3rd Mate(Entry level) salary and/or W/DPO


  1. I’m trying to find the latest (Average) pay for a 3rd mates fresh out of school?
  2. Latest (Average) pay for a 3rd mate (less than a year) with DPO (Less than 6 months)?
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500-550 a day is a pretty good rate for 3M.



Is that attainable as an entry level 3M?
With DPO or W/out DPO?

3M or with DPO?

Deepsea 3M

Depends if you’re going on supply/support vessels, drillships, or something else. Hornbeck is paying ‘3/Ms’ in the low $400’s. I’ve heard as high as $550 at other boat companies. Drillships might start you out the same or even lower as a non-DP mate, but have more benefits (consistent schedules, paid travel, paid training, etc.) Consider some of the smaller companies over the big players, generally much better work environments, and you are valued more.



Greatly appreciated. So with DP, one should be able to make over $650…?

Yes. I don’t know anything about DPO. I’d imagine anything dpo related is in the oilfield which isn’t doing so hot right now.

I work on ATBs. Tankerman-PIC and mate of towing is a must.

When I started out as third mate I was just happy to have a job. Any money was more than I’d ever made so I wasn’t really concerned about the grass not being green enough. I guess times have changed.


Those figures factored in having DP in hand. Not “I’ve got DP basic” or “I’ve taken the advanced class, I just need my days” or “my stuff is at the Nautical Institute.” Now I know of a couple people that are working as a Mate (or ‘second or third captain’ :roll_eyes:) on OSVs without any DP. You’re not going to just land one of those spots as a fresh academy grad, which is what I’m guessing you are since you’re so concerned about day rates.

I’d count on getting hired on as an AB at most companies until you get your time on DP completed. The one exception would be Hornbeck which occasionally hires ‘cargo mates’ for about $300 a day. Generally those spots are reserved for those who have done cadet time with them. I’d be wary of Horonbeck considering they’re trading at about $ 0.90 a share right now.

Or if you’re unwilling to work on deck for a while wait on a call from AMO or go sit in the hall at MMP for a year or two with a hundred other recent graduates. My point is it’s a grind either way if you want that Mate position. When I was dealing with the choice you’re faced with now I figured it was better to get seatime and a paycheck than wait on a union to find me a job.


NH_Domer… I hear you. At bear minimum, one can expect $250/day and grow from there…


Yes, that’s ballpark what you can expect as an AB. Unless you have children/ significant other that need you at home, work over as much as possible while working on your DP. You’ll have it before you know it.

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With the hiring hall what matters is how old your shipping card is. It’s going to get old regardless if you’re sitting at the hall or working as deckhand on a tug.

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Also a great plan. My understanding is that in a situation like that you don’t want to let the unions know that you’re playing on both sides.


It seems like a don’t ask don’t tell situation. They didn’t ask where I’d been and I didn’t tell them.

That’s provided you get a position. We’ve been hiring ABs from academies at $75,000/yr working equal time, but most don’t hit the first year since we send them to DP school as soon as they’re no longer a SSE and work toward time on the bridge. Typically, they’re in the bridge in a year or so as asst.DPO at $135,000/yr, and there are gradual increases to DPO and Sr.DPO.



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Do you hire them because they did their Cadet time with you or hired after they become a 3M?