How Many Jobs Are Available In Marine Transportation

There are very less people who know about jobs in marine transportation. If you ask a random guy how many jobs are available in marine transportation, then you will probably be disappointed because he or she will not be able to tell you the exact answer.

But then what to do? It is always better to know about the prospective before joining any job. And that is why I am writing this article just for you because I know you do want to join marine transportation.

There are 5 main jobs that you can do if you want to join marine transportation. Those are –

1) Pilot,

2) Maritime Lawyer

3) Ship Captain

4) Deck hand

5) Engineer

If you are a citizen of the USA, then you can be a Coast Guard too, which is a very respectable and glamorous job here!

Let me tell you more about these jobs. Let’s start!

What Is Marine Transportation?

how many jobs are available in marine transportation

But before I tell you how many jobs are available in marine transportation in detail and before telling you how to apply for the jobs and what trainings are available, let me tell you what Marine Transportation is first.

Marine transportation is nothing but transporting materials and goods through the seas or rivers.

Cargo ships, barges, or other watercraft that are used in carrying goods and materials are a part of marine transportation. Marine transportation has a very vital role to play in the world economy.

Marine transportation is the cheapest procedure to send goods and materials to other countries or continents.

And because the USA is one of the largest maritime nations with coastlines that are longer than 95k miles and 30k+ miles of navigable inland waters, marine transportation is a very bright career option here.

Marine transportation plays a very vital role in the US economy. It helps in transporting goods as well as people.

There are coast guards who ensure the safety and security of the people and the goods as well as the vessels that are being used in marine transportation.

And this whole thing, transportation of goods, materials, people, and a lot of other things; the water vessels, the coast guards; all these together form the total marine transportation unit.

What Jobs Are Available In Marine Transportation?

As I have said before, you can be either a 1. Pilot, 2. Deck Hand, 3. Ship Captain, 4. Maritime Lawyer, or 5. Engineer if you want a job in marine transportation. Apart from that, you can be Coast Guard too if you live in the US.

Now let me tell you about all these jobs in detail one by one.


how many jobs are available in marine transportation

The role of the pilot is one of the most significant jobs in marine transportation.

Pilot vessels are responsible for taking the big ships in and out of the port, guiding the ships in bad weather and on the dangerous parts of the sea.

Pilots must know all the safe and secure waterways in detail so that they can guide in the navigation of the big cargo ships.

Pilots have to make quick decisions during hazardous weather, and that is why a pilot must have good decision-making ability when required.

Maritime Lawyer

Maritime lawyers are responsible for the safety and security of those people who work in marine transportation.

But remember that maritime law is one of the most complex areas of law and is always changing.

Maritime law governs the whole aspect of maritime activities. Maritime lawyers deal with admiralty law, contract disputes, and many more.

They must know the maritime law in detail so that they can provide service to the needy ones.

Maritime lawyers can work for ship crew members, operators, shipping companies, or even passengers.

Maritime lawyers must be good at communicating with even those people who have the least knowledge of the law.

Ship Captain

Ship captains are the pillars of the marine transportation industry. The main job of marine transportation is to take goods and materials or people to some other place, another country, or even another continent through the seas.

Marine transportation is all about ships and water vessels. And captains are the ones who lead the ship throughout the journey and control the ship as well.

The captain of the ship has to oversee all the possible aspects of the ship’s voyage, planning each trip, take preparation for the trip, and the most challenging part – executing the voyage.

Apart from that, the captain has to deal with all the rules and regulations of governing bodies like IMO or International Maritime Organization.

Deck Hand

how many jobs are available in marine transportation

The role of deckhands is one of the most critical roles in marine transportation. The duty of a deckhand is to load and unload shipments safely on and off the ship.

Deckhands get the minimum time to finish their work, thus they have to be quick in it. Deckhands have to take a lot of pressure and deal with dangerous and difficult situations.

They should be able to lift heavy weights and have to be 100% physically fit. Deckhands must be skilled in handling cargo and shipments and have to have a great idea about shipment handling correctly.


Engineers are the ones responsible for designing, maintaining, developing, and operating all ships and water vessels. How well the ship or the vessels will move through the water depends on the engineers.

The roles of engineers can be different. Some engineers are architects who are responsible for the designs of the ships.

Some are engine and propulsion specialists. The others are specialized in cargo handling, safety, and navigation.

But it does not matter in which section of engineering you are working, if you are a marine engineer, you must have great knowledge about the principles of shipbuilding, maritime laws, and fluid mechanism.

Coast Guard

Coast Guard is one of the most prestigious and glamorous jobs in the USA. It is responsible for maritime security, maritime law enforcement, and search and rescue services of USAF or the United States Armed Forces.

