15 Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation (Updated)

Marine transportation can be a rewarding career path that offers plenty of opportunities for advancement and improvement.

In the marine industry, you can find various jobs, from deckhands to engine mechanics.

More so, while working on a ship is the norm for most maritime careers, there are also plenty of options on land.

This article will provide tips on the best paying jobs in marine transportation, the tips about marine transportation and many more.

What is Marine Transportation?

Marine transportation is the movement of commodities and people by sea. When it comes to moving raw materials such as coal, oil, and grain, sea transport is the primary mode of transportation.

A career as a marine deck officer can be obtained by completing the four-year Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT) program.

Is marine transportation a good career path?

Yes, it is. There are some advantages to working in maritime transportation. The following advantages of working in marine transportation:

1. Pay is excellent:

Workers in marine transportation earn a good living. Because of the often-no-tax nature of this income, you can save more and get closer to your financial goals faster.

You’ll also save a lot of money by not going on expensive shopping sprees on the spur of the moment because most of your living expenses, such as food and lodging, are covered by your fares while at sea.

2. Vacations for a long time:

Employees in the maritime transportation industry enjoy one of any profession’s most generous vacation policies.

Even though being away from home is an inevitable part of marine life, the ability to spend up to four months every year without interruption helps to mitigate this.

3. Exceptional and impressive work:

It is estimated that 90% of the world’s goods are transported by sea, making marine transportation a major industry.

Your daily impact will be obvious, even if your impact on global trade is difficult to fathom. Every day, your work contributes to the ship’s operations.

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Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation:

Working on a ship’s deck or its engines is just one example of the variety of jobs available in the marine transportation industry.

Here are the best paying jobs in marine transportation:

1. Port engineer:

A port engineer works on the technical parts of running a port and building its infrastructure. The job is one of the best paying jobs in Marine transportation.

You are in charge of keeping ships in good shape and fixing them. Part of your job is to make sure that engineering work meets safety standards and marine rules.

A key part of your job is to ensure that engineering work complies with safety standards and maritime regulations.

More so, many port engineers oversee the upkeep budget and look for ways to cut costs while also enhancing port operations.

The average yearly salary for port engineers is estimated at $71,500.

2. Naval Architect:

A Naval Architect is a professional engineer who is in charge of designing, building, and fixing ships, boats, and other marine vessels and offshore structures, both civilian and military. 

You use your knowledge of physics and materials, engineering, and architecture to handle the equipment needed by boat builders and engineering firms.

Scale models and prototypes are built and tested by a team of naval architects from various disciplines. The three pillars of naval architecture are form, function, and stability when it comes to ships and their parts.

An additional aspect of naval architecture is the examination and diagnosis of ship problems, as well as ship maintenance and test responsibilities on the water that they frequently performed $67,000, is the starting salary for naval architects.

The job of a naval architect is one of the best paying jobs in Marine transportation.

3. Port captain:

A port captain ensures that the ships in a port are ready for their voyages by monitoring them.

All maritime safety protocols must be followed, crews must be adequate in size and qualifications and have the proper equipment.

As a port captain, you must be able to lift heavy loads and work in inclement weather, in addition to being knowledgeable about the ocean.

There is a chance that they could make $112,250 per year.

As one of the best paying jobs in Marine transportation, you ensure that the port operates smoothly and that the ships that call it home are safe and operational.

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4. Marine Surveyor:

A Marine Surveyor is someone who checks the condition of ships and the goods they carry by inspecting, surveying, or examining them. They also check for damage to both the ships and the goods they carry.

Surveyors play a vital role in transporting goods and services by sea. To ensure that a ship is seaworthy and in compliance with regulations, surveyors examine every aspect of the vessel.

These individuals also monitor cargo loading and unloading from ships. Other duties of a maritime surveyor include creating inspection reports and disseminating findings to ship owners and managers.

Marine surveyors are expected to earn between $42,000 and $85,000 on average.

5. Ship superintendent:

A ship superintendent is the person in charge of making sure that all repairs on a ship are done correctly, especially when the ship is in dry dock. The job is one of the best paying jobs in Marine transportation.

It is the responsibility of a ship superintendent to oversee and direct a repair project in a shipyard or dockyard.

More so, it is also the responsibility of the ship superintendent to determine what repairs are needed and how much money the project will cost and ensure that the work is being completed on time.

Superintendents of ships must keep in touch with the repair company to ensure that the repairs are completed correctly.

You are ultimately responsible for the ship’s state as a final point. A yearly salary of $67,750 is the norm for a ship’s superintendent.

6. Captain of the ship:

The Ship Captain/Chief Mate is a licensed mariner who is in charge of the ship’s navigation, handling of cargo, storage, communication, and safe operation.

He or she makes sure that the ship follows all local, international, port state, and flag state rules.

The captain of a ship is one of the most important people in the maritime industry.

Every journey is documented in detail, including information on how fast and where your boat is going and the weather.

As one of the best paying jobs in Marine transportation, they are estimated to earn $67,000 on average.

7. Ships fitter:

To construct or repair ships, shipfitters fabricate and layout metals. They are employed by both private businesses and naval shipyards alike.

The work of ship fitters is crucial to the upkeep of ships. You must be skilled in riveting and welding to perform this job.

8. Skilled Seamanship:

Seamanship is the skill of knowing how to run a ship. In particular, it is a collection of the skills and knowledge needed for navigation, boat handling, boat maintenance, and the law of the sea.

