Bar Harbor Whale Watch
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Our Jobs

Many of our crew work April through the mid November. We do have a limited amount of 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 nerds, business tycoons, biologists to motorhead engineers.

If you work with us on a boat, you will be training do all the basic jobs at the company including deckhand, galley and dock person. If you work a shore based job, you will trained in the ticket office and as a dock person. As positions open up with experience & training you can move up to Senior Deckhand, Engineer, Captain, Narrator, Ticket Sales and Galley Manger.

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.


  • Deck Person

    Bar Harbor

    The person who takes care of our docks needs to be a self-starter. This person often times works alone and can work with little supervision to get the job done in a professional manner. There is a lot of responsibility with this position and the day-to-day tasks can be numerous. The following are some of the responsibilities of the Dock Person:

    • Should hold a TWIC card; this position has security duties which include screening passengers, screening and storing deliveries for boats, observation of cruise ship tendering operations and requires access to Restricted Areas of the facility. Demonstrates a working understanding of the Facility Security Plan. Has more in depth security training than “standard” employee. Security is always a concern and part of this job is looking for unusual activity and or packages around our docks.
    • Responsible for ensuring the docks, piers and building at Harbor Place and the Harborside are clean, well maintained and safe for our customers.
    • Hoses off the docks when they are dirty, throws away any garbage on or near the docks from our passenger vessels or visiting yachts. He/she checks the underground fuel tanks daily. The dock person routinely opens the hatches on the steel floating docks at Harbor Place and pumps out any significant amount of water.
    • Makes sure the docks and piers look clean and professional, always remembering that a neater area is more secure and safe than a messy one.
    • Understands the correct way to use a VHF radio and carry handheld VHF and UHF on his/her rounds. This person will assist visiting vessels when tying up at our marinas and sell fuel at the Harbor Place dock. Remember to be extra friendly and helpful to visiting yachts.
    • Picks up the crew lunches and distributes them to the boats and offices.
    • Takes direction from many supervisors including the general manager/FSO, captains/ VSO, mates and retail managers.  Although you may be asked to work in other areas, it is important to remember your primary responsibility is the dock and pier area.  Getting your work done at the dock and pier area is a priority. 

    Without the dock person, this fast-paced business cannot function smoothly. Your role is of utmost importance because of your contact with the guests and crew.  You are responsible for keeping them safe and happy by providing a clean and organized environment. 

  • 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. They work on the vessel caring for passengers, working as a team operating the vessel and the galley. 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.
    • Rotates through different deck positions including operating the galley.
    • Works around the docks, tying up boats, fueling visiting boats and boarding passengers. Works in the shipyard maintaining our vessels and equipment.
    • 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.

  • Galley Manager

    Bar Harbor

    The Galley person is responsible for running the food concession on board the vessel. The Galley crew is considered specialized Deckhands.

    The galley must be kept in a high standard that is mandated by the Food and Beverage license granted to us by the State. He/she demonstrates knowledge of all applicable laws to our licenses.

    The following are some of the responsibilities of the Galley Person:

    • Responsible for making sure our stock room is kept full and reorders are made in a timely fashion.
    • Makes sure the vessel is stocked at the end of the day with both food and retail items.
    • At the end of the day, ensures that the galley area is completely clean, organized and ready to go for the next day, and then helps the Deckhands clean when finished with their own duties.
    • In charge of the cash drawer and it contents. He/she picks up the bank in the morning and turns it into the office at the end of the day, with any paperwork.
    • Takes direction from the Mate and Captain.
    • Demonstrates the knowledge on how to use all the safety equipment on board the vessel.
    • Is competent in the appropriate line handling skills.
    • Knows his/her position on the station bill and what other crew are expected to do in case of emergency or security situation.

    The Galley person should always strive to make the boat 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.

  • Naturalist/ Narrator

    Bar Harbor

    The Naturalist/Guide/Historian (NGH) holds a very important position on the boat as the voice and personality of the tour. In your position you are acting as a representative of the company in providing fun, informative and excellent education, answering questions and entertaining guests.  The following is a list of work goals and responsibilities.

    • All NGHs take supervision from the captain. NGH’s always work closely with the captain in determining the best route for the vessel to maximize passenger satisfaction.
    • When the vessel is underway the NGH serves an important role as a lookout (especially on whale watching or lighthouse trips in restricted visibility) for the captain, listening and looking for other boats.
    • NGHs constantly learn from captains and mates, how to use all vessel equipment, seamanship and proper line tying. NGH’s will fill the role of deckhand on bridge watch or other duties when needed. Report time for NGH’s is the same as crew.
    • NGHs demonstrate familiarity all the safety equipment located on any vessel they are serving on and how to use it.
    • NGHs know the Vessel Security Plan (if applicable) and must complete MARSEC training.
    • NGHs are under the supervision of the lead naturalist who provides direction in the areas of educational content, quality and delivery.
    • NGHs are the play-by-play announcer of the tour and should continually work to keep the passengers informed about where they are, what they are seeing and what to expect.
    • NGHs provide accurate (factual) information and make an effort to answer passenger’s questions on every trip.
    • NGHs constantly work hard to gain more knowledge and improve their narration.
    • NGHs make every effort to keep the bridge and NGH materials clean and orderly and clean their boat stations thoroughly at the end of the day.
  • Ticket Sales

    Bar Harbor

    Ticket sales personnel are responsible for the following:

    • Work directly with the public at the ticket counter making reservations and selling tickets.
    • Ensure each customer has the correct trip / date in the reservation system.
    • Must give all pertinent information to customers such as when / where to board, necessary items to take with them, cancellation policy, etc…
    • Occasionally will be asked to answer phones.
    • Ticket personnel will be responsible for ringing up merchandise, keeping store well stocked.
    • Ticket personnel will report to direct supervisors before starting shift to gather important information pertaining to boats, weather, and cancellations. Ticket personnel will be expected to keep store and work areas tidy, including light dusting and cleaning when possible.
    • Retail sales, stocking of retail space.
    • Ticket personnel will be responsible for their cash drawer.
    • Ticket personnel will be trained to understand our security system and will be expected to follow all rules and regulations set forth through our security plan.
    • Ticket personnel are expected to keep a positive attitude and treat all customers and co-workers with respect.

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