Marine Deckhand

King County   Auburn, WA   Full-time     Construction / Physical Labor / Skilled Trades
Posted on August 4, 2022
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***This position is open to King County Metro Transit employees only.***

The Marine Division with King County Metro Transit is hiring for a Deckhand for the Water Taxi team. 

Deckhands work onboard our Water Taxi vessels, which are based out of the Pier 50 terminal on the Seattle waterfront. While working under the direction of the Captain, Deckhands ensure that our vessels are maintained, safely prepared for service, and that our passengers and crew are kept safe. This position directly supports the County's interest in ensuring our commuters have a reliable way to access our downtown core through our Vashon Island and West Seattle service routes. 

This recruitment will fill one (1) Term-Limited Temporary (TLT)/Special Duty Assignment (SDA). This position is scheduled to start immediately and last through October 14, 2022, with the potential to extend into 2023. The Marine Division may potentially add additional service to the Winter sailing schedule. If a funding source becomes available for this added service, additional crew will need to be added to the crew roster. This recruitment will not be used to create an eligibility list or fill future Career Service, TLT, or SDA openings in this classification.


King County Water Taxi System

King County has been operating Water Taxi services since October 2009. In 2019, the Marine Division joined King County Metro to help Metro meet its goals of incorporating multiple modes of transit that including: buses, boats, trains, shuttles, accessible services, and rideshare programs.


The Marine Division operates the Water Taxi ferry service on two routes in Puget Sound, both originating at Pier 50 in downtown Seattle: one route to West Seattle and the other to Vashon Island. Both routes provide year-round service during peak commute times Monday through Friday. From mid-April through mid-October, the West Seattle route adds service on weekends, late nights, and midday. This added service on the West Seattle route brings in beach goers, game attendees and residents heading to town for a late summer evening during our peak season, offering Water Taxi services 7 days a week, 11 to 16 hours daily. Currently the division is requesting additional funding to continue midday service 7 days a week year-round. Kitsap County currently provides passenger-only ferry service to Kingston and Southworth, and both routes use the King County passenger-only facility in Seattle.


Safety Sensitive

This position is considered safety-sensitive. Applicants for positions defined as safety-sensitive are required to undergo drug testing prior to employment and, subsequent to the commencement of employment, will be subject to random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, return to duty and follow-up drug and alcohol testing in compliance with Federal DOT alcohol and controlled substances testing program protocols.

Work Schedule
This position is non-exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and is eligible for overtime pay. Shifts can last anywhere from 4 to 10 hours daily. The open position is guaranteed 20 hours per week, working Friday through Tuesday, is assigned more work while on shift to help fill vacancies, and has the opportunity to pick up additional hours as they become available. 
To Apply:

Forms and Materials required:

  • An online employment application with employment history going back at least ten years if you have ten years of employment (or more to include all relevant experience). Be sure to list all job duties, dates of employment, and reasons for leaving. 
  • Completed supplemental questions


Note: A cover letter is highly encouraged, but not required. Resumes and other uploaded documentation will not be reviewed.


Want to make sure your application materials are as competitive as possible?
We highly recommend visiting the Career Support Services website for tips and examples on how to make your application materials most effective: 
Career Support Services - King County.

For more information regarding this recruitment, please contact:

Erica Minshull, Talent Advisor for King County Metro Transit or (206) 477-6059

Job Duties

Applying equity and social justice principles is a daily responsibility and a foundational expectation for all King County employees. In this role, you will apply equity and social justice principles that exemplify shared values, behaviors, and practices to all aspects of the work. Job duties include but are not limited to:

