the ranks of our company. We have vessels the carry from 12 to 442 passengers. New captains generally start on the smaller vessels working up through licensed mate/engineer on the bigger boats and then onto captain of all our vessels. New captains generally start out as seasonal employees with the possibility of year round work for the right person.

    The Captain is the leader in ensuring the safe passage of the passengers, crew and vessel. He/she has responsibility for all aspects of the vessel.  While relying on department heads to do their job right, when it comes to overall performance of the boat, the Captain is the overall decision maker and held to the highest expectations.

    From the time a Bar Harbor Whale Watch (BHWW) Captain assumes command until the time he/she is relieved of command he/she is responsible for the safe, efficient operation and maintenance of the vessel, the safety and conduct of the crew and passengers.

    He/she is encouraged and expected to develop a sense of "team spirit" in his crew and to be cooperative and pleasant with all employees and companies personnel who have chartered the vessel.

    He/she gives guidance and direction to crew members and ensures that they comply with all BHWW and USCG regulations and perform their duties efficiently and safely.

    The Captain reports to the office on all matters pertaining to the operation and maintenance of the vessel and the performance and well-being of the crew. He/She keeps the office informed of all incidents, accidents, problems, etc. pertaining to the vessel, the crew, the passengers, and/or the personnel.

    BHWW is an Eco Tour company. Making efficient environmentally sound decisions in our daily operations to help conserve wildlife is encouraged.

    The captain job is a safety sensitive position that requires pre-employment drug testing and being part of a random drug test pool.




    • The Captain holds the appropriate USCG professional license to operate the vessel they are in charge of. Follows the laws that pertain to the operation of the vessel. As well as pays attention to the local practices of mariners when operating the vessel.


    • Has studied and demonstrates the understanding of the unique handling characteristics and equipment of the vessel they operate. Makes sure the passengers know where the vessels safety equipment is located and how to use it. Knows what to expect for sea conditions that day, before the boat leaves the dock.


    • Is responsible for trying to meet the expectations of the passengers for particular trip the vessel is on. The Captain works closely with the Naturalist/Narrator who gives the passengers the best trip possible for the given day’s conditions.


    • Supervises the crew and should always set the best professional example for his/her crew. The Captain works closely with the mate/senior deckhand in directing the crew. The Captain ensures that the crew gets all their work done and cleans the boat before leaving at the end of the day.


    • Conducts monthly safety drills and quarterly security drills according to the law. Ensures good communication between boat crew along with shore side employees, to aid in the prevention of problems/accidents. He/she follows the Vessels Security Plan and is the Vessel Security Officer (if applicable).


    • Always makes sure the correct preventative maintenance is done on the vessel in a timely manner, with the assistance of the engineering staff.


    • Is responsible for making sure the vessel operates on time and in a cost effective manner.


    • He/she keeps the daily ships log when the vessel is operating.


    • Seamanship
      • Rules of the road must be observed at all times.
      • Appropriate navigation procedures must be practiced at all times.
      • Boat Handling: A Captain should be able to dock their boat in a professional manner using a minimum of power.
      • Boat Safety: A BHWW Captain should always be concerned for the safety of their boat, passengers, and crew.
      • Captain should be aware of:
        • Any unsafe condition or practice that may endanger the vessel. A Captain should be aware of anything that may be harmful to themselves, the passengers and his/her crew.
        • Any potentially delicate circumstances, a BHWW Captain should be on the bridge or in position to best effect operations. This duty includes when the vessel is loading or unloading or at any time the vessel is traversing channels, traveling in inlets, traveling in fog, or traveling in any waters where traffic, grounding, or debris may be a problem.
        • A BHWW Captain must always keep in mind that his/her vessel's wake can cause damage. A  Captain is responsible for the vessel's wake.
    • All federal environmental rules that may apply to the vessel must be taken into consideration. Also be aware of state and local environmental rules that may apply to the vessel. In addition, NOAA Northeast Regional Wildlife Observing Guidelines must be followed.


    The title of Captain is given at our company by BHWW Management and the U.S. Coast Guard.

    The crew’s respect of a Captain is earned by the Captain themselves.

