Sailors and Marine Oilers


Will "Sailors and Marine Oilers" be replaced by AI & Robots?

It's highly likely this occupation will be replaced by robots/AI. However, workers may be able to take some comfort in the results from our poll, which shows a 35% chance of automation within the next 2 decades.

Automation Risk Level

Robots are watching

or 83% probability of automation

Projected Growth


by 2024

People Employed


as of 2019

Median Annual Wage


or $20.90 hourly

Most likely
Least likely

How this compares with other jobs: 469 out of 707

Cast Your Vote

How likely do you think this occupation will be taken over by robots/AI within the next 20 years?

People Employed (US)

Median Annual Wage (US)

Job description

Stand watch to look for obstructions in path of vessel, measure water depth, turn wheel on bridge, or use emergency equipment as directed by captain, mate, or pilot. Break out, rig, overhaul, and store cargo-handling gear, stationary rigging, and running gear. Perform a variety of maintenance tasks to preserve the painted surface of the ship and to maintain line and ship equipment. Must hold government-issued certification and tankerman certification when working aboard liquid-carrying vessels. Includes able seamen and ordinary seamen.

SOC Code: 53-5011

If you're thinking of starting a new career, or looking to change jobs, we've created a handy job search tool which might just help you land that perfect new role.

Search jobs in your local area


John says
Sailors need to be replaced by robots, they're all lazy, dumb, and poop all the time. Many sailors are also flat earthers, so I hope those idiots get replaced by robots.
Aug 20, 2020 at 09:25 PM
Lorenzo Bonanno (Small chance) says
Sailor wages are a minimal part of the costs of the shipping industry, while insurance companies will push to maintain workers onboard vessels, especially officers, as they can be held accountable in case of accidents.

Another reason is the fact that most work on board ships is maintenance, removing workers from a ship would mean keeping a ship longer in ports for regular maintenance and cleaning of holds, which is not economically viable.

Before looking for automation of the jobs, shipping companies will look to ways to reduce their fuel costs, as it is by far the largest continuous expense.
May 19, 2020 at 11:40 AM
Faisal Ali says
This isn't a career for robots at all. It needs to be done by humans instead. A robot will be destroyed in a battle.
Apr 29, 2020 at 11:21 PM
Bjørnar (Small chance) says
Depending on what kind of boat you work on, but as an anchor handler I don’t think my job will be taken by robots
Mar 08, 2020 at 10:24 AM
Hank the Tank says
I am a marine engineer of the watch and my oilers are pretty worthless these days. Can’t run a mop, can’t weld, can’t paint, can’t learn. No interest in learning and advancement in the career, won’t put down the smartphone long enough to take orders. Just give me PTZ cameras and a remote alarm monitoring interface and automate the job away.
Mar 01, 2020 at 09:44 PM
David (Small chance) says
Robots will not be able to handle tasks which require a keen alertness of all of the variables involved with seafaring activities
Feb 23, 2020 at 01:50 PM
Kurt R (Small chance) says
Robots are dumb. The ship I currently work on has miles of wires for all of the supposed automation, and yet things still break and require human hands to fix. Sure this may change in the next 20 years, but my gut tells me humans will still need to be involved to some extent. Either way, I'll be retired by then. Good luck to all of the young aspiring mariners.
Jul 04, 2019 at 08:11 PM
Khan says
Machines can already play chess or fly planes though.
Why can't they sail the nth amount of seas?
Apr 07, 2020 at 05:56 PM

Leave a reply about this occupation

Your email address will not be published.
Email (optional)