Deck/Engine vs Steward Pay Question


I was wondering what you could expect to make as a Steward going through SIU route.

Most of the information I found online only has information regarding Deck/Engine pay but its hard to find info on the Steward side.

Steward is typically the same payscale as the Bosun.


Damn as in good or damn as in bad? I don’t know many people