Is Marine Transportation A Good Career Path For Me?

Is Marine Transportation A Good Career Path? In this article, we’ll explore different career paths in marine transportation so that you can answer the question, “Is marine transportation a good career for me?”

Finding your first or new career is always tough, especially when many industries want extensive experience and education just for entry-level positions.

One avenue you might not have considered before is marine transportation.

To answer the question, “is marine transportation a good career path?” we first need to look at what is marine transportation, what careers in marine transportation look like and some of the key benefits.

What Is Marine Transportation?

Marine transportation involves moving goods from one place to another by water.

This often involves oceans but can be done on extensive freshwater waterways like the St. Lawrence River.

Also known as water transportation or merchant marines, marine transportation is responsible for a large percentage of international trade.

If, for example, you live in Florida, and an item you own was made in China, there’s a good chance it got to you, at least in part, by marine transportation.

Marine transportation can involve a variety of water vessels but is usually done on a large scale with massive transportation ships loaded with carriers.

Benefits Of Why Is Marine Transportation A Good Career Path

Benefits of marine transportation careers include:

 

  • High pay (over $100,000/year depending on position and experience)
  • A variety of jobs are available
  • The marine transportation industry is increasing employment opportunities
  • The opportunity to travel and visit various parts of the world
  • You get to spend large amounts of time on the water
  • You can develop a deep camaraderie with your colleagues
  • Transferable skills to other industries
  • Flexibility in time off

 

a marine navy ship at a dock representing is marine transportation a good career path for me
Is marine transportation a good career path?

What Do Marine Transportation Workers Do?

Before deciding on marine transportation as a career, you’ll need to know what maritime transportation workers do.

With this information, you can decide if this career is right for you.

Marine Transportation Job Description

There are many different jobs in marine transportation, but in general, these jobs are related to the transportation of goods across the water.

They can include:

  • Engineers who maintain ships before, during, and after voyages
  • The captain pilot, the ship, plans routes, and supervises the crews
  • Officers
  • Naval Architects
  • Marine welders/fitters need to service the structure of ships, even while on the water.
  • Deckhands who keep the ship clean
  • Cooks
  • Engine pumpman
  • Seamen
  • Mariner
  • First/Second/Third mates

Is Marine Transportation Hard?

In exchange for high pay and time off when at work, marine transportation can be a very demanding career.

There are long hours, and jobs on a ship can be very physically demanding.

Some emergencies can occur, whether from bad weather or mechanical failures.

This could require you to hop to work, even if you’ve just finished an exceptionally long shift because your work could mean the difference between the ship sinking or not.

Additionally, working in marine transportation means that you are away from home for long periods.

You might go weeks without seeing your family, and there will be times when you cannot contact them because of reception at sea, time differences, and your demanding shifts.

These are all critical factors to consider prior to pursuing a career in marine transportation.

How Many Jobs Are Available In Marine Transportation?

Marine transportation jobs are varied and are very much in demand right now.

Let’s look at just a few of the jobs available in this expanding industry.

Marine Transportation Engineers

Modern ships don’t work without engineers.

These skilled workers need to ensure that a ship’s engines and power systems are prepared for the next journey.

Engineers are also responsible for monitoring engine systems while transporting and manipulating power at the captain’s order.

Engineers can also be called into action in an emergency, especially ones of a mechanical nature.

In addition to formal education, marine engineers must have an exceptional work ethic, attention to detail, and technology skills.

Captains in Marine Transportation

Marine captains are in charge of their vessels. They plan routes following legal requirements as well as safety.

Captains must be highly organized and consult various sources, including maps, shipping lanes, weather reports, tide reports, etc.

Captains are also responsible for docking boats, maintaining speeds, and ensuring no one onboard engages in unsafe behavior.

Marine Transportation Cooks

Cooks on a ship prepare meals for large numbers of workers.

They work long hours and are usually up before most workers to prepare food.

Working as a cook on a ship can be very physically demanding but can later lead to other cooking jobs on land.

First/Second/Third mates

Mates on a ship work under the captain and their subsequent mates (i.e., the first mate is directly under the captain, the second mate is under the first mate, etc.).

They perform the duties of a captain when the captain is off shift or in need of assistance.

Typically, shipmates are working their way up to a captain’s position.

Marine Transportation Salary: Best Paying Jobs In Marine Transportation

Captain

The vessel captain is at the top of the marine hierarchy and generally gets the biggest payout.

A boat captain can make between $42,000-$115,000/per year.

Naval Architect

Naval architects create the plans and oversee the construction and repairs of large vessels.

They must have a good understanding of naval engineering and attention to detail to ensure crafts are correctly built. Often, they make over $100,000/year.

First Engineer

Under the captain, the first engineer typically makes the most money.

Depending on the boat and the engineer’s experience, a first engineer can make over $100,000/year.

