Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation

best jobs in marine transportation

Are you wondering whether considering jobs in marine transportation is worthwhile? Do you know that a lot of transportation methods are known for the carriage of goods and passengers from one location to another? However, the most suitable and easiest way of conveying goods and people worldwide, from one nation to another, is Marine Transportation.

If you’re in search of a unique profession with sea proximity as a job demand, marine transportation might be an excellent option for you. 

The responsibilities in this field call for specialized expertise and can be challenging, but the pay is handsome.

In this post, we will analyze all you need to know about marine transportation, and the top or best-paying jobs available in marine transportation, alongside their respective duties.

What is Marine Transportation?

Marine Transportation, also known as maritime transportation or waterborne transportation is a method of transportation that involves moving people and their goods through waterways. This form of transportation plays a very vital role in the transportation of goods and services that take place worldwide. Moving goods through waterways has been a significant means in facilitating the conveyance of goods from the period of time-worn seafarers to our present time of container ships, globally. 

Are Jobs In Marine Transportation a Good Career Path?

If you are wondering if this profession is worthwhile, the simple answer is Yes!

Moreso, especially individuals who have a genuine love for the water, dream about exploring the ocean world and would like to tour ports all over our universe – while getting paid to do so.

In addition, there are marine transportation roles and professions with proximity to your home.

This opportunity is suitable for individuals who don’t want to travel long distances or want to have the choice to change their career path to land-locked areas without having to leave marine transportation.

Criteria Used In Selecting The Best Jobs in Marine Transportation 

With the variety of jobs available in marine transportation, it can be demanding to filter out the best jobs. However, a recent survey by the US Bureau of Labour Statistics shows that if the average income earned for a job in marine transportation is higher than the national average, this depicts that it is a rewarding career choice.

Below are the factors considered to select the jobs:

1. Salary range: The type of jobs considered has a minimum average salary of $80,000 per annum, according to the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and industry reports.

2. Job openings: For a job to be considered as best, it must be in high demand and have huge growth prospects.

3. Education requirements: Best jobs in marine transportation require a bachelor’s degree or higher, or certain training and certifications, based on BLS education demands and industry reports.

4. Industrial acknowledgment: The selected jobs have a high reputation and respect within the marine transportation sector, based on industry awards, recognition programs, and professional associations. Moreso has high job satisfaction ratings. 

5. Opportunities for career advancement: The jobs evaluated have clear paths for career development and professional advancement. And above all, has high job security.

Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation

Here, we’ll be discussing in detail the top best-paying marine jobs, the main duties of each role, and their salary expectations.

1) Marine Biologist

Average salary: $64,650

This is one of the most popular roles in the list. Marine biologists study the water body including the oceans’ plants, animals, and present conditions.

Now, you might begin to imagine how this relates to marine transportation, but it’s crucial to comprehend how the waterways work. Research from marine biologists can help legislation and laws that govern the marine transportation industry.

2) Marine Ship Superintendent

Average salary: $72,785

The term “superintendent” might first sound to you as an authority in a public school district. But in this case, we are referring to a ship superintendent in marine transportation. The responsibility of a marine superintendent can’t be overemphasized in the industry.

These people are in charge of the logistics of the crew, goods, docking decisions, and more. Alternatively, they’re the leasing personnel for everything that has to do with a major vessel.

3) Marine Surveyor

Average salary: $75,256

One of the important roles of marine surveyors is making sure that all vessels are in good working condition. This entails inspections on the ship or even evaluating certain parts of the boat.

Furthermore, a marine surveyor supervises and maintains machinery, ship, electrical setup, gas, and cargo on the vessel, ensuring they are in good shape. Moreso, they are usually employed to assist with boat supervision before making a ship purchase. They also finalize inspections before or after a trip, and supervision insurance claims.

4) Marine Engineer

Average salary per annum: $93,000

Their duties entail creating, constructing, testing, and fixing boats, ships, underwater automobiles, offshore areas, and drilling equipment. Moreover, the help of marine engineers is sometimes required in the energy sector for crucial tasks. They also inspect, maintain, and repair ships, and bunker oil, and plan and keep records of activities that occur.

5) Marine Architect and Naval Architect

Average salary: $79,297

Their role is similar to other architects. They are in charge of designing, structuring, and planning marine vessels. Marine architects are majorly focused on the technical parts of boat construction or reconstruction.

6) Marine Service Department Manager

Average Salary – $62,000

They are responsible for all various forms of tasks that involve rebuilding, restoring, preparing, or upgrading Marine fleet instruments.

Furthermore, they are also known as  “boat mechanics” in charge of every single part of a vessel. This is to make sure that the boat is shaped and seaworthy. 

Their role is sometimes demanding, at the same time captivating – especially for those who cherish problem-solving and are adept with their hands.

7) Radio Technicians

Median Salary – $71,000

They are the brain box in marine transportation logistics. Radio tech doesn’t only work to design and install radio communication technology, but also works to operate technology, too.

Additionally, it isn’t a thing of surprise for radio technicians to be marine transportation professionals. This is because they are charged with maintaining and upgrading this type of tech. Moreso, they are in charge of everything that has to do with radio tools, safeguarding instruments, and making repairs.

8) Shipbuilding Engineer

Median Salary – $78,000

The need for shipbuilding engineers is growing. And for good reason, the process involved in modern shipbuilding techniques is becoming more and more complex. When developing ocean-going boats worth millions of dollars that serve as the foundation of a maritime transportation enterprise, it is impossible to take shortcuts.

