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One of the best parts of my job is talking to local students and teachers about the Port of Galveston and the diverse array of maritime industry career opportunities it generates. Jobs in the maritime industry are wide ranging, interesting and often pay well.
I would like to see local schools work with the port and others in the maritime industry to develop curriculum and career opportunities so that more students can take advantage of these jobs.
To help connect locals with maritime career opportunities, the port participates in job fairs for onshore cruise-related work and offers internships to Texas A&M University at Galveston students. During a 10-week program, interns rotate through five departments to experience the range of careers available with the port.
The Port of Galveston and related industries generate more than 14,000 jobs covering all aspects of shipping, cruise and cargo operations, and more. They range from ship pilots and suppliers to stevedores, longshoremen, customs agents and cruise shore staff.
Ship pilots are trained to safely navigate ships in and out of the Galveston Ship Channel. Stevedoring companies manage cargo operations. At our port, we move more than 4.3 million tons of cargo a year, ranging from bulk grains and liquids to new cars and giant wind turbine pieces.
Longshoremen do the physical work of moving cargo on and off ships using cranes, forklifts and other equipment. Freight forwarders coordinate cargo shipments from one place to another by rail, truck and ship.
As the fourth most popular cruise port in the U.S., we also host more than 1 million cruise passengers a year. The port’s ground transportation staff operates a cruise passenger parking and shuttle service. At the cruise terminals, onshore support staff employed by the cruise lines greet and check in passengers before they board the ships. Longshoremen load and unload luggage, as well as ship supplies from food and beverages to cleaning products.
The Galveston Wharves employs about 100 people. Some are traditional jobs like accounting, human resources, maintenance and construction. Others, like our port police, require additional training unique to the waterfront.
Our harbormaster and his staff have some of the most interesting jobs at the port. They oversee and direct daily harbor operations to coordinate and maintain safe and orderly boating traffic in the Galveston Ship Channel.
While our police officers are certified peace officers, their jobs require additional training in federal port security, customs and industrial accident response, to name a few areas. They closely coordinate with local, state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Our engineering staff has the additional challenge of designing and managing construction projects in and around the water. Corrosion resistance, dredging, and specialized equipment are just a few of the factors that come into play.
The port’s Construction and Maintenance group is made up of small teams of multi-talented craftsmen who take care of everything from structure demolition, paving, mechanical and electrical work, plumbing and HVAC maintenance to painting, carpentry, signage, fencing, mowing, cleaning and parking lot striping.
Working on the busy waterfront with the ships and cargo constantly moving makes any maritime job interesting.