Ordinary seamen work at sea on various types of boats and for a number of industries, ranging from fishing and exploration to oil and environmental companies. Although these companies vary in terms of what they do and the roles they expect, there are some common responsibilities in this position. These include mooring and anchoring duties, keeping the ship in working order, fixing machinery, ensuring cleanliness, and being responsible for all rope lines on board.
Aspiring seamen should hold a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) as an ordinary seaman or higher position, and most positions also require Transportation Worker Identification (TWIC). Some companies also require hazwhoper certification for hazardous materials, though this is less common.
Ordinary seamen are required to go out on expeditions of various lengths, ranging from a single day to possibly weeks or months at a time. Depending on the company, they may be required to travel extensively to reach different ports of travel; however, travel will mostly occur out of a single port.