best paying jobs in marine

12 Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation


If youu’re probably looking for the best paying jobs in marine transportation and you are someone who would pursue a profession in marine transportation if the ocean and the sea are your top priority. A job in marine transportation will appeal to your sense of adventure and excitement for travel.

Cruise ships, cargo ships, and ferries are used in this industry to transport people and/or products across large waterways. Naval architects, marine, ocean, and port engineers, ship and boat builders, cargo ship personnel, captains, electricians and pipefitters, welders, and mechanical engineers are all needed for the task at hand. There are many marine transportation jobs to select from if you want a solid pay and all the benefits that come with it.

About Best paying jobs in marine

Working in the marine transportation industry may be both exciting and lucrative. If you choose a land-based career path, the marine industry provides several vocations where you can work on ships or off of ships. In either case, you should be aware of the maritime transportation jobs with the highest salaries and the highest demand.

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The finest paid careers in maritime transportation will be introduced to you in this post. If you want to pursue a career in marine transportation, look into these fantastic choices. In this manner, you can discover a high-paying position as well as one you enjoy!

12 Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation

There are several well-paying possibilities available to you if a career on the water is of interest to you. In the marine transportation sector, some of the highest paying positions include:

  • Port engineer- $92,722 average salary
  • average salary of $91,250 for marine engineers
  • Sailing master: average pay of $79,931
  • Marine superintendent: average pay of $84,100
  • Marine surveyor: average pay of $74 448
  • Dock worker: average pay of $42,375
  • Supervisor of diving – average pay of $68,341
  • Average pay for ship captains is $89,740
  • Worker salaries on cargo ships average $70,609.
  • maritime attorneys make an average salary of $86,514
  • $60,000 to $148,000 for commercial divers
  • Admirals: $110,000 and up

Each of these jobs has its unique set of educational and certification requirements, risk considerations, and income ranges, yet they all pay far more than the national average. We made every effort to make sure you understood everything in this post and to assist you in determining which of these highest paid positions in marine transportation best suits you. Discover the specifics of each position by reading on.


1. Port engineer

The average pay for a port engineer in the US is $92,722, per Payscale’s research. According to experience, a port engineer can expect to earn an average.

For employees with one to four years of experience, the average annual salary (tips, bonuses, and overtime pay) is $87,519 (based on 13 salaries)

$86,739 on average per year for those with five to nine years of experience (based on 35 salaries)

$85,219 in total compensation on average, depending on ten to nineteen years of experience (based on 13 salaries)

$104,228 in total average compensation for those with more than 20 years of experience

Not terrible at all, really! According to these statistics, port engineers are among the highest paid marine transportation professionals. If being a port engineer is your goal, you should be able to provide technical support

  • finish your engineering projects
  • Control a team of port experts
  • Determine any potential engineering problems and promptly fix them.
  • regular completion of maintenance chores
  • To avoid mishaps, follow strict marine and safety regulations.
  • Work well both individually and in teams.
  • aid in setting priorities and schedules when cargo is involved
  • Tell the port supervisor about your progress.
  • Keep track of your repair work and costs.
  • Examine blueprints, repair guides, and technical drawings.
  • possess a working knowledge of office software
  • Conduct regular inspections to comply with the law

An engineering degree in maritime operations or a closely related discipline is required to fill the role of port engineer. As with any other position, prior experience in port engineering is always preferred. Try submitting more certifications to improve your chances of landing the job.


2. Marine engineer

According to data on, the US average income for marine engineers is $91,250. The starting compensation for marine engineers with only a few years of experience is $72,269, and the highest paid marine engineers can earn up to $116,500 annually.

As a marine engineer, in addition to having one of the finest paying positions in marine transportation, you need have the following skills:

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Develop, design, produce, and construct new naval warships (naval ships, passenger boats, submarines, military battleships, aircraft carriers, or cruise ships)

upkeep and restoration of current marine vessels

Design engines and thrust systems and create blueprints.

Create and evaluate several vessel prototypes.

Work collaboratively with others

oversee the building of whole ships.

Travel abroad or inside the US

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You must complete military school training if you want to work for the military as a marine engineer. A bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science, math, or another relevant field is required if not. Along with the necessary schooling, excellent computer and communication skills are also essential for becoming a marine engineer, and prior experience is usually advantageous.

3. Sailing master

According to data from, a sailing master in the US makes an average pay of $79,931. In the US, sailing masters make between $38,310 and $134,950 annually, with the top 80% making $134,950.

The International Sailing School Association claims that becoming a sailing master is quite difficult. You must possess prior training and certification in order to apply for the sailing master program. You’ll need:

60 days on the water as a captain or watch captain

Five or more sails in three distinct marine zones

as a captain, two routes over 100 nautical miles

certifications in sea survival and first aid

You can begin your 40 hours of instruction for exam preparation once you’ve satisfied these requirements and are at least 18 years old. You’re wrong if you believe that’s sufficient. You require the entire set:

proper presentation


calmness in any circumstance that may arise or go out of hand

Excellent crew communication skills

If you meet the qualifications and possess the necessary abilities, you might consider applying for one of the highest paying positions in the marine transportation industry. Good fortune!

