15 Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation

The marine transportation industry is one of the most foundational industries in international trade. It’s also a very specialized one because of the complexity of its operations. If you want to become a part of this industry, you should have relevant experience and qualifications. Note that most of the best paying jobs in the marine transportation industry require highly skilled executives.

You can compare the complexity of its jobs with that of the best-paying jobs in electric utilities central. Or compare it with the healthcare industry.

Although these jobs are complex and versatile, you will find that the benefits of working in this industry are also high.

Let’s examine the industry and its job market in detail.

What is Marine Transportation?

Marine transport is the industry that tackles the transportation of goods and personnel across the sea. Among the three channels of transportation – ground, water, and air – movement through water offers the best balance between efficiency and cost.

Because of this balance, marine transport accounts for the biggest chunk of all the deliveries made worldwide.

Commercial marine transport is the most lucrative niche of this industry. Other niches include military use and recreational travel.

Benefits of Working in Industry

Most people are attracted to travel and transport industries because of the higher chances of travel that accompany the job. But that’s just one part of the job that only represents some types of jobs within the industry.

Instead of a travel-intensive lifestyle, you would know that the industry has to offer many other perks. Here are some benefits you can reap by becoming a part of this industry.

Higher Salary – Marine transport industry is highly specialized and somewhat complicated. At the same time, it is a cornerstone for international trade. Because of its competitive advantage against other transportation channels, the industry earns premium bucks. In turn, you will get a premium salary for your specialized skill if you work in this industry.

Career Growth – The industry is huge and you have plenty of room to grow in your career. You can start as an engineer and gather experience and insider knowledge to start offering your services in a managerial or strategic position.

Training Opportunities – Most of the activities within the industry are specialized, which makes it unlikely for most candidates to gain relevant knowledge at school. In turn, this industry has developed high standards of induction training to grow and train the workforce they will employ later.

In addition to induction training, these companies also conduct ongoing training to keep the workforce up-to-date with current laws and regulations.

Requirements for Working in Marine Transportation

Like any other trade, different jobs within the marine transport industry require different academic histories, skills, and experience history. Engineering jobs require you to have at least a bachelor’s degree and it’s better if you get a more advanced degree of master’s or PhD level.

You may also need to show some experience in the field. Because the industry is highly specialized, you will be required to get an internship first to launch your career here. Be prepared to take academic advancement as a continuous part of your job in the marine industry.

Don’t forget that the best paying jobs in marine transportation always prioritize specialized skills over general engineering or managerial background.

You also have to enjoy optimal health. This industry requires reasonable stamina from the employees to survive its complex job environment. You should be mentally and physically strong to meet the challenges posed by the industry both in water and on the port.

Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation

1- Marine Engineer

Marine Engineer
Source: owlguru.com

Marine engineers are tasked with the design and construction of ships for voyages. They have to plant these vessels according to the nature of the job, the waters they will travel, and the burden they will carry. Commercial marine operations are just one industry where the services of these engineers are needed.

Plus, they are counted among the best-paying jobs in integrated oil companies. Interestingly, marine engineers are demanded in other industries as well.

So, don’t be surprised if you are invited as an engineer in the oil and gas sector. Instead, ask yourself if oilfield services equipment is a good career path for you or not.

Their salary ranges between $50,000 and $150,000 a year.

2- Shipbuilding Engineer

Shipbuilding Engineer
Source: ifs.com

Shipbuilding engineers are different from marine engineers in their scope of work. Marine engineers design and build the ship from scratch. They have to build different parts of the ship and complete the design by assembling them.

Shipbuilding engineers only have to procure the ship’s parts that are included in the design and assemble them. They do not manufacture these parts in a power plant.

They earn an annual income between $50,000 and $110,000.

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3- Marine Architect

Marine Architect
Source: marineinsight.com

Marine architects work with marine engineers in the design and construction of ships. Although their job touches the more technical area of planning a vessel, they are more focused on the aesthetics of the job. Their naval counterparts are skilled in making the ship efficient for combat.

When they specialize in designing combat-efficient ships, they are called naval architects.

Their average salary remains at $90,000 and it ranges between $50,000 and $140,000.

4- Marine Surveyor

Marine Surveyor
Source: informaconnect.com

As the name suggests, they survey the vessel to detect flaws and shortcomings so they are serviced before the journey. We can say they are responsible for ensuring safety standards for the ship, preventing it from avoiding accidents.

These surveyors earn between $40,000 and $100,000 per year depending on their experience level and the area in which they serve.

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5- Ship Superintendent

Ship Superintendent
Source: marineinsight.com

A ship superintendent has similar responsibilities to that of a marine surveyor. As a ship superintendent, you will be responsible to check repairs done on the vessel.

You do it every time after repairs are conducted. This task recurs whenever the ship is ready for the journey. The ship superintendent must approve the ship for the next voyage.

These executives are paid an average annual salary of $130,000. Depending on your experience, you can earn between $100,000 and $160,000 a year.

6- Port Engineer

Port Engineer
Source: freepik.com

These engineers are responsible for managing and maintaining the port’s operations. They check the ships and ensure they are in proper working condition. These technicians will also oversee the port’s operations and look for and suggest ways for improvement.

They will ensure that all the ships fulfill the safety standards set forth by the marine laws. In the end, they may suggest ways to improve the budget by introducing technology that helps with cost-cutting.

You can see that these engineers have to work on the port only and they do not accompany the crew on voyages.