    There is no set rule for good leadership BHWW. Captains practice good leadership in different ways. No matter what style of leadership the Captain practices, a Captain is obligated to achieve the following goals:

    • A clean, well maintained vessel.
    • A well organized, efficient crew with everyone doing their job without being reminded.
    • A courteous, happy, and content crew that enjoys the job it is doing.
    • A safe crew.

    To carry out these goals, the Captain must train their crew using effective positive communication. Captains must motivate his crew members to the point where they want to do their jobs. The secret to a good crew is to communicate and motivate.

    The Captain must make sure that everyone knows the rules and regulations of BHWW and pertinent rules of our government regulators.

    Technical Knowledge

    While BHWW does not expect its Captains to be mechanical or electrical engineers, they are expected to learn as much as possible about the vessels they operate. A Captain should be able to:

      • Train a new engineer to clean, maintain, and do minor repair jobs to the vessel.
      • Spot and report problems to the office.
      • Trouble shoots and helps with the never-ending job of vessel maintenance. A Captain should be willing to learn to diagnose symptoms of mechanical problems. Learning about the vessel will make for a safer captain.


    Business Representative

      • A Captain represents BHWW on the job.  When working with passengers, cruise ships, ship agents and charters, a professional courteous demeanor is always required.
      • A Captain is in charge of vessel logs, expense reports, incident reports, accident reports, and evaluation forms. They should always handle paper work in a timely business-like manner.

    Specific Duties and Responsibilities

      • Navigate and operate the vessel and assure that only qualified personnel operate the equipment.
      • Oversee and direct the safe boarding of all passengers.
      • Understand and operate the vessel's electronic bridge navigational equipment.
      • When transferring or disposing of oily matter, follow the appropriate procedures:
        Procedures For Petroleum Filter Disposal, Procedures For Oily Water Disposal, or Procedures for Fueling,  including being reviewed as a Maine State Class C UST operator. Captains and vessel owner/operators are now subject to imprisonment and stiff penalties/fines for pollution.
      • Prepare and maintain accurate, complete, up-to-the-minute logs/reports, which include the daily vessel log, radio log and makes sure the engineer is keeping the maintenance log updated.
      • Keep accurate payroll logs and turn payroll information in to the office at the end of each operating day.
      • Make sure all crew have been drug tested and passed drug test before counting them as a full crew member.
      • Know how to report an incident to the USCG and know what incidents are required to report to the USCG. Know how to fill out a CG-2692 form.
      • Post in appropriate places of the vessel all current papers, licenses, and certificates applying to the vessel and crew. This includes vessel certificates, radio license, radio safety procedures, stability letter, etc. Notify the office at least 30 days before the expiration of any certificate.
      • Inspect engine room and other parts of vessel daily to see that it is properly maintained, clean, orderly, and that loose gear is properly stowed or lashed down. Make sure the engine room and items in the engine room are checked approximately every 60 minutes. Monitor the ER cameras.
    • Report immediately to the general or operations manager:
      • All vessel accidents or incidents, regardless of the seriousness.
      • Injuries of passengers.
      • Damage affecting the seaworthiness of the vessel.
      • All oil spillage and/or pollution.
    • Report immediately to the Manager on duty:
      • The absence of a crew member.
      • The conduct of a crew member which in your opinion warrants a dismissal.
      • The poor work performance of a crew member who in your opinion necessitates an immediate replacement.
      • All injuries and illnesses of the crew.
    • Have all crew members and passengers comply with the safety regulations and procedures adopted by BHWW.
    • Conduct fire and emergency boat drills to the extent that all crew members are sufficiently trained to act promptly and effectively in case of an emergency. It is mandatory that fire, man overboard, and abandon ship drills, be conducted. Security drills are required on our vessels that carry more than 149 passengers. Enter all security, fire and emergency boat drills in appropriate log books for USCG review.
    • When required, prepare the vessel for inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard.
    • Assist in making repairs to the vessels and other tasks as directed by management.
    • Assist other crew members in the performance of their jobs.
    • At the end of a work day:
      • Advise the manager of any problems affecting the crew or vessel.
      • Complete payroll records and leave a copy in the office.
      • Turn over to the next days crew a sparkling clean, well maintained vessel ready to get underway.
    • The Captain should always strive to make his/her crew, vessel and trips better, safer and more enjoyable for passengers every day.