It is a uniformed service, and you have to complete your bachelor’s degree from a recognized university with math and physics as your subjects, you have to be perfectly tall for the job and your weight must also meet the criteria, and your eyesight must be 6/6 6/9 and that too uncorrected and without glasses.

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How Do I Become A Marine Transportation Worker?

Whenever you decide to join marine transportation, you must have to be clear about which department you want to join. Here I am giving a brief idea about joining each department of marine transportation.

Pilot –

1.       Complete your graduation from a recognized university, ROTC or Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, OCS or Officer Candidate School, any civilian college, or from the US Naval Academy.

2.       Become a second lieutenant. All pilots are second lieutenants of the US Armed Forces.

3.       You must meet all the requirements to become a pilot in marine transportation.

4.       Attend a flight school to learn how to fly an aircraft.

Maritime Lawyer –

First of all, you must complete your graduation from any accredited law school with a JD or Juris Doctorate degree, then you have to pass the state bar association exam, and finally, you must hold a license to practice law in your state.

Deckhand –

The deckhands have to have knowledge of boat handling, must have skills of loading and unloading shipments within minimum time, must be physically fit, should be able to carry heavyweight cargo, have knowledge of navigation and ship engines as well as radio equipment.

Ship Captain –

how many jobs are available in marine transportation

1.        First of all, you have to complete your secondary school studies.

2.       Complete your graduation from a recognized university.

3.       If you can complete some extra training, that will be a plus point.

4.       You must have some experience. Try to take part in the sails club activities right from your secondary school.

5.       If you have a master’s degree in relevant courses in marine engineering and transportation, this will be a huge benefit in your path to becoming a ship captain.

6.       Once you have all the necessary degrees and qualifications, you can apply for the job.

Engineer –

1.        There are numerous sectors of study if your dream is to become a marine engineer. You have to be careful while choosing your subjects in your secondary school, then you must complete your marine engineering course from a recognized university.

2.       After you get all the required qualifications, you can apply for a post.

Coast Guard –

you have to complete your bachelor’s degree from a recognized university with math and physics as your subjects, you have to be perfectly tall for the job and your weight must also meet the criteria, and your eyesight must be 6/6 6/9 and that too uncorrected and without glasses.

How Will You Get A Marine Transportation Job Easily?

If you want a job in marine transportation, the first thing you have to decide that in which sector you want to join.

Then, you have to prepare yourself to be eligible for the post. You have to complete your study and get a degree which will help you in getting a job in that particular section of marine transportation. Then you have to search whether any jobs are available in marine transportation.

This is the proper and easy way to get a marine transportation job.

What Are The Challenges Of This Profession?

There are a few challenges in this job. You must have to be prepared to face those challenges throughout your whole career.

Let me give you a brief idea about the challenges of a person who works in marine transportation.

Life Risk

If you join marine transportation as a ship captain, an engineer, a deckhand, or a pilot, your life will always be at a risk.

You have to sail through dangerous weather and will have to face all the threats of the sea.

They say nothing could be more dangerous to a sailor than a stormy sea. Only those who have experience voyages have the idea of how scary a sea can be.

So it would not be an easy job in marine transportation.

Detachment From Family

Once you are on your ship, you cannot see your family for weeks. There are no ways to see or talk to your family.

There will be no phone calls, video calls, chats, or skype calls as there are no mobile network towers in the middle of the sea. Once you are out in the sea, your shipments are your only family.


Your life could be boring as hell in a marine transportation job. All you will see is water all around you until you retire from your job.

This is very tough to handle and you could be into depression if you cannot handle this.

Salary Of A Marine Transportation Worker

how many jobs are available in marine transportation

People ask this question mainly because they want to know is marine transportation a good career path or not.

 Mariners usually are well-paid staff. They have to spend almost half of their lives on the sea, away from cities, family and friends, and from all the enjoyments that a person can have.

This is why they are well paid. And if you are a ship captain or an engineer or in any other best paying jobs in marine transportation, you could earn almost $74k per year!

Training And Education Needed To Become A Marine Transportation Worker

1. You must know how to swim.

2. You must be graduated from a recognized university or equivalent institute.

3. Particular sections of marine engineering require particular qualifications. Check if you have them before applying.

4. You must be physically fit.

5. You must be mentally strong.

N.B. – There are different training and different required qualifications for each section. But the above requirements are compulsory.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Marine Transportation In Demand?

Marine transportation plays an important role in the US economy, thus it is always in demand.

2. What Is The Work Of BS Marine Transportation?

They provide training and degree in cargo handling and storage, navigation, offshore and onshore operation of vessels, etc.

3. How Much Is The Salary Of Marine Transportation?

You can earn up to $74k per year if you are in the best-paying section.

The Final Words

Here I have given you all the details about how many jobs are available in marine transportation. I hope my write-up will surely help you. All the best!

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