Is Marine Transportation A Good Career Path? | 2022

Is marine transportation a good career path

Is Marine Transportation a Good Career Path? Absolutely, marine transportation is a good career path because it offers high starting wages, opportunities for quick career advancement, working with a close group of people, and travel opportunities for those who love the call of the sea.

Marine transportation has long been considered one of the smoothest modes of transportation. It also facilitates more than four-fifths of the world’s trade and exchange. Every year, this amounts to around 10 billion tonnes of containers and freight.

So, is marine transportation a good career path? To learn more, keep reading.

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What is Marine Transportation

Marine transportation is basically the actions involved in moving people and commercial items from one location to another using sea vessels through water ways (oceans, seas, rivers). So, sea transports 90% of all product exports between the United States and other nations.

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Example of Marine Transportation

1. Cargo Ship

Cargo ships are used to transport goods and materials from one port to another. General cargo ships have a limited number of holds, whereas cargo container ships can accommodate large cargoes.

2. Roro Ship

RoRo ships are generally used to move cars. Because of their convenience and efficiency, they are one of the most popular modes of sea transport in the marine transportation business.

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3. Bulk Carriers

Bulk carriers are boats used to transport wood chips, grains, ore, and other items that are dumped into the hold rather than being stored in a container within it.

These bulk carriers play an important role in the marine transportation sector. Unlike other modes of sea transport, bulk carriers typically do not have any rigging installed overhead.

4. Barges

Barges are cargo-carrying vessels designed to transport passengers or goods through waterways.

In other words, barges are designed for cargo transportation.

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Is Marine Transportation A Good Career Path?

Yes, a career path in marine transportation can be highly rewarding since it provides a decent salary, a variety of career progression opportunities, and the extra benefit of traveling across the world, delivering freights and goods and putting a smile on the faces of community people.

Marine transportation gives you the opportunity to start your career from the bottom and work your way up as you acquire experience. You get to travel all over the world and experience the open seas, which can be really exciting.

While doing so, you will encounter people of many races and cultures, not to mention all the delicious delicacies from across the world!

Working in this field will provide you with prospects like:

  • Opportunities for rapid professional progression
  • The opportunity to collaborate with a close-knit group of people
  • Possibilities for travel
  • Adventure
  • Professional adaptability
  • Outdoor living space

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What are the Benefits of the Marine Transportation Career Path?

There are several advantages to working in maritime transportation. Aside from the excellent income and health benefits, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Constant access to fresh areas you have never seen before.
  • Continue to progress beyond your current position.
  • Working in a family-oriented work atmosphere with the same shipmates.
  • The thrill of being on the water.
  • Getting some fresh air while living on the wide sea.

The Pros Of A Marine Transportation Career Path

Outstanding Wages

Compared to many other job options, marine transport employees have good salaries. You will spend less on food and housing while at sea because these expenses are already covered, allowing you to put your money into more worthwhile endeavors.

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It Offers You A Special Work Experience

Today, a lot of employment is 9 to 5, and they require spending the majority of the day seated in an office. The marine sector also offers a distinctive working atmosphere in a constantly changing setting, breaking up this monotony.

Additionally, it implies that you will interact with individuals of many nationalities at work and have experiences that you would not have in any other line of employment.

You Can Travel The World Thanks To Marine Transportation!

A career in the marine business gives you the opportunity to travel to many places across the world, despite the fact that contemporary ships have busy work schedules and spend less time in port.

So, one of the main benefits of working in this field is that it exposes you to the outside world and gives you the chance to experience various cultures and delectable cuisines from around the globe.

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Long Vacations

Spending a lot of time away from your family while you work in the maritime transportation sector. This need not be a drawback, though, as it is made up for by a lengthy holiday time.

Seafarers are permitted to take up to four months off each year. Therefore, you may use the extra time off to strengthen your relationships with your loved ones.

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The Cons Of A Marine Transportation Career Path

It May Be Risky

An injury to a crew member, while they are working aboard a ship, is quite possible.

This may occur, for instance, if a crew member slips and falls on a wet area, suffers an injury when carrying heavy objects, or simply gets seasick.

As they sail on the open sea, marine transport employees are also very much in danger from piracy. This makes them vulnerable to pirates, who may board the ships, kidnap the crew, and demand payment, as is typically the case.

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Increased Illness Risk

Since you spend a lot of time in a small area, infections can spread quickly among the crew, which might be dangerous if they can’t get medical attention.

For instance, if the water system is polluted, the entire crew runs the danger of falling sick and losing the ability to control the ship.

Limited Contact With Family and Friends

You might only have a very narrow window of opportunity to contact friends and family back home while working at sea due to the demanding work hours. This can, however, put a strain on families and relationships.

