An Ableseaman (AB) is responsible for working in the deck department of a vessel. These positions can exist on any type of vessel.

There are different ratings of ABs; from highest to lowest ranking they are:

Ableseaman Unlimited
Ableseaman Limited
Ableseaman Special
Ableseaman OSV
Ableseaman Sail
Ableseaman Fishing
Ableseaman MODU

While holding a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC), an Ableseaman is considered an unlicensed, experienced deckhand position.

As an AB earns “Seatime” in combination with the required training, an AB can upgrade his MMC to a higher rating of Ableseaman (AB), a Mates’ license, or Qualified Member of the Engine Department (QMED)

An AB may perform many duties such as:

(Example only)
Ship maintenance
Line handling
Loading and Unloading Ship Cargos
Safety Drills An

To view the minimum requirements of an Ableseaman USCG Merchant Mariner Credential please visit the National Maritime Center website for the most up to date info.

View Bureau of Labor Statistics Wage Information for this position

View the AB upgrade Process

Take me back to the Vessel Based Position Description Home Page

Take me back to the Career Map