Careers in the Maritime Industry


A man in a bright orange jumpsuit oversees a crane lifting cargo containers.

Material Moving Machine Operator

Material moving machine operators use machinery to transport various objects. The machinery includes things like hoists and winches. Some operators move construction materials around building sites or the land around a mine. Others move goods around a warehouse or onto container ships.

(avg salary: $31,530/yr)

A dock worker with a walkie-talkie overlooks a cargo ship laden with containers.

Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager

Transportation, storage, and distribution managers plan, direct, or coordinate transportation, storage, or distribution activities in accordance with organizational policies and applicable government laws or regulations. This career group also includes logistics managers.

(avg salary: $93,180/yr)

A smiling sailor in naval garb.

Sailor and Marine Oiler

Sailor and marine oilers stand watch to look for obstructions in the path of the vessel, measure water depth, turn the wheel on the bridge, or use emergency equipment as directed by the captain, mate, or pilot. They may also break out, rig, overhaul, and store cargo-handling gear, stationary rigging, and running gear, as well as perform a variety of maintenance tasks to preserve the painted surface of the ship and to maintain line and ship equipment. Sailors and marine oilers must hold government-issued maritime certification and tankerman certification when working aboard liquid-carrying vessels. This career field includes able seamen and ordinary seamen.

(avg salary: $40,970/yr)

A woman in a vest and hard hat stands with a wrapped pallet of boxes.

Cargo and Freight Agent

Cargo and freight agents expedite and route the movement of incoming and outgoing cargo and freight shipments in airline, train, and trucking terminals, and shipping docks. They take orders from customers and arrange pickup of freight and cargo for delivery to the loading platform. They may also prepare and examine bills of lading to determine shipping charges and tariffs.

(avg salary: $43,960/yr)

A man in a vest and a hard hat directs the movement of cargo containers on a dock.

Transportation Inspector

Transportation inspectors inspect equipment or goods in connection with the safe transport of cargo or people. The group includes maritime and rail transportation inspectors, such as freight inspectors, rail inspectors, and other inspectors of transportation vehicles.

(avg salary: $70,820/yr)

A woman in a hard hat stands on a dock and shakes hands with a man.

Compliance Officer

Compliance officers examine, evaluate, and investigate eligibility for or conformity with laws and regulations governing contract compliance of licenses and permits, and perform other compliance and enforcement inspection and analysis activities.

(avg salary: $43,960/yr)

A ship’s captain mans the helm of his vessel.

Captain, Mate, and Pilot of Water Vessel

Captains, mates, and pilots of a water vessel command or supervise operations of ships and water vessels, such as tugboats and ferryboats. Captains, mates, and pilots are required to hold a license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard.

(avg salary: $79,180/yr)