Maritime Work- Reasons to Pursue a Maritime Job

Work in the maritime industry can, at times, be dangerous. When you’re traveling on the open seas, there is always that chance of an emergency leaving your stranded in the middle of the ocean or a storm sinking your ship.

Maritime jobs also require days, weeks, or even months in some cases, away from family and friends. Why, then, would anyone consider working in this industry? There are a number of benefits.

Oil Tanker in Port


First a foremost, the benefit to any job is its salary. Maritime jobs typically pay extremely well, partly because of the time spent doing these jobs, partly because of the dangers and hard work, and partly because of the skills needed. Here are just a few examples of salary ranges:

  • Deckhand Trainee: $27,000-$32,000 per year
  • Able bodied seaman: $30,000-40,000
  • Chief Cook: $25,000-47,500
  • 3rd Assistant Engineer: $45,000-55,000
  • Third Mate: $55,000-70,000

Senior positions bring in even more money! As a chief mate, you can expect an annual salary of about $80,000-125,000, and if you’re the captain, you can expect a six-figure salary, possibly as high as $185,000.

Note: Salaries vary significantly depending on the employer. University and military or federal government jobs may pay less than similar jobs in the private sector — but with better benefits.

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Remember, when you’re out on a ship, you’ll have to pitch in to help whenever needed, which means that you’ll get large amounts in overtime pay. Note that along with these average salaries, those working in the maritime industry get a lot more vacation time than those in other industries. They average about 2 weeks for every month of work!

Living and Working Conditions

If you don’t mind the close quarters, living and working on a ship can be an adventure. You’ll get to spend ever day outside, doing physical labor, which can be tiring, but also keeps you fit! NOTE – Have you seen the popular Discovery Channel reality TV show, Deadliest Catch? Watch it to see what it’s like to have an Alaska crab fishing job in the Bering Sea. You’ll get to travel the world, visiting new locations whenever you dock, and the living conditions on a ship are actually usually cleaner than one would image. Although visions of grimy pirate ships may come to mind, the crew’s quarters, along with the rest of the ship, are kept in good repair so that the ship is always seaworthy.

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