Is Marine Transportation A Good Career Path? (12 Best Paying Jobs)

Last Updated on August 29, 2022 by

If you seek a career that’s fun, adventurous, and demands a lot of traveling, marine transportation jobs are worth considering. The marine sector offers a range of opportunities for employees to work on ship decks and land.

You can choose your career in the marine transportation industry based on your interest and enjoy excellent pay with long vacations.

Many marine transportation jobs are available in different sectors of this industry. You can get a job as an engineer, architect, welder, etc., based on your skills and interests. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best-paying jobs in marine transportation.

What is Marine Transportation?

The maritime transportation industry involves transporting goods, commodities, and people from one location to another through different marine channels. The primary raw material transport method is sea transport, but various other channels exist.

Employees in this industry are responsible for supervising and ensuring the safe transportation of goods and people and supervising marine operations. Most maritime careers demand a bachelor’s degree in marine transportation.

Is Marine Transportation A Good Career Path?

Marine jobs are excellent for those looking for a career that allows traveling and is full of adventures. The industry offers excellent pay and long holidays up to four months a year. That means you can spend time with your family and save money while working. You also don’t need to pay tax on your income.

Besides, the marine industry is growing and will keep generating more opportunities since most goods are transported via seas and other waterways. It is one of the highest paying transportation jobs.

You can work as a naval architect, ship safety officer, ship security officer, shipbuilding engineer, vessel operator, port engineer, etc. So, the marine transportation industry is a good career path.

What Major Is Marine Transportation?

Bachelor’s in marine transportation is a four-year course that leads to a job in the maritime industry.

Further, marine transportation jobs require candidates to pursue various majors depending on the position they want to apply for. Some of the popular majors for getting a marine transportation job are as follows:

  • Accounting
  • International Business
  • Ocean Shipping
  • Logistics
  • Marketing
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Business Law
  • Maritime Law
  • Commercial Fishing

12 Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation

You can apply for several jobs in marine transportation, depending on your qualifications and interests. With the right educational qualifications, you can effortlessly get a land-based or ship-based job in marine transportation. Following is a list of the best-paying jobs in marine transportation.

1. Port engineer

Average salary: $92,722 per year

Port engineer jobs are among the best paying jobs in marine transportation. Port engineers are responsible for maintaining and supervising a ship’s technical parts and mechanical systems. They also ensure safety standards and rules are met.

They remain on the dock throughout the project to provide technical instructions to workers.

Some port engineer jobs require individuals to define the budget and research methods to reduce the operation cost while maintaining high performance. They may work in teams or individually and report the progress to the port supervisor.

2. Marine engineer

Average salary: $79,976 per year

Marine engineer jobs are among the best paying jobs in marine transportation for those seeking a position in the engineering aspects of shipbuilding.

The daily responsibilities of marine engineers involve researching, designing, creating, and building new marine vessels, like board ships, steering ships, international ship, cruise ships, etc., or redeveloping the existing ones.

They create prototypes and designs and also monitor the vessels after construction.

Marine engineers having a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering can earn more than other degree holders. Additionally, you can also work with the military after pursuing training at a military school.

3. Sailing master

Average salary: $98,113 per year

Sailing master jobs are one of the prominent positions in the maritime industry. It is also among the best-paying jobs in marine transportation and a not-an-easy-to-get position. You need adequate training, skills, experience, and certification to work as a sailing master.

The primary role of sailing masters is to ensure the vessel’s safe operation and that the marine rules are met. They identify the ship’s path, provide instructions to the crew members, and handle the cargo and passenger loading and unloading.

4. Marine superintendent

Average salary: $84,351 per year

A marine superintendent is a professional responsible for ensuring that the vessels’ repairs are conducted properly in the dry dock. Ship superintendent jobs are one of the best-paying jobs in marine transportation and involve monitoring and supervising the repair project in the naval shipyards.

The ship superintendent identifies the repairs required and stays in touch with businesses that perform the repairs. They set the required repair budget and check the vessel quality and its seaworthiness after repair.

5. Marine surveyor

Average salary: $74,448 per year

Marine surveyors check every aspect of the vessel to ensure that it is seaworthy and up to code. They monitor the loading and unloading of ship cargo and prepare inspection reports of the vessels.

As a marine surveyor, you will also be responsible for conveying findings to the managers or ship owners.