  • Assist the Captain and/or engineers with vessel startup and shutdown, raise and lower passenger loading ramps, handle mooring lines, load and unload passengers, stand watch while underway, perform safety and security functions, perform general maintenance and cleaning duties for vessels and facilities, and be prepared to respond to emergencies or security situations aboard the ferry or at the terminals.
  • Assist passengers in boarding and departing the ferry; ensure passenger safety; answer questions and provide information.
  • Handle mooring lines; cast off lines upon embarking and secure lines upon docking.
  • Perform basic deck and vessel cleaning and maintenance functions; keep decks clean and free of debris and ice; light maintenance such as removing and preparing surfaces for non-skid application and painting deck surfaces such as superstructure and railings of vessel; clean vessel furnishings, decks, restrooms, bulkheads, overheads, windows, baseboard heaters, and vessel exterior as needed; empty vessel trash and separate items for recycling.
  • As directed by the Captain: perform lookout watches, and assist with vessel navigational; conduct regular vessel safety/security sweeps and engine room rounds while underway.
  • Move passenger loading ramps into place and control entry and exit of passengers.
  • Ensure all entering passengers have paid the appropriate fare; observe appropriate use of electronic fare media; operate fare collection equipment, assist passengers with cash payments and use of fare box; count and record number of passengers.
  • Assist in fueling operations and replenishment of the vessel supplies.
  • Participate in all required training and drills; perform all applicable emergency procedures.
  • Understand proper use of all safety and emergency equipment, including fire extinguishers, vessel firefighting systems, life rafts, life preservers, life rings, emergency shut-downs, radio beacons, etc.; ensure each item is maintained and in working order.
  • May be required to take over operation of the ferry to bring the vessel into port if the Captain is incapacitated.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills


To be considered eligible for this role, applicants must possess these MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

  1. Be a current employee of King County Metro Transit.
  2. Possess the following credentials:
    • A valid Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
    • A valid United States Coast Guard (USCG) Merchant Mariner's Document (MMD) or Merchant Mariner's Credential (MMC) with minimum endorsement of Ordinary Seaman (OS).
  3. Two (2) or more years of work experience in the maritime industry; completion of a maritime education program or similar training totaling two (2) or more years; or some combination thereof.
  4. Work experience providing customer service to the traveling public, or the ability to provide accurate, timely, and polite service to the traveling public, including providing appropriate guidance to customers in the event of an emergency situation. 
The most competitive applicants will also possess these desirable qualifications:
  • Experience navigating US Coast Guard-inspected passenger vessel in Pacific Northwest waters.
  • Previous work experience on US Coast Guard-inspected passenger vessels, preferably on high-speed vessels.
  • USCG MMD or MMC with an Able Seaman (AB) endorsement.
  • 100-ton USCG Captain's License and experience navigating Pacific Northwest waters.
  • Certification in Fire Safety Training and Life Saving Training.
  • Satisfactory completion of the training and experience necessary to qualify as a Senior Deckhand in compliance with USCG Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) No. 1-91.
  • Ability to work effectively with others in a work environment that embraces and encourages diversity in its workforce and where differences are valued.
  • Ability to demonstrate behaviors that include fairness, respect, and inclusiveness.
  • Ability to respond safely, effectively, and expeditiously during an emergency.
  • Effective communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Ability to work split shifts is preferred.
  • Ability to be punctual in order to provide reliable sailings as scheduled for the traveling public.

Supplemental Information

Union Membership This position is represented by Inlandboatmen’s Union of Pacific (IBU) 
Class Code 945201 Marine Deckhand (AB1: Maritime Coalition-Deck & Agents)
Work Environment and Location

This position will have you standing or walking most of the day. You will be working outdoors on board the Water Taxi passenger vessel, as well as dockside while collecting fares and when handling dock lines. The Pier 50 facility is located in Seattle's historic Pioneer Square district, within easy walking distance to popular urban residential neighborhoods like Queen Anne, South Lake Union, Capitol Hill, and near bus lines, Link Light Rail and the Sounder (commuter train) Station.  

Selection Process

Applications will be screened to determine whether candidates meet minimum qualifications, and for clarity, completeness, and responsiveness to the application instructions above. Highly competitive applicants may be asked to interview. Formal offers will be finalized after candidates have successfully completed any necessary pre-employment processes, such as drug and alcohol testing, background checks, DOT physicals, and internal record reviews or reference checks.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

King County Executive Branch employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are the successful candidate for the position you applied for, the County will send you a conditional offer letter.