It involves working as a member of a crew and, when necessary, as a skipper in charge of a crew.

It’s no surprise that able seamen are among the most sought-after and highest-paying maritime jobs. At sea, an able seaman performs a wide variety of duties.

They may have to use emergency equipment, perform maintenance and sanitation, enforce security measures, run deck machinery, keep an eye out for obstructions, or handle cargo.

The ship’s crew members who are capable of operating on the ship’s deck are often called upon to assist other crew members and to stop work if they see unsafe conditions or behaviors.

As one of the best paying jobs in marine transportation, their annual salary is estimated to be $53,000.

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9. Ship mates:

Depending on the size of the ship, your job as mate can be different.

During your shift, you watch over the ship, give tasks to lower-ranking crew members, and manage the other sailors. You can also rent a course for the boat, steer it, or take it out on the open water.

As a shipmate, your duties will be dictated by your experience and those of the ships you work on. On the other hand, they may be in charge of the boat’s systems and navigation.

10. Vessel operator:

The term “vessel operator” refers to anyone who makes decisions about where a vessel will dock or is in charge of the vessel.

A vessel’s operator is in charge of various duties, including voyage planning, personnel management, payroll, and other administrative tasks.

As one of the best paying jobs in marine transportation, a vessel operator’s annual salary is estimated to be $53,000. The marine industry provides vessel operators with a diverse range of sea vessels to work on.

11. Manager of the Marine Service Department:

Managers of marine services can expect to make up to $62,500 per year. The primary duty of a marine service manager is to manage the repair of vessels on the water.

One of your responsibilities as a marine service manager is to conduct inspections on vessels.

If you want to work in this industry, you may need to be familiar with commercial shipping or commercial fishing standards and regulations.

12. Ships’ security officer:

A ship security officer (SSO) is an important part of the International Ship and Port Facility (ISPS) code. The SSO is a person hired by the company and the ship’s master to make sure the ship is safe.

Implementing and maintaining a ship-security plan while working with the company and port-security officers are the primary duties of a ship safety officer.

Ship security is a major concern for every marine transportation company whose vessels sail in international waters.

As one of the best paying jobs in marine transportation, there is a salary range for ship security officers of up to $36,062.

13. Marine mechanic:

Marine mechanics are in charge of running and maintaining the ship’s engine and drive systems, power generation and distribution systems, as well as the ship’s auxiliary systems and equipment for living, all of which help the ship run on its own.

Marine mechanics can make up to $52,000 per year. Mechanics who regularly work on boats and other watercraft are known as marine mechanics or boat mechanics.

14. Marine Insurer:

Marine insurers focus on four main areas:

  • Marine Hull Insurance
  • Marine Liability Insurance
  • Marine Cargo Insurance
  • Offshore/Energy.

These areas all have to do with the loss or damage of ship cargo, terminals, ships, and their property.

It is the most lucrative position in marine transportation. It’s worth an average of $57,076 per year.

Some of the responsibilities may include assisting business owners in making insurance coverage decisions.

Moreover, factors such as the value of the cargo, the price of the boat, and local laws and regulations will also be considered.

15. In-House Deckhand:

Deckhands work with and take care of the equipment on the deck of a ship. They also help with docking and other tasks.

They are in charge of maintaining the ship, except for the engine and other systems, which are the job of the engineers on board.

Physical fitness is essential for a Deckhand, as they will be on call 24 hours a day, lifting and cleaning for guests, to name a few duties.

Tips For Excelling in a Marine Transportation Job

Below are some tips that will enable you to excel at a marine transportation career:

1. Choose a niche:

To succeed as a professional in the marine transportation industry, avoid becoming the jack of all trades but master of none.

Ensure you pick a specialty and dedicate your time, resources, and energy to excelling.

Complete appropriate certification programs that will boost your knowledge.

Also, attend relevant conferences, seminars, and workshops to enable you to connect with other professionals.

2. Take up an apprenticeship job:

If you cannot find work as an entry-level professional, take up a maritime apprenticeship job.

It will enable you to gain valuable experience and work alongside experienced industry professionals.

You can even decide to work for free if no apprenticeship opportunities in your area of interest come with pay.

The experience and knowledge you would acquire would enable you to land a good job.

3. Gain professional qualifications:

To be officially qualified to work as a professional in the marine transportation industry, ensure that you enroll in the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Marine Transportation program.

4. Find entry-level opportunities:

Take up an entry-level job as either a marine oiler or sailor to enhance your knowledge and experience in the industry and put you in a position to land the best opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions on Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation:

Do Marines get paid for life?

The Marines’ retirement pay is the same as that of any other branch of the U.S. military. A Marine Corps pension is based on years of service and rank (pay grade) at the time of retirement, just like the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard pensions.

Do ship captains make good money?

The average income is $70,920

What is the meaning of marine transport?

Maritime transportation is the movement of people and goods across large bodies of water, like oceans and rivers.

Is Marine Transportation in demand?

Yes. Students who complete this course on marine transportation will have a wide range of career options.

Is marine transportation a good career path?

Yes, it is.


The marine transportation industry provides a wide range of career options. The best-paying jobs in marine transportation are those listed in the paragraphs above.

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Hello, I am ST Admin! For five years, I began actively assisting students in Europe, the United States, and Canada in their pursuit of college advice and scholarship prospects. I am the Administrator of www.schoolandtravel.com at present.

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