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Dock Worker Duties and Responsibilities
The duties of a Dock Worker center around the ships coming into the dock every day. For each ship, the Dock Worker must prepare the dock for receiving. This includes installing the gangway and ensuring the oil boom is properly maintained. Once the ship is in the port, the Dock Worker hooks it up to the mooring and then unloads the cargo efficiently, often with the use of a forklift. They then take inventory of the cargo and note any irregularities, record the cargo and prepare the ship for departure. More specific job duties will often include:
Ship Securing Perhaps the most important job of a Dock Worker is making sure that any ship that comes into port is fully secured. This includes tying the ship to the moorings, deploying the oil boom and hooking up shore power as needed. It is also key to monitor tidal fluctuation to make any necessary adjustments to the ship level.
Dock Maintenance Dock Workers will usually be responsible for basic maintenance of the dock facilities and surrounding area. This will include standard cleaning duties, as well as more technical tasks such as oiling and testing machinery.
Cargo Inspection For any cargo that comes in, the Dock Worker is responsible for inspecting it for damage or loss. This is especially important for perishable or valuable cargo. Dock Workers will generally record this information on inspection sheets and input it into computer software.
Safety Monitoring Dock Worker is a position involving heavy machinery and cargo, as well as working with potentially dangerous substances. As such, Dock Workers are responsible for checking and double-checking security and safety measures.
Dock Worker SkillsDock Workers require skills typical of both a physical laborer and a detail-oriented manager. They must be well-versed in technical use of heavy machinery, as well as in safety procedures. Responsible for millions of dollars in cargo going in and out of major ports, it is key that they be able to keep track of details and spot any missing or damaged cargo. Dock Workers will generally work in teams, and must be able to cooperate and communicate effectively. Some more specific skills needed include: Attention to Detail - Each shipment of cargo can contain millions of dollars worth in product. A Dock Worker must be able to keep track of every one and notice any irregularities. In the same vein, a minor error in machine use can be dangerous. A keen eye for detail and procedure is essential for success in the field. Teamwork and Communication - It may take a team of workers to effectively unload a ship's cargo. As such, a rapport between workers is essential. Good communication with ship crew can help to ensure a smooth transition as well. Strength and Endurance - Although the job of a Dock Worker now entails more technical skill, it still relies on physical strength to a large extent. Dock Workers will also be required to work in all weather, and should have a strong tolerance for the elements.
Dock Worker Educational RequirementsDock Workers generally do not require formal degrees, as most positions require only a high-school diploma or a GED. However, it is common for additional training courses to be required. This will include forklift training, and on-the-job apprenticeships to become acquainted with the machinery and tools. Dock Manager positions will generally require experience as a Dock Worker, and will also require management training and classes. A Bachelor's Degree in management may allow for a quick ascent to a management position.
Dock Worker SalaryDock Worker is generally an hourly position. The average pay rate according to online sources is $15.23 a year, which comes out to $35,000 a year. The low end of the salary range is roughly $21,000 a year, while high end can go up to $45,000 a year. However, Dock Worker is generally a unionized position and comes with health and pension benefits.
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