As a condition of employment, prior to a final offer of employment, you will be required to:

  • submit proof of vaccination, or
  • have an approved request for medical or religious exemption and an approved accommodation. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.


People are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the final dose of a vaccination approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Executive Branch includes employees in the Executive branch, the Assessor's Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff's Office, and the Executive Office.

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers. 

Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play.

Guided by our "
True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.
King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer

No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.

Need assistance?

Applicants who are unable to apply online should follow the instructions in the Application FAQs at If you have any questions related to this job posting, including needing the announcement in an alternative language format, or regarding accommodation requests for the application or assessment process, please contact Erica Minshull, Talent Advisor, at


King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

Are you applying to this position as an eligible current or previous King County Employee Priority Placement Program Participant? Is this position the same or lower percentage of full-time when compared to the position held at the point of the notification of layoff? Do you possess the skills and abilities to qualify for this position?
  • Yes, I was given a layoff notice from my role at King County and I am within two years of the effective date of my layoff. Additionally, the position I was laid off from was the same or a higher percentage of FT status when compared to this one.
  • No.
If you answered yes to the question above and you are applying for this position as a Priority Placement Participant, to be considered, you must provide the following three pieces of information in the space provided: 1. The title you held when you received your layoff notice 2. The department you worked in 3. The effective date of your layoff
Do you currently have a valid Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)?
  • Yes
  • No
  • No, but I have applied for a TWIC
To be considered for this position you must be in possession of a valid Merchant Mariner Document (MMD)/Merchant Marine Credential (MMC). Please review the list below and check all endorsements that you currently maintain:
  • OS
  • AB Special
  • AB Limited
  • AB Unlimited
  • Mate Limited Tonnage
  • Mate Unlimited Tonnage
  • Master Limited Tonnage
  • Master Unlimited Tonnage
  • I have applied but have not yet received my MMC
  • I do not have a valid MMC
If you selected 'Mate Limited Tonnage' or 'Master Limited Tonnage', please provide the additional information and/or explanation in the space below. If you did not select 'Mate Limited Tonnage' or 'Master Limited Tonnage' please enter N/A.
How many years of experience do you have working in the maritime industry, completing a maritime related training program, or combination of the two?
  • I have 2 or more years of this experience.
  • I have less than 2 years of this experience.
  • I do not have this experience.
How many years of experience do you have providing customer service to the traveling public?
  • I have more than 2 years of this experience.
  • I have less than 2 years of this experience.
  • I do not have this experience but am willing to learn.
  • I do not have this experience and am not willing to learn.
Which of the following preferred certifications, licenses, experience, and/or training do you possess? Select all that apply.
  • Experience navigating USCG-inspected vessels in Pacific Northwest waters.
  • Experience on USCG-inspected vessels, passenger vessels, and/or high-speed vessels (outside of being a passenger on one of these vessels).
  • Certification in Fire Safety Training and/or Life Saving Training
  • Satisfactory completion of the training and experience necessary to qualify as a Senior Deckhand in compliance with USCG Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) No. 1-91.
  • Ability to respond safely, effectively, and expeditiously during an emergency.
  • Ability to demonstrate behaviors that include fairness, respect, and inclusiveness.
  • Ability to work effectively with others in a work environment that embraces and encourages diversity in its workforce and where differences are valued.
  • Ability to work split shifts.
  • Effective communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Ability to be punctual.
  • Other - Not listed above. (Please list elsewhere in the application.)
  • I have none of these preferred qualifications.
Are you willing to work split shifts when necessary?
  • Yes
  • No
If you have a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, will you need accommodation in the testing process? If you check the "YES" box, the human resources staff person coordinating this recruitment will send you a request asking for additional information. (This confidential information is solicited for the purposes of providing reasonable accommodation only).
  • Yes
  • No
I certify that the statements made by me on the application and supplemental questions are, to the best of my knowledge, true, complete and correct. I understand that any misrepresentation or material omission of fact on this or any other document required by King County may constitute grounds for rejection, or if employed by King County, for disciplinary measures, including dismissal.
  • Yes
  • No

Required Question