15 Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation | 2022

Image Source: Pexels by Ayca Aras

The United States provides one of the best paying jobs in marine transportation, thanks to its vast waterways and shipping industry. The continent is bordered on the east by the Atlantic ocean. The Gulf of Mexico is situated right in the southeast and in the west is the Pacific Ocean.

According to the American Maritime Partnership, the domestic maritime industry contributes $1.59 billion to the annual economy with over 7,100 industry jobs.

Best marine transportation jobs provide excellent pay, adventure, and enjoyment for professionals who love the call of the sea. If you’re one of those, then this article is for you. Below, you’ll find the best marine transportation possible jobs, pay rates, and qualifications.

What is Marine Transportation?

Marine transportation is a means of conveying products or persons by sea. It accounts for the biggest chunk of all goods delivered around the world.

What’s the Benefit of a Career in Marine Transportation?

High Wages

Aside from the beautiful sights and scenes of the sea, high pay from the best paying jobs in marine transportation makes it appealing.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for marine transportation jobs is $59,250 per year with $28.4 hourly pay.

Broad Career Path

Best paying jobs in marine transportation offer a variety of job opportunities. You can work as a ship’s captain or naval architect.

In addition, you can also choose to work in engineering, logistics management, and many more.

Flexible Work Code

For a number of reasons, you might dislike the idea of a 9-to-5 job. Maybe you feel caged or hate the thought of sitting in a cubicle.

The best marine transportation jobs keep you away from the traditional office workplace. You are free from official office dress codes.

Similarly, you will be spared the stress of staring at spreadsheets and other boring paperwork.

On-The-Job Training

One of the most interesting aspects of working in marine transportation is that it provides you with on-the-job training. Therefore, you might not need any academic qualifications to get an entry-level job. 

See also: 15 Best-Paying Jobs in Natural Gas Distribution | 2022

What Does it Take to Work Best Marine Transportation Jobs?

Education and Training

You might need a certificate or license for the best marine transportation jobs. However, some do not need any degree requirements for entry-level jobs.

But, getting a college degree in marine transportation will qualify you for better-paying jobs. Besides, going to a trade school can give you an upper hand.

There are different public and private marine transportation schools in the United States where you can enroll.


Many marine transportation jobs are physically demanding. Sometimes, the weather might be cold. Some environments can be dirty and dangerous.

If you can stand rough sea weather and stormy big waves, then you’re good to go. Ultimately you will need prolonged physical and mental health to survive marine transportation.

Prior Experience

You would need prior experience to get best paying jobs in marine transportation. Hence, you might getlike a summer job or internship as a deckhand on a ferry or fishing boat if you have zero experience.

In addition, friendship and networking are key to your success. Make friends with people who are in jobs that are similar to the one you’re considering.

15 Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation

The following are the best paying jobs in marine transportation in the US. This list covers a wide range of job opportunities, from entry-level positions to those requiring advanced degrees.

See also: 15 Best Paying Jobs in Consumer Non-Durables | 2022

1. Marine Data Scientist

A Marine Data Scientist studies the water and its interactions with the land. As a marine scientist, you analyze the sea environment. This includes animal and plant life.  However, your role in marine transportation is to use maritime data analytics to increase safety.

You will need a BS/BE degree in marine, earth science, or engineering discipline.

Marine Data Scientists earn $109,437 a year.

2. Marine Systems Engineer

A marine systems engineer is in charge of the readiness, operation, and maintenance of engineering systems. More so, you will oversee power generation and distribution.

As a marine systems engineer, you’ll maintain the ship’s service systems, damage control, and system integration. In the same way, you will guide a ship to its destination and overcome obstacles in the water.

To qualify for a marine systems engineer role, you would need a degree in marine engineering.

The typical pay for a marine systems engineer is $96,048 a year.

3. Marine Architect

A marine architect designs and oversees the construction and repair of marine vessels. Examples of such vessels include ships, barges, tugs, submarines, and dredges.

If you want to become a marine architect, first get a relevant engineering degree. In other words, you would complete a BEng or MEng in naval architecture. This will land you a salary of between $62,610 and $148,580 a year.

4. Marine Engineering Consultant

A Marine Engineering Consultant inspects and analyzes maritime incidents. You would need a degree in naval architecture, marine engineering, or any related field.

In addition, you can consult for legal, insurance, and corporate clients on marine-related issues. More so, you need to respond to customers. Your problem-solving skills should come in handy. For instance, you should be able to acknowledge the client’s concerns and provide quick solutions.

Indeed, a marine engineering consultant is one of the best paying jobs in marine transportation.

Aside from the good pay of $99.788 a year, you have the flexibility to work part time as a consultant.

If you decide to work part-time as a marine engineering consultant, see How Many Hours Is a Part-Time Job? | 2022

5. Shipbroker

A shipbroker is a middleman who negotiates deals between shipowners and charterers. Besides the middleman role, you also arrange the movement of goods between buyers and ship sellers.

It is equally interesting to note that shipbroking does not require an educational background. However, earning a diploma in shipbroking, trade, and finance can help make you a more competitive candidate for this best paying job in marine transportation.

