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How to Build a Career in the Top Paying Jobs at Sea

How to Build a Career in the Top Paying Jobs at Sea

Eve Jones

Have you ever wondered what some of the top paying jobs at sea are? If you’re considering finding entry level jobs for cargo ships or investigating other hot vacancies for seamen it’s only natural to wonder what level of pay you can expect. As with any industry, salary levels will normally be directly related to an employee or contractor's relevant education or training, their skill sets and their age and experience.

How to build a career in the top paying jobs at sea

For younger crew members taking their first steps on the career ladder, it would be unrealistic to expect a top level salary. But whether you’re looking for entry level maritime jobs with the aim of turning your first position into a high flying career, or are wondering which areas of the shipping industry you should be studying or training for, you may want to know what the top paying jobs at sea are.

There’s certainly no shame in considering salary as a factor when considering maritime jobs and career pathways. After all, most of the cargo ship jobs on a vessel can be physically and mentally demanding.

And let's be honest, very few of us are willing to work for peanuts!

red squirrel eating peanuts from a wooden feeder on the grass

The good news is that among the many hot vacancies for seamen to choose from, there are plenty that offer generous compensation, as well as a career that offers non-financial rewards in the form of fulfilment and job satisfaction.  

Seafarer training for jobs at sea

Of course, being the captain of a yacht is a job that is seen by many as one that comes with a high salary and enviable lifestyle. But there are plenty of other (more realistic and attainable!) roles with maritime careers salaries that will provide for a comfortable standard of living.

Read more: This is where to find the best seafarer jobs

Those who are wondering what maritime training and subjects to major in, and who have a leaning towards the technical side of things, could consider training to become a second, and subsequently, a chief engineer for example. In a nutshell the chief engineer of a vessel is the big boss of the technical department.

The position’s duties include making sure that the machinery in the engine room is in correct working order to facilitate a trouble-free voyage. It’s one of the maritime jobs that comes with great responsibility, but for the right person and someone who is willing to work their way up the engineering chain it could be a great career choice.

close up of heavy duty rusty chain with sun glowing though end link

Cargo ship jobs: chief mate

As we've already mentioned, salaries for maritime jobs will vary from role to role and depend on your experience, ability and you having the right qualifications. Another position that is one of the top paying maritime industry jobs is that of chief mate.

Second in command to the ship’s master (or captain), and assuming control in the latter’s absence, their responsibilities include supervising the deck crew and safeguarding the ship’s cargo operations.

The vessel’s security and safety also fall to the chief mate as do standing navigation watches and the welfare of the crew on board. Training deck cadets and crew alike on certain crucial aspects of life on board a ship such as search and rescue, general safety and firefighting is also in their remit.

Set your sights on becoming a ship's captain

Meanwhile, those who have their sights set on one of the top maritime jobs and, indeed, on one of the top paying maritime jobs, might want to look at the requirements for seafarers who want to eventually make the grade of ship's captain or master.

This high-grade licensed mariner has ultimate responsibility of, and command over, a vessel. The ship’s master earns their generous salary by assuming accountability for the efficient operation of their ship and the safety of its crew and cargo.

What does this entail? Everything from the vessel’s safe navigation, its security and seaworthiness, the cargo operations, overall management of the crew and even legal compliance.

Dream Big painted in white in black background

Martide can help you find hot vacancies for seamen

If you’re looking for maritime jobs and contracts in the maritime industry register an account with Martide today. We’ve helped everyone from new recruits to old sea hands find their ideal jobs at sea and we’ve a number of exciting positions to fill for all experience levels.

Plus for anytime, anywhere access, don't forget to download our free mobile app either from Google Play or the Apple Store today!