10 Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation (2024 Updates)

10 Best Paying Jobs in Marine Transportation (2024 Updates)


There are many different jobs in the marine transportation industry, from captains and lawyers to pilots and engineers.

This article discusses the best paying jobs in Marine Transportation and explores opportunities for those seeking a lucrative career in the industry.

These jobs are well-paying, secure, and offer opportunities to work in a variety of locations throughout the United States and the world. The majority of these jobs are found in major ports and on ships, but with opportunities for advancement as well. 

best paying jobs in marine transportation

You may also specialize in one field of ship operation such as engineering or marine operations. You can also focus on a particular geographic area of the world, such as the Caribbean or Asia.

List of Best paying jobs in Marine Transportation

1. Maritime Lawyer

This is the single best paying job in Marine Transportation and one that offers many options as to where you can work. For example, you can practice your trade in a large metropolitan area or practice law in a less populated area.

You can also focus on maritime laws or the law governing sea travel and shipping. You may handle labor contracts for the shipping industry including port workers, seamen, ship engineers, pilots and others. Once you sit down with an attorney in this field, your career will explode and open new opportunities for employment.

Pay for Maritime Lawyer: $120,000

2. Marine Navigation Officer/Marine Pilot

This is a very lucrative and popular career in the marine transportation industry. As a marine navigation officer or pilot, you will navigate ships and other water transportation vehicles through water channels from one place to another.

You will enter into contracts before you are hired by shipping companies with the promise of meeting certain deadlines and times.

Pay for Marine Navigation Officer/Marine Pilot: $100,000

3. Ship’s Captain

The ship’s captain is the highest ranking officer on the vessel. You will be in charge of all aspects of the vessel and its crew while on board.

This can be a very rewarding role, but comes with great responsibility, requiring good interpersonal skills and leadership abilities. If you want to work as a ship’s captain, there are two possible ways for you to do so.

You can acquire a captain’s license directly through a maritime training school, or you can move up the ranks and work your way up to being a captain.

Pay for Ship’s Captain: $110,000

4. Marine Engineer

The marine engineer designs, implements and oversees the operation of engines, boilers, generators and other equipment found on ships. You could work for a commercial ship or yacht company and also must be licensed to do so.

Your duties include overseeing daily maintenance checks as well as the installation, maintenance and repair of the above equipment.

Pay for Marine Engineer: $100,000

5. Naval Architect

The naval architect is responsible for engineering designs and building structures on vessels. This can include designing entire ships as well as alterations of current vessels. You may work with a naval shipyard, marine classification authority, or even an oil company.

Pay for Naval Architect: $100,000

6. Port Engineer

This role allows you to operate at the port level, which allows you to perform engineering duties like preparing and maintaining cargo for shipping, ensuring a safe environment for operating port machinery, supervising repairs and building structures at the port.

This role also provides great leadership opportunities in many ports as a means of advancement.

Pay for Port Engineer: $85,000

7. Marine Superintendent

The marine superintendent is responsible for the operation, maintenance, and management of maritime vessels. This may include a wide range of duties including onboard supervision, marine surveyors, and general management.

Pay for Marine Superintendent: $90,000

8. Marine Geologist

This is another job in the marine transportation industry that requires a great deal of education and expertise.

You will be responsible for the information on the sea floor and its surrounding areas, including the collection of samples and conducting surveys while working with other research scientists

Pay for Marine Geologist: $85,100

9. Marine Surveyor

The marine surveyor is responsible for inspecting, evaluating and classifying ships, other vessels and structures, such as ports and piers. This is most often done through ship inspection reports.

With this role, you can also become a marine surveyor’s mate which requires being at-sea for extended periods of time on ocean-going vessels while performing surveys

Pay for Marine Surveyor: $80,000

10. Ships Security Officers

A marine transportation industry job that is expected to grow in both population and pay within the next 10 years is that of a ship’s security officer. As the threat of terrorism continues to increase, these positions will become in-demand.

Marine security officers are responsible for securing vital equipment, systems and areas aboard ships while inspecting other marine vessels and cargo coming onto ships and ports.

Pay for Ships Security Officers: $90,000

Comparing Other Best Paying Jobs


Marine Transportation jobs are a great way to earn a substantial income while working on the water. If you have an interest in the sea and ships, there is no better place to go than the maritime industry.

While it may not be your only option, you still have many options for where and how you can start a career in this field.

Choosing any of these best paying jobs in marine transportation that matches your interests and personality will open the door to a future full of rewarding work and excitement.

This is for you

Wealthgist - Personal Finance and Passive Incomes