Most tasks of marine surveyors are set in the outdoor environment. Additionally, the job involves extensive traveling to supervise other marine vessels docked at different ports.

The job requires attention to detail since the marine surveyor will also be responsible for maintaining safety standards.

6. Dock worker

Average salary: $45,526 per year

If you have a high school diploma, dock worker jobs are among the best paying jobs in marine transportation for you! Dock workers are responsible for ship maintenance, detecting irregularities, fixing ships, and unmooring ships upon leaving.

They also keep records of misplaced or lost cargo.

Asa dock worker, you must be physically fit and have relevant training. You will also have to participate in training to learn how to operate heavy machinery.

7. Diving supervisor

Average salary: $68,426 per year

Diving supervisor jobs need you to be well-versed in handling power and hand tools. As a diving supervisor, most of your work will be under the water surface. You will be responsible for the safe diving operation and will also have to monitor the entire dive.

The diving supervisor is responsible for performing underwater tests, setting explosives, personnel management, and clicking pictures of marine life.

You will also have to manage the accidents occurring while diving. It is one of the best-paying jobs in marine transportation for those interested in diving.

8. Ship pilots

Average salary: $73,530 per year

Ship pilot jobs are undoubtedly the best paying jobs in marine transportation, but they require you to have work experience and a certification course of two years. You also need to obtain a license from the US coast guard to work as a ship pilot.

Ship pilots supervise crew members and ensure that the vessel safely reaches its destination. They monitor and track records of the vessel’s maintenance. They also define the ship’s navigation path and prepare the crew for a crisis.

9. Cargo ship workers

Average salary: $70,609 per year

The cargo ship worker position is ideal if you are interested in cargo ship jobs. These are the best marine transportation jobs in cargo ships.

They involve different positions based on your qualifications and responsibilities. You can land a job as an engineer, marine mechanic, electrician, etc.

The responsibilities of cargo ship workers vary depending on their job roles. But typically involve tasks like keeping the deck safe and clean, supervising the deck and reporting problems, and overseeing the ship’s operations.

Most entry-level positions in this field begin from being an able seaman and move on to senior roles with experience.

10. Maritime lawyers

Average salary: $86,514 per year

If you are a law school graduate, maritime lawyer jobs are the best marine transportation jobs. Initially, you can work in an entry-level position as an associate to an experienced attorney and move on to a senior role after gaining experience.

As a lawyer, you are responsible for handling the legal matters of marine transportation. You need to have knowledge of maritime regulations and suggest transportation solutions without violating the laws of different countries.

You also need to research and review contracts and handle personal injury claims.

11. Commercial Divers

Average salary: $53,490 per year

Commercial diver jobs are high-paying jobs in marine transportation ideal for those seeking a fun and adventurous career. To work as a commercial diver, you need to undergo specialized training and obtain a license and certificate for diving.

Commercial divers are responsible for providing all the information regarding the dive, including the dangers and medical problems that may occur after diving.

You must properly understand the emergency procedures involved in diving and complete the planned tasks. Commercial divers also need to ensure that the diving equipment is working correctly.

12. Admirals

Average salary: $53,974 per year

Admirals are professionals in the US navy and are obliged to follow commands of the highest ranking professionals like the chief or vice chief of naval operations.

They are in charge of coast guard operations. Admirals ensure safe and secure waterways throughout the US. They also supervise the activities of other military professionals and volunteers.

Is Marine Transportation a Seaman?

Yes. You can apply for various marine transportation jobs as a seaman, including able seaman, ordinary seaman, merchant marine offer, ship mate, boatswain, naval offer, and maritime training officer.

How Long is BS Marine Transportation?

BS in marine transportation is a four-year course. After completing this course, you can get a job in the marine service department as a marine deck officer or other positions in naval ships.

Is BS Marine Transportation Hard?

BS marine transportation trains you to fulfill the responsibilities as a ship deck officer on ships. So, you might find it challenging if you are not interested in the marine industry or working on ships. However, the course is not tough but requires you to be physically and mentally fit to handle your responsibilities.


That was our list of the best-paying jobs in the marine transportation industry.

However, this industry offers a diverse range of careers, including ship captains, boat builders, ship security officers, shipping freight brokers, marine service managers, naval architects, vessel operators, port security officers, marine technicians, etc.

Most careers require you to have a degree in marine engineering or marine transportation. Nevertheless, you can also begin an entry-level position without experience or training.

Leave a Comment