Their median salary stands at $71,000.

7- Port Captain

Port Captain
Source: careertrend.com

A lot of work of a port captain overlaps with that of a port engineer but the former executive oversees more general issues than the latter.

A port captain looks after all the preparations of a ship when it’s ready for the journey – not just technical stuff. He also considers the crew preparation and ship schedules.

Captains have to base the port schedule on the weather and coordinate with the ship owners and maintenance technicians to let the ship sail.

These captains make an average salary of $76,000 annually. This income can go up to $134,000 with the right qualifications and experience.

8- Vessel Operator

Vessel Operator
Source: herald.wales

Port captains work alongside vessel operators. The latter of the two executives is responsible for coordinating with different parties involved in preparing the ship for sailing and actual sailing.

They have to hold meetings with crew members, contractors, agents, and stevedores. They also work with the port engineer to receive recommendations for maintenance and update of the ship.

You can see that their job is mostly non-technical and managerial. This task is based mostly on the experience of the executive rather than their academics.

They are paid between $30,000 and $51,000 in annual salary.

9- Marine Pilot

ship captain
Source: cnn.com

Marine pilots have a tough job that they perform on the vessel during the journey. They have to take the ship into the port and out of it.

They also have to attend to and manage the vessel’s navigation during difficult times in dangerous waters.

To accomplish this task, these pilots must have a thorough understanding of the operations of their vessel. Also, they should have a deep understanding of the waters in which they are traveling.

This job pays hourly and the rate varies according to the experience level. Typical hourly rates range between $40 and $80 for these pilots. Eventually, it translates into an annual income of $73,000 and $120,000 when we account for hours worked and vacations.

10- Maritime Lawyer

Maritime Lawyer
Source: freepik.com

Maritime transport is one of the most used transport systems that is employed by businesses for shipping their products and raw materials. And the long distance involved in it makes this channel more complicated than other options.

A maritime lawyer can work with cargo management agencies, businesses, or banks to deal with different legal issues around insurance law, contract law, and environmental law.

They often need expertise in international maritime laws around these topics.

The average annual earning of these lawyers stands at $145,000.

Note that this value represents basic salary. Bonuses are additional earnings these executives receive as part of their job.

11- Radio Technician

Radio Technician
Source: freepik.com

Communication is vital for the safety and survival of a ship. A radio technician is responsible for designing the ship’s broadcasting system and installing and maintaining it.

The design step also requires the technician to select and maintain the equipment that is most suitable for the radio program of the vessel. They also conduct regular checks to ensure that the equipment is fit to use when the ship is sailing.

Radio technicians earn a median salary of $50,000 a year. Their salary lies in the range of $47,000 and $71,000.

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12- Marine Service Manager

Marine Service Manager
Source: freepik.com

As the name suggests, a marine service manager is tasked with servicing and maintenance of a ship. This servicing can be conducted at the port or while sailing.

The manager will also coordinate with the owner or operator of the ship about the vessel’s current condition. They may have to procure equipment and material to complete every servicing job.

Also, they have to recommend upgrades to the owner to keep the ship compatible with updated safety requirements.

13- Marine Technician

Marine Technician
Source: chronicleonline.com

While a service manager will conduct a ship safety and maintenance check and carry out the maintenance work, a marine technician is focused on electrical and plumbing work within the vessel.

They have to keep different equipment on the vessel in good working condition. Plus, when necessary, they also upgrade the existing system to meet modern standards of storage and transportation on the ship.

As part of their job, they make a part of the ship’s crew and travel when necessary.

Their salary fluctuates between $36,000 and $51,000 per year.

14- Shipping Broker

Transportation Managers
Source: ziprecruiter.com

Just like any other broker in any industry, a shipping broker acts as an intermediary. You may have considered previously that investment bankers brokers service a good career path because you wanted to maximize your return on your time. Banking and investment brokerage is not the only lucrative career.

Shipping brokerage is one of the most rewarding careers if you have successfully built the right network. In fact, you can count it among the best-paying jobs in the capital goods industry.

Shipping brokers build their careers around their knowledge about the ships and their most in-demand features. Plus, they have strong communication and networking skills. These two skill sets allow them to earn a premium commission on every sale they accomplish.

We can see that the nature of work is ad hoc and the value of your network will determine your annual income. Mostly, ship brokers earn between $10,000 and $432,000 in a year. The average income stands at $62,000 annually.

15- Shipping Freight Broker

Shipping Freight Broker
Source: freepik.com

Shipping freight brokers intermediate transactions between businesses who want to forward their freight and ship owners or managers. This job is one of the best-paying jobs in basic industries.

As a shipping freight broker, you have to coordinate with international businesses and ship owners. You will suggest to the clients the right ship for their journey and connect the two parties.
These executives earn an income of $57,000 every year.

Take Away

These were the 15 best paying jobs in the marine transportation industry. You must have noticed that most of these jobs serve commercial marine services and they are focused more on the engineering and technical aspects of the job. But some roles are taken up by non-engineers as well.

Luckily, you don’t need to be an engineer if you want to pursue the highest pay in this industry. Brokerage – especially shipping brokerage – is the highest paying job and it doesn’t need you to be an engineer.

But also note that almost all the jobs available in this industry require you to have extensive knowledge of the vessel and the water in which it will sail.

So, if you are interested in working in this industry, you must learn more about ships, their technical features, and the environmental conditions that help them travel safely.

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