4. Marine Superintendent

According to Compensation Research, the salary range for a marine superintendent is between $71,558 and $103,304, with an average salary of $84,100. The degree of education, credentials, supplementary skills, and years of experience in the profession all affect salary ranges.

To become a maritime superintendent, you must satisfy the following prerequisites and qualifications:

a degree in marine administration or a similar profession for undergraduates

Command knowledge (at least 5 years)

Class 1 competency certificate from a nation on the International Maritime Organization’s white list (IMO)

Knowledge of Flag State responsibilities and Classification Society regulations

knowledge of ship repair and safety protocols

Knowledge of computer operations and maritime operations

The following dockside and office duties are part of your role as a marine superintendent as a supervisor:

In a shipyard, coordinate processes and maintain vessels.

Make contact with the owners and operators of each ship.

Apply safety protocols, conduct dockside inspections, dry-dock, plan repairs and maintenance, and

Control the ship’s financial affairs.

If one of the highest paying positions in maritime transportation is that of a marine superintendent, you had better start completing all the prerequisites and requirements to reach your objective.

5. Marine surveyor

Payscale estimates that a maritime surveyor makes an average yearly pay of $74,448 in the US. The pay varies depending on the years of experience. For instance:

Earn an average of $65,000 as a marine surveyor with one to four years of experience (based on 22 salaries)

Earn an average of $79,765 as a marine surveyor with five to nine years of experience (based on 22 salaries)

You can expect to make an average of $80,000 as a maritime surveyor with ten to nineteen years of experience (based on 20 salaries)

An average marine surveyor with over twenty years of experience makes $82,424.

Now that you are aware of the pay scales, let’s look at the duties of a maritime surveyor:

Verify the goods and the state of the ship.

Verify the safety, seaworthiness, and compliance with regulations of marine vessels.

Watch the loading and unloading of freight.

reporting on inspections

Inform managers and ship owners of the findings

Put in place the legal safety and quality controls

A career as a marine surveyor will undoubtedly be enjoyable if you appreciate working outside and enjoy traveling. In this job, interpersonal and teamwork abilities are crucial. Additionally, you should be detail-oriented and able to accurately define and organize information.

Typically, it’s required to comprehend the industry and have at least three years of prior expertise in the field. The importance of writing and technological communication skills cannot be overstated.

6. Dock employee

The Economic Research Institute estimates that the average dock worker in the US makes $42,375 per year and $20 per hour. The annual compensation range for dock employees is between $31,061 and $50,468.

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A high school diploma often represents the highest level of education for dock workers. However, a dock worker has a wide range of duties, such as:

  • after departure, ship unmooring
  • keeping careful records of any damaged or lost cargo
  • inspecting the unloaded goods
  • spotting damage or anomalies in the cargo
  • Follow loading guidelines
  • taking part, if necessary, in training programs
  • securing cargo with ropes and lashings before departing

To prevent accidents and injuries, you need be able to communicate effectively with other dock workers if you want to succeed as one. You should be physically strong enough to operate heavy equipment safely, including forklifts, hand trucks, pallet jacks, cranes, power winches, and grain trimmers. You should also have exceptional physical endurance.

7. Diving supervisor

According to Compensation Expert, the average salary for a diving supervisor in the US is $68,341 with an average bonus of $1,326. There are two categories when it comes to pay and experience:

An average income of $49,293 is received by diving supervisors with one to three years of experience.

An experienced diving supervisor makes an average income of $84,124.

If a career as a diving supervisor appeals to you, you should be adept with a variety of power and hand instruments. You should be equipped to handle drills, sledgehammers, torches, and welding gear if you want to be a diving supervisor. As a dive supervisor.

working below the waterline

Make sure the diving operation is safe.

Control any mishaps that might occur during the diving operation

Prepare for and manage the entire dive

Utilize scuba equipment to inspect, maintain, and install machinery and structures.

Perform experiments, detonate bombs, and take pictures of buildings or aquatic life

8. Ship pilots

According to the Recruiter’s data, a ship pilot’s annual income in the US ranges from $36,810 to $153,070. You may anticipate an average compensation of $89,740 per year but, like in other professions, your pay will depend on your degree and experience.

It’s understandable why ship captains made our list of the marine transportation jobs with the highest salary. If being a ship pilot is your career goal, you must receive a US Coastguard license in order to be employed. You will be able to command ships and direct them into and out of harbors, lakes, bays, and other locations once you have gotten the license. Additionally, you need to complete at least two years of official training before being hired as a ship pilot.

After meeting all prerequisites to become a ship pilot, you should:

Ensure the ship arrives at its destination safely by supervising a crew.

control and steer marine craft (transport personnel and goods)

Getting the crew and ship crisis-ready

Track and evaluate documentation for ship maintenance, crew, and cargo

assemble crews for all ship operations at sea and in the harbor.