Prospect For Marine Transportation Career Path

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the median annual wage for water transportation workers was $62,760 in May 2021.

Employment in this field is expected to grow 12 percent from 2022 to 2030 which is faster than the national average for all occupation.

In fact, about 8,400 job openings are expected to be available in marine transportation.

As a result, ship captains and motorboat operators are among the jobs with high development potential in the marine transportation business.

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Skills Needed in Marine Transportation

Although you may enter the sector with merely a high school certificate, many occupations require particular soft skills and credentials. Before seeking to work in maritime transportation, make sure you have the following skills:

  • Geography abilities are required to navigate your way to the shipment destination.
  • CPR and first aid skills are required.
  • Basic maintenance abilities are required to run the ship and travel to the goal.
  • Capable of operating a telecommunications system
  • Keep the cargo safe by properly sanitizing the ship (if transporting goods).
  • Maintain quality control throughout the shipping process.
  • When delivering tours to passengers on boat trips or cruises, good communication skills are required.

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How Much Can you Make From This Field?

According to the BLS, working in this industry ensures you a greater salary than in other sectors. The typical median annual wage for marine transportation in the United States is $62,760.

Those in the lowest 10 percent made $30,490 while those in the highest 10 percent made 133,620.

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What Are the Career Opportunities in Marine Transportation?

There are several career options in marine transportation. They include;

  • Ship Captains
  • Port Engineers
  • Naval Architects 
  • Port Captains
  • Vessel Operators
  • Marine Surveyors
  • Ship Security Officers
  • Fishers
  • Deck Hands
  • Ship Fitters
  • Able Seamans
  • Ship Mates
  • Ship Superintendents
  • Marine Service Managers
  • Scuba Divers
  • Sailors
  • Waiters, etc

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7 Highest Paid Marine Transportation Career Path for Graduates

Listed below are the 7 highest pay in the marine transportation salary here in the United States.

#1: Ship Captain

Average salary: $81,640 Annually

The ship captain is in command of the crew and the sailor. He is in charge of navigating and maneuvering, as well as ensuring that the ship abides by national and international rules. He is merely the captain of the ship.

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#2: Ship Superintendent

Average salary: $89,101 Annually

Ship superintendents are in charge of repairs. They keep an eye on and supervise the ship’s repairs. They also enforce safety measures on board the vessel and manage the finances within their jurisdiction.

#3: Tool Pusher

Average salary: $81,006 Annually

As the site supervisor, the toolpusher supervises the drillers. He’s also in charge of administrative tasks including ordering and maintaining tools and supplies.

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#4: Maritime Surveyors

Average salary: $112,455 Annually 

Inspections are performed by maritime surveyors. They perform detailed surveys of the ship to guarantee that the vessels adhere to the appropriate standards and requirements.

#5: Oil Driller

Average salary: $74,000 Annually 

Oil drillers are in charge of drilling wells to extract oil and gas. In the oil drilling industry, they are senior personnel who manage the crew members. They work onshore and offshore, operating equipment on oil platforms.

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#6: Ship Superintendent

Average salary: $89,101 Annually 

Ship superintendents are in charge of repairs. They keep an eye on and supervise the ship’s repairs.

They also enforce safety measures on board the vessel and manage the finances within their jurisdiction.

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#7. Marine Systems Engineer

Average salary: $96,048 a year

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.


Entry-level positions in marine transportation do not have any educational requirements, however, companies favor applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree from a marine academy.

The U.S. Transportation Worker Identification Credential is required for all maritime transportation personnel operating aboard vessels flying the American flag.

Therefore, a Merchant Mariner Credential, which is available from the United States Coast Guard, is required by the Transportation Security Administration and by people who will be operating outside of U.S. waters.


What major is marine transportation?

The Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT) is a four-year undergraduate degree program that leads to a professional job as a marine deck officer in the maritime sector.

What is a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation?

The BS in Marine Transportation is a professional degree that focuses on the study of navigation, cargo handling, storage, operational safety, and care for people onboard ships.

What is the meaning of marine transportation?

Waterways and ports transport goods and people (for example, agriculture, oil and gas, automobiles, clothing, and appliances) (e.g., on ferries, cruise ships, and sightseeing vessels). It has far-reaching consequences for the Northeast, as well as nationally and internationally.

How much is the salary of Marine Transportation?

In the United States, the average marine transportation wage is $88,717 per year or $45.50 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at $75,000 per year, with most experienced individuals earning up to $117,701 per year.

Is Marine Transportation a seaman?

They may apply for the positions of ordinary seaman, able seaman, boatswain, third mate, second mate, officer-in-charge of a nautical watch, merchant marine officer, maritime education and training officer, Philippine coast guard officer, or naval officer.



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