  • Deckhand

    Bar Harbor

    The Deckhands on our vessels are the backbone of our seafaring staff. Passengers get their first impressions of our oceangoing service from you. Following is a list of some of the responsibilities of the Deckhand:

    • Responsible for the safety of his/her passengers, crewmates and vessel. He/she should point out any potential problems on the boat or with the crew to the Mate.
    • Demonstrates knowledge on how to use all the safety equipment on the boat, is competent in appropriate line handling skills and knows what to do in situations that may jeopardize the vessels security. The deckhand understands and can perform the duties in his/her position on the station bill and knows what other crew are expected to do in case of emergency. The deckhand is expected to speak up and ask if they are uncomfortable or do not know or understand emergency equipment or procedures.
    • Keeps the vessel clean, during a trip primarily watches out for passengers comfort and safety. Assists vessel engineer with maintenance when needed.
    • Takes direction from the Mate and Captain. He/she will assist the Naturalist and Engineer in their duties if needed.
    • Should always be interested in learning more about the vessel, seamanship, the ocean and advancing his/her position on the boat.

    The Deckhand should always strive to make the boat and trip better, safer and more enjoyable for passengers.

  • Engineer

    Bar Harbor

    The Engineer on our vessels oversees the daily maintenance of our vessels.  The Engineer has able knowledge of the vessels mechanical systems. They are able to complete tasks such as changing oil or replacing injector lines. They check and add fluids to the engines and other marine propulsion systems. He/she will ensure the boat is fueled up and watered up for the following day. He/she conducts routine checks on the engines and jets during trips. The following are some of the responsibilities of the Engineer:

    • Maintains the vessels’ maintenance log and fuel logs.
    • Keeps track of service intervals on the engines.
    • Works closely with the Captain and Mate to change engine fluids and filters at the recommended intervals. The Engineer takes all practical steps to ensure the vessel is properly maintained for safety and to not miss any trips.
    • Always keeps the Captain informed of any potential problems with the vessel.
    • Strives to teach new Deckhands all the vessels systems.
    • Helps the Deckhands with their duties when not engaged in their own.
    • Takes direction from the Captain and Mate.
    • Understands and demonstrates knowledge of their place on the station bill, knows the other crew positions and how to operate all safety equipment, especially equipment associated with the engine room.

    The Engineer should always strive to make the boat and trip better, safer and more enjoyable for the passengers.

  • Mate/ Senior Deck hand

    Bar Harbor

    The Mate is a USCG licensed position on our boats. Senior Deckhand is similar to Mate except an unlicensed position. The company, per USCG NVIC 1-91, designates the Senior Deckhand in writing in the wheelhouse of the vessel. Both positions are similar in our company except when two licensed people are required in the bridge.   For the following we will refer to both positions as “Mate”. Following are some of the responsibilities of the Mate:

    • Works with the Captain in ensuring the safe passage of the passengers, crew and vessel.
    • Understands and follows the Vessel Security Plan (if it has one) and educates the crew on the plan.
    • Has read and demonstrates knowledge of the BHWW Senior Deckhand Training Manual.
    • Is second in charge on the vessel and is expected to safely return the vessel home if the Captain is incapacitated. Has studied and demonstrates the understanding of the unique handling characteristics and equipment of the vessel.
    • Is competent in knowing how the machinery and safety gear on the vessel works and can train new crew how to use it. He/she routinely inspects the vessels safety equipment such as the life rafts and EPIRB and records this in the ships log.
    • Assists the Captain navigating the vessel, especially in marginal weather conditions. Also the Mate safely operates the vessel if the Captain is out of the wheelhouse. He/she will always support the captain and is expected to proactively address any problems or concerns with the Captain in a timely manner.
    • With the Captain, the Mate directly manages the crew, assigns jobs to the crew and makes sure the boat is clean and ready to sail the next day.
    • Understands and can fill all the positions on the station bill. In emergency situations, the Mate is the on scene director, while the captain is in the wheelhouse.
    • Acts in a professional manner and sets the proper example to the crew. He/she always has high professional marine standards. He/she makes sure the crew are conducting themselves professionally and fulfilling their work duties. The Mate reports to the Captain on the work performance of the crew.

    The Mate should always strive to make the crew, vessel and trip better, safer and more enjoyable for passengers.

How to Apply

Give us a call, send us an email, stop by the office to visit, print out the application and send it to us with your resume.

Contact Bar Harbor Whale Watch