A career as a ship pilot may be in your future if this is something you can see yourself doing.

9. Cargo ship workers

The average annual wage for cargo ship employees, according to Simply Hired, is $70,609. It’s a good idea to know that any occupations that aid container ships in transporting cargo from one port to another are covered if you’re wondering what positions are included in cargo ship jobs.

You could work as a captain, officers of the watch, engineers, electricians, or another specialized worker on a cargo ship. You should be informed of the specific responsibilities for each role.

Deckhands paint the ship, tow cargo, and maintain a safe deck.

Deck officers keep watch over the deck, plan watches, and alert the captain or other deck masters to any potential issues.

Captains are in charge of running the whole ship.

You’ll need maritime certification, which includes age restrictions, demonstrated sea abilities, and expertise in several ship protocol and maintenance areas, if you want to occupy one of these high-paying roles.

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In most cases, you begin as an able seaman to learn the job and prepare for exams. You’ll be able to advance in rank and take on greater responsibility as you pass the examinations and get experience on the ship. Engineers and other operators of machinery or electrical equipment require background and training in their respective fields in addition to certification.

10. Maritime lawyers

According to, the income range for maritime attorneys is $18,053 to $481,665, with an average annual salary of $86,514. 57% of maritime attorneys make between $86,515 and $218,218 year; the top 86 percent make $481,665.

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You might be interested in becoming a maritime lawyer if you want to have one of the highest paying positions in marine transportation. See the list of prerequisites to become a maritime lawyer:

You must have completed a degree program at an accredited legal school.

Obtain a J.D. (Juris Doctor) degree.

passing state bar examinations

get yourself a license to practice law there

So, if you’re interested in becoming a maritime lawyer, the first thing you need do is apply to or enroll in a maritime law school or a law school that offers maritime law courses and internship possibilities. This will allow you to obtain a broad education in maritime legal topics such maritime insurance and responsibility, international agreements, shipping industry standards, cargo damage, personal injury, and environmental law.

Experienced maritime attorneys make significantly more money than newer attorneys, who typically make less. The less experienced maritime attorneys initially operate as associates under the supervision of more experienced lawyers with experience in admiralty law. After demonstrating their abilities on the job, they might join a firm as partners and start charging more. If you’re capable, you could become a marine lawyer with the right training, experience, and drive.

11. Commercial Divers

Commercial divers’ percentile wages are officially estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to be $160,110 (90%), $115,330 (75%), and $60,360 (50%) annually.

For veterans, former service members, and anybody else looking for adventure and something more than a regular nine-to-five work, becoming a commercial diver may be an interesting and lucrative career.

You will be required to operate in the most difficult conditions as a commercial diver, thus you must be highly trained, qualified, and in excellent physical and mental shape to:

Dive and carry out additional tasks as directed by your supervisor

Inform of any medical issues before, during, or following the dive.

Know both the regular and emergency procedures.

Ensure that you fully comprehend the diving plan.

execute the stated tasks

Verify that the diving equipment is in good working order and is suitable for the intended dive.

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You should be aware that, in addition to the activities, four factors—experience, employer, location, and dive depth—generally affect the commercial diver’s pay. Therefore, based on these variables, you might be able to earn even more if you have expertise and work in a challenging underwater environment. This position, which proudly occupies a spot on our list of the best paying jobs in marine transportation, has no upper limit.

12. Admirals

On Federalpay, an admiral starts out earning $16,974.90 per month and $203,699 annually. The chief and vice-chief of naval operations, director of the naval nuclear program, fleet forces command, national security administration, and US cyber command are among the highest major navy commands that are held by admirals.

An admiral in the navy holds the same rank as a commandant of the coast guard. The commandant of the coast guard has been assigned the rank of admiral, a four-star flag officer position with a wide range of duties.

operate as the Coast Guard’s commander

control over full-time civilian employees, volunteers, and active-duty military personnel

Utilize the waterways all around the United States in a manner that is environmentally responsible, secure, and safe.

Along with the Pacific and Atlantic area commands, there are three more active commands that encompass the Far East, Europe, and Southwest Asia. The commandant’s term of office is four years, and while in office, he or she is directly responsible to the American president. One of the most challenging and highest paying occupations in marine transportation is being an admiral.


There are many excellent possibilities to take into consideration, whether you’re just starting your career in marine transportation or you’re searching for a shift.

Make your own list of advantages and disadvantages after carefully reviewing the list of the highest paying positions in maritime transportation. In this manner, you will have a thorough understanding of the income ranges, prerequisites, and skill sets required for the vocation you have in mind.

Working in marine transportation is undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. It’s one of those professions that is fulfilling and full of chances and advantages. Find your ideal position from the numerous that are offered in the maritime transportation sector.

In the end, a career in marine transportation can be the best choice for you if your objective is to have a reliable, well-paying employment with excellent perks!

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