Transport & Logistics

Waterside Worker

Waterside workers load, check and secure shipping containers and their contents coming in or going out of shipping ports.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Waterside Worker do?

Waterside workers load, check and secure shipping containers and their contents coming in or going out of shipping ports. Waterside workers are also known as dock workers or stevedores.


Work activities

As a waterside worker, you would:

  • load and unload containers
  • prepare containers for shipping
  • use a wide variety of machinery for loading and unloading
  • prepare equipment for stevedoring (ship loading)
  • direct operations using communications equipment
  • keep records of all equipment and cargo
  • moor and unmoor ships on arrival and departure.

Key skills and interests

To become a waterside worker, you would need:

  • practical skills
  • a high level of numeracy
  • teamwork
  • physical fitness and strength
  • communication and planning skills
  • to be able to strictly follow heath and safety regulations.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

As a waterside worker you would usually work a standard numbers of hours per week, on a shiftwork basis, including evenings and weekends.


Waterside workers work outside in all types of weather. They may also work in the cargo holds of ships and with frozen or dangerous goods. You would wear safety equipment and clothing as necessary.


How to become an Waterside Worker?

Entry Level Education

No formal qualifications are required to be a waterside worker. You would get some training on the job.

You can also become a waterside worker through a traineeship in Stevedoring. Generally, employers require a junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

To become a waterside worker you need to have a national licence to Perform High Risk Work issued by the relevant authority in your State. Before you can apply for this licence, a registered training Organisation (RTO) must assess your training, skills and knowledge under realistic workplace conditions.To obtain your licence you must also be at least 18 years of age, work under a licensed operator, and be able to use English at a level that enables the safe performance of high risk work.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Overall employment for waterside workers has declined over the pat 10 years, and will continue to decline.

The increase in shipping freight going in and out of Australia has not been enough to counter the technological changes on the waterfront, which have seen automation of many processes in the loading and unloading of ships, the movement of containers around ports, and easier tracking of containers and contents.


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