Port operative

Alternative titles for this job include Stevedore, passenger operations worker, port worker

Port operatives work with cargo, passengers and marine craft in ports and harbours.

Average salary (a year)

£15,000 Starter

to

£25,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

43 to 45 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become a port operative

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

Apprenticeship

You could start by doing a port operative intermediate apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

Direct application

You could apply directly for cargo jobs if you've got experience in warehouse work, operating mobile cranes or using forklift trucks.

You could also work in passenger operations if you have experience in customer service or travel.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about working in ports and harbours from Port Skills and Safety.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • observation and recording skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • pass a medical check

Your employer will put you through port safety training, and you may need a forklift certificate for some jobs.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a port operative or stevedore, your day-to-day duties may include:

  • loading and unloading cargo containers, using ship or dockside cranes
  • transferring cargoes to storage areas with trailers or forklift trucks
  • operating conveyors and pumps for bulk cargoes like grain, coal and oil

As a passenger worker, you could be:

  • helping passengers to get on and off boats and ferries
  • giving out travel information, like sailing times or weather conditions
  • checking travel documents
  • directing vehicles to and from parking bays aboard vessels

In marine operations, you would be:

  • refuelling vessels
  • placing marker buoys in the harbour
  • navigating craft and operating VHF radio and radar equipment

Working environment

You could work at a port or at a marina.

Your working environment may be physically demanding.

Career path and progression

You could be promoted to foreperson or supervisor, and then move on to become a superintendent or operations manager. You might also train to specialise in engineering to maintain the heavy machinery used in ports.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a port operative right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Forklift training (AEB)

  • Provider: RESOURCES (N E) LIMITED
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Greater Manchester

Telescopic Fork Lift Truck Operations 2DAYS

  • Provider: NORTH SHROPSHIRE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Shrewsbury

JobsIn the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

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