Furthermore, you need to be an expert in the shipping industry. Develop your business and entrepreneurial skills. Be a client-centered person. On the whole, you have to be an excellent negotiator, team player, and influencer.

Shipbrokers earn an average of $72,660 a year.

6. Bosun

The Bosun is a senior deckhand who organizes deck operations and supplies. Bosun helps in carrying out various operations of the ship and also leads the crew department.

Generally, the role of bosun is one of the best paying jobs in marine transportation for high school diploma holders. Having relevant certifications is a plus.

Bosuns earn about $70,108 a year in the US.

7. Shipbuilding Engineer

A shipbuilding engineer builds big seagoing vessels out of steel, wood, and composites. You can decide to major in design, fabrication, or skilled trade. You can also major in management as a shipyard supervisor.

Shipbuilding is one of the best marine transportation jobs with a salary of $101,800 a year. It gives you the satisfaction of utilizing your craft, working with a team, and creating marine vessels.

If you are interested in this career, gain some training in shipping technology, marine craft design, or construction. With experience, you might even become a highly paid surveyor or superintendent.

8. Oil Driller

An oil driller is a crew member on offshore oil or gas rigs. Your duties are to set up, operate and maintain the equipment for drilling oil and wells. Also, you supervise the other members of the drilling team.

The minimum requirement to become an oil driller is a high school diploma. However, geologists and loggers need at least a bachelor’s degree.

Oil drillers can earn up to $73,622 on average a year.

9. Ordinary Seaman (OS)

We included the ordinary seaman as one of the best marine transportation jobs because it is an apprentice to becoming an Able Seaman.

An Ordinary Seaman is the lowest rank of a ship’s deck crew. It is an entry-level position and comprises the main labor force. Your duties can include sweeping, washing, buffing, and painting the deck.

In addition, you will perform maintenance on the gear, run and ring gear, and launch and recover lifeboats and life rafts. The pay for an Ordinary Seaman is $36,556 a year.

10. Shipfitter

Shipfitter is responsible for fabricating and laying metal for building and repairing ships. You can work for private companies as well as naval shipyards.

The duty includes building, maintaining, and repairing small boats such as towboats and tugboats, as well as container ships, icebreakers, and ocean liners.

Generally, a ship fitter should hold a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Shipfitters earn up to $ 52,237 a year.

11. Tool Pusher

The toolpusher works on a ship as a rig and personnel supervisor. Your duties include managing client and company goals. In addition, you are responsible for productivity and safety.

Toolpusher monitors performance and progress. They oversee attendance issues and ensure that the crew has the necessary tools and supplies.

The minimum entry requirement for a toolpusher is a high school diploma.

The average salary of a Too Pusher is $62,748.

12. Tugboat Captain

A Tugboat Captain hires and trains the boat crew. The duties include overseeing the boat’s operations and communicating with other vessels. They are also required to ensure that all functions are carried out as they should.

You would need maritime training and a license to get the best paying jobs in marine transportation as a tugboat captain.

Tugboat Captain earns up to $52,943 a year.

13. Shipping Freight Broker

A Freight Broker is a transportation intermediary between shippers and carriers. The broker job is one of the best marine transportation jobs because you can work even if you don’t own the cargo being shipped or the vehicles being used to ship it.

With good knowledge of the industry, you can succeed as a freight broker. For instance, getting prior experience as a trucker or logistics manager in freight and logistics puts you on the map.

Also, you can attain a freight broker training school to boost your qualification.

Freight Brokers earn up to $67,908 a year.

14. Barge Engineer

A barge engineer is someone who manages the barge engineering staff. The main duty is to keep the barge’s systems in working order.

15. Cargo Engineer

The best marine transportation jobs will not end without mentioning the cargo engineer. The cargo engineer handles cargo on board ships. You will need good technical skills to be able to maintain all deck and cargo-related machinery.

Finally, a bachelor’s degree in any marine engineering field, as well as a certificate of competency in any marine engineering, is required for a cargo engineer job.

Your average salary will be about $90,529 a year.


The best paying jobs in marine transportation offer high wages, opportunities for career advancement, and working with a close group of people.

If you love the idea of outdoor adventure, sailing on the water, and travelling from coast to coast, then this might be the right career for you. Remember to pack the stamina to face occasional rough sea weather and stormy big waves in your travelling bag.


What is the highest paying job in transportation?

5 highest paying jobs in transportation are:

  • Hazmat Truck Driver
  • Ice Road Truck Driver
  • Oversized Load Hauler
  • Owner Operator Driver
  • Tanker Hauler

Is marine transportation a good career path?

Yes, marine transportation can be a good career if you love the idea of outdoor adventure, sailing on the water, and traveling from coast to coast.

The best paying jobs in marine transportation offer high wages, opportunities for career advancement, and working with a close group of people.

How much is the salary of BS Marine Transportation?

The average salary of a bachelor of science in marine transportation is $64,441 per year.

What marine jobs make a lot of money?

Top 10 marine jobs that make a lot of money are:

  • Marine Data Science
  • Systems Engineers
  • Marine Systems Engineering Officer
  • Naval Architect
  • Marine Engineering Consultant
  • Oil Driller
  • Tool Pusher
  • Marine Engineer
  • Cargo Engineer
  • Barge Engineer



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like