Engineers who specialize in shipbuilding collaborate with full engineering teams to design and build maritime vessels. Obtaining a job in this sector requires completing a four-year degree program with an engineering concentration. Before promoting or recruiting individuals for senior positions in this industry, many firms like to see at least a few years of work experience “in the field.”

9) Water Transportation Workers

Average Salary: $62,000

Employees involved in water transportation operate and maintain nonmilitary vessels. Moreso, making sure that both cargo and people are safe is part of their duties. Tankers carrying fuel and other liquids, large deep-sea container ships carrying manufactured goods, bulk carriers carrying coal, iron ore, and other heavy items, and other maritime firms also use their services.

Among the several kinds of personnel involved in water transportation are captains, mates, pilots, sailors, ship engineers, marine boilers, and motorboat drivers.

10) Crane Operator

Average Salary: $38,000 – $45,000 per annum

Tower or bridge cranes are operated by crane operators. and are mostly required in construction firms. Their job is to transport heavy loads of construction materials to locations with other staff members to maintain a secure work environment. They guarantee that loads are transported accurately and solely to the extent necessary to meet operational requirements for weight capacity.

11) Marine Welder

Median Salary – $80,000

The welding industry is now one of the most in-demand industries in the world. Moreover, one of the highest-paying job paths in this industry is marine welders, who specialize in welding boats, ships, or cabins.

Furthermore, it’s difficult enough to weld on dry soil already, let alone welding on a boat or ship as it is rolling out on the ocean. The highest compensation of any welders in the world now goes to marine welders, some of whom are even qualified to weld underwater and on shipbuilding and offshore machinery.

Note that a high school diploma or even simply a talent and interest in marine welding might be enough to pursue this job. Also, marine welders who want to operate underwater often get scuba diving certification to make the “big box” marine welders.

12) Marine Painter

Median Salary – $45,000

While painting maritime transportation ships may not seem like the most fascinating activity ever, it is much more significant than just repainting these ships and their equipment.

A marine vessel painter will shield it from the elements, particularly salt water. This process prevents the vessels from rusting and prevents them from becoming worthless. 

These experts have extensive training in the use of specialized spray equipment, unique paint supplies, unique prep materials, and much more. Marine painting is indeed another complex field.

Nonetheless, there is always employment in this sphere of expertise. Every naval craft needs ship painters almost every time.

13) Naval Architect

Median Salary – $76,000

Naval architects aren’t just in charge of creating brand-new vessels, ships, and military hardware, but it is often a significant portion of their job description.

Aside from the aforementioned, naval architects will collaborate with other marine engineers, port engineers, and ship crews to devise the most effective and efficient means of constructing marine vessels and the relevant infrastructure.

The world’s most innovative and stunning oceangoing vessels are created by naval engineers, who are experts in their fields and use powerful computer systems to design and construct these ship blueprints. They also strive to combine safety and form in the process.

14) Shipwright

Median Salary – $42,000

Nowadays, nearly all shipwright professionals begin their careers in marine shipbuilding programs or by working directly under a master shipwright to get firsthand knowledge of the ins and outs of the industry.

Shipwright specialists nearly usually take on apprentices of their own as soon as they become masters of the art themselves. Shipwright apprenticeships often span a couple of years (we’re talking for, five, or even longer).

While shipwrights are often thought of as carpenters who solely work on ships, they have a variety of other duties. To make the boats they are in charge of as efficient as possible, they collaborate closely with the rest of the ship’s infrastructure crew, suggest improvements and repairs, and typically have some technical experience under their belts.

15) Port Engineer

Average salary: $93,009

Another notable category of engineer in the maritime transportation sector is the port engineer. You have probably seen some of the work of port engineers if you have ever been to a port or seen a boat dock.

Ensuring the structural soundness and safety of ports is the job of a port engineer. This often indicates that port engineers operate on land or at the port rather than aboard the actual ship.

16) Ship Captain

Average salary: $98,330

All events occurring inside a ship are within the captain’s jurisdiction. Apart from this, they also make sure the ship complies with all laws, rules, and regulations related to marine affairs and mechanical systems.

Being the ship’s master and crew member means a lot of responsibilities. Pay often reflects this as a consequence. You need a particular license to perform this function.

Skills Needed For Jobs in Marine Transportation?

You’ll need a strong work ethic and a genuine enthusiasm for working and living on the ocean, to start.

Secondly, you’ll need to be in good physical condition or ready to lose weight quickly. Many of these professions are hard, chilly, and demanding; they become considerably more difficult when your physical condition isn’t allowing you to keep up.

Lastly, a minimum degree of problem-solving ability is required of all participants in these initiatives. Every single minute of marine transportation work has the potential to go wrong, thus fast thinkers will see a huge growth in their career chances.


In a nutshell, taking a career in marine transportation provides excellent compensation, with many opportunities to earn six figures yearly, or even more. Remarkably, a college degree is not a must for any of these well-paying and highly responsible jobs in maritime transportation, so anybody can get their foot in the door and pursue an interesting career in this field.

Ultimately, occupations and opportunities in maritime transportation will always be available as long as commodities and people need to be carried across our planet’s waters.

That will not be changing anytime soon. Indeed, these professions seem to be in high demand at the moment and should keep expanding annually for the foreseeable future.


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