best paying jobs in marine transportation

Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation: 4 Foundational Careers

When it comes to the best paying jobs in marine transportation, there are several different choices available. Some of these jobs are located on ships, while others are based on land.

Either way, you can expect to find a high demand for these jobs, which should make them very profitable for people with the right skills and experience. If you’re looking for a high paying job, consider becoming a shipfitter, ordinary seaman, or even a freight broker.

You can also learn how many jobs are available in capital goods here.

best paying job in marine transportation

Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation

Here are some of the best paying jobs in marine transportation:


A career as a shipfitter can be a lucrative option for those who have a passion for the sea. These employees get competitive pay and are reimbursed for all their expenses on board.

The job also allows for long vacations and saves you money while onboard. 90% of the world’s products and materials are transported through the oceans and seas. This means that these workers are in high demand, and the pay is commensurate.

A career as a shipfitter requires a high school diploma or a GED. The career field is vast, offering many different opportunities and requiring many different skills. It also offers the ability to pursue your passions without ever having to leave home.

Some of the other top-paying jobs in marine transportation include maritime law, maritime architecture, and journalism. The list goes on.

A career as a shipfitter is one of the most important in the marine transportation industry. In this position, you have the biggest responsibility for a ship’s movement and one issue.

You also need to have a solid knowledge of welding and riveting. Moreover, ship fitters also play a significant role in manufacturing a ship in a shipyard, and earn an average of $24,000 per year.

As a shipfitter, you will be responsible for maintaining the mechanical and structural integrity of a ship. You will also be responsible for maintaining the engine room machinery. If you have a strong mechanical background, you can work as a ship superintendent.

This job is one of the most responsible jobs at sea, and you will need to be educated to degree level to ensure your safety. If you are passionate about the marine transportation industry, a shipfitter can make up to $62,000 per year.

While a marine transportation job does not require a college degree, it is highly recommended to obtain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to become eligible for the higher-paying jobs.

Many marine transportation jobs require physical exertion and a high tolerance for boredom. For this reason, a bachelor’s degree is necessary for higher-paying positions. You may also wish to consider going to trade school to learn more about marine transportation.

Ordinary Seaman

An Ordinary Seaman is a civil service mariner who works for the U.S. Navy. They provide on-time logistics, strategic sealift, and specialized missions for the Navy.

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, there’s an increased need for security. An Ordinary Seaman can play a crucial role in the safety of shipments by being trained to spot suspicious activity and report it to management.

Those who decide to become an Ordinary Seaman will be assigned to a variety of types of ships for a variety of industries. Some of these sectors include fishing, exploration, oil, and environmental companies.

Common responsibilities of an Ordinary Seaman include anchoring and mooring duties, and maintaining the vessel’s condition and cleanliness. They also take care of all rope lines on board.

A candidate must pass a written examination and have 6 months or more of experience before they are eligible for the program. They must also be qualified to handle small arms.

An Ordinary Seaman can also earn an unlimited able seaman after three years of experience. A position as an Ordinary Seaman is one of the highest paying jobs in marine transportation. A successful candidate will also have the ability to earn a number of endorsements.

Another position in marine transportation is that of a captain. A captain is responsible for steering a ship and has training from a maritime academy. Their salary is usually high, ranging from $50,000 to $75,000 per year.

Another option is that of a boatswain. Boatswains are responsible for the maintenance of a vessel and deck crew. To get the job, they must be motivated and possess an understanding of maritime law.

An Ordinary Seaman is a lower-level crew member on a ship. They perform general maintenance, repair, sanitation, and upkeep of the Deck Department areas.

Some of these tasks include chipping, scaling, scraping, priming, and cleaning the ship’s decks, cargo gear, and emergency damage control gear. It’s also common to handle the ship’s engine.

Ship captain

best paying jobs in marine transportation

A job as a ship captain or chief officer is among the highest paid jobs in marine transportation. The average salary for a ship captain in 2022 is $80,970. The highest paid ship captains earned $138,620 per year, and the lowest paid ship captains earned $35,640.

The salary for a ship captain varies by location and type of vessel. In order to get a job as a ship captain, you must have experience at sea. Many people start out as a first officer or deckhand, before moving into a ship captain position.

Some people even start out in the military and then transition to commercial shipping.

There are several benefits to becoming a ship captain.

First, you will earn a competitive salary. As a ship captain, you’ll have the ability to travel the world for a living and work with people in many different countries. This job requires experience and training.

Secondly, you’ll have the opportunity to work in a dynamic environment, navigating large vessels. For this job, you’ll need to be a team player and have a good team of friends.

If you love working outdoors, a career as a ship captain may be perfect for you. The pay is high, and you’ll be able to work in a small team while making an important contribution to the world’s economy.

If you’re an adventurer, this job is also ideal for you. While you’ll be traveling from coast to coast, you’ll have the opportunity to travel across the ocean and experience rough seas.

To become a ship captain, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree or high school diploma, as well as a captain’s license. You can also get relevant experience as a deckhand, though most employers prefer you have a master’s degree before you begin the captain’s duties.

If you have the right educational background and a passion for your role, you can become a ship captain and make more than $150k per year.

shipfitter, ordinary seaman, ship captain

Freight broker

If you’re considering a career in marine transportation, freight brokers are among the highest-paid positions in the industry.

These brokers’ job description includes qualifying motor carriers, onboarding them, reviewing their operations and ensuring that they comply with legal requirements.

Aside from their day-to-day responsibilities, freight brokers are also required to participate in educational content publishing and supply chain industry associations. These activities show that a freight broker is committed to the industry.

A freight broker is in high demand today, as the eCommerce industry has grown rapidly. While most businesses cannot afford a full fleet of vehicles, they still require a reliable shipping partner.

Freight brokers act as a bridge between the two parties, connecting their processes and earning commissions. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that about 11 billion tons of freight is transported by truck every year.

Therefore, skilled freight brokers are needed to keep this industry moving.

Freight brokers act as the intermediary between shippers and carriers. They physically take possession of the cargo but no longer maintain control of it. Freight brokers help consolidate multiple small shipments and reorganize them for shipping.

Freight agents are independent contractors, small businesses or sole proprietors who work under the supervision of a licensed freight broker. These people earn upwards of $67,908 a year.

As the primary link between shippers and carriers, freight brokers facilitate the smooth handoff between the two parties and ensure safe delivery. Their high salaries are commensurate with the variety of duties they perform.

In addition to handling the logistics, freight brokers also help maintain long-term relationships with their carrier partners. They are one of the highest-paid marine transportation jobs, with a median salary of $60,000.

The average freight broker salary is approximately $60,000 a year, but a skilled freight broker can earn much more than that.

Another option for someone interested in careers in marine transportation is to become a shipbuilding engineer. This career path requires four years of study and requires advanced math and science skills.

The maritime industry is male-dominated, so a strong work ethic and a desire to work hard are important requirements for a career in this field. The most rewarding aspect of working in marine transportation is the fact that it can be very lucrative.