Marine Electronics Technician

Marine electronics technicians are responsible for inspecting and maintaining the electronics system aboard a vessel.

These technicians typically make $49,000-$67,000/year.

Ship Fitter

Working with boat builders, the ship fitter cuts and attaches large sections of a boat.

These skilled workers must be knowledgeable in welding and riveting. They can make between $44,000 and-54,000/per year.

Marine Transportation Career Path: What Education Do You Need?

Because of the wide array of career options, the pathways to working in marine transportation are just as varied.

What Strand Is Marine Transportation?

Marine transportation falls under the transportation industry.

What Major Is Marine Transportation?

There is no one major to work in marine transportation.

If you want to work towards an engineering position, you will take an engineering degree with a focus or major in marine transportation.

You can even take a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering or a bachelor’s degree in the science of marine transportation.

To become a captain, there are programs you can take. There are also apprenticeship options.

Is Marine Transportation A 3-Year Course?

You can become a naval officer through a three-year college program that includes a practical component.

Other areas of marine transportation, like electronics technicians, can be obtained through similar-length college programs.

Which Is Better: BsMT and BsMare?

While both degrees allow you to work in marine transportation, a Bachelor’s of Science in Maritime Transportation (BsMT) and a Bachelor’s in Marine Engineering (BsMare) are different programs.

A BsMT is designed to prepare someone for a career as a naval officer.

This involves the piloting of vessels and making routes and plans based on ever-changing information.

A Bachelor’s in Marine Engineering (BsMare) is meant to train future engineers who maintain vessels and work with the systems aboard ships.

If you are interested in climbing the officer ranks, a Bachelor of Science in Maritime Transportation (BsMT) would be better.

If you are more interested in maintaining and repairing ship engines and systems, the Bachelor’s in Marine Engineering (BsMare) would be more appropriate.

Marine Transportation Course & Certifications

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

A Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card is required for all maritime workers by the Maritime Transportation Security Act.

Standards Of Training, Certification, And Watchkeeping

All positions aboard vessels require a certain amount of certifications.

These are dependent upon the position you hold on a ship and should be taken seriously.

Make sure you determine your specific career path’s necessary certifications.

Failure to do so can end your career or get you and or your employer fines.

Merchant Mariner Credential

The United States Coast Guard issues the Merchant Mariner Credential.

This credential shows the qualifications of a merchant mariner.

Is Marine Transportation A Good Career Path: Skills Needed

Several general skills are needed to be successful and fulfilled in marine transportation:

  • Physical fitness and strength
  • Quick problem-solving skills
  • Observation skills and sight
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Ability to listen to and act on commands
  • Endurance to work long shifts
  • Fortitude to be away from home for extended periods

Marine Transportation Or Marine Engineering?

If you are interested in climbing the officer ranks, Marine Transportation would be better.

Marine Engineering would be more appropriate if you are more interested in maintaining and repairing ship engines and systems.

What Makes Marine Transportation So Useful?

Marine transportation is necessary to our modern world.

It is the best transportation method available for moving large or large quantities of items.

Air travel is quicker but exponentially more expensive.

Rail and road transportation is better with no water access, but you will get far more freight, further and faster by water than by land.

Summary: Is Marine Transportation A Good Career Path?

Marine Transportation is an industry not just here to stay but on the rise. Air transportation isn’t cost-effective enough and is incredibly detrimental to the environment.

This stability in the industry means that once you obtain a career in marine transportation, you will have security relative to other sectors.

There are also endless advancement opportunities to help you grow in the future.

Is marine transportation a 3 year course?

You can become a naval officer through a three-year college program that includes a practical component. A BsMT is designed to prepare someone for a career as a naval officer. A Bachelor’s in Marine Engineering (BsMare) is meant to train future engineers who maintain vessels and work with the systems aboard ships.

What makes marine transportation so useful?

Marine transportation is necessary to our modern world. It is the best transportation method available for moving large or large quantities of items. Rail and road transportation are better with no water access, but you will get far more freight, further and faster by water than by land.

What type of degree is marine transportation?

A BsMT is designed to prepare someone for a career as a naval officer. A Bachelor’s in Marine Engineering (BsMare) is meant to train future engineers who maintain vessels and work with the systems aboard ships. If you are interested in climbing the officer ranks, a Bachelor of Science in Maritime Transportation (BsMT) would be better. If you are more interested in maintaining and repairing ship engines and systems, the Bachelor’s in Marine Engineering (BsMare) would be more appropriate.

How much is the salary of marine transportation?

The average marine transportation salary ranges from $80,000 per year to $100,000+ per year.

How do I get into marine transportation?

Education requirements for getting into marine transportation consist of either a Bachelor’s in Marine Engineering (BsMare) or a Bachelor of Science in Maritime Transportation (BsMT). Courses include TWIC and Merchant Mariner Credential.

How long is BS Marine transportation?

BS Marine Transportation is a three-year college program that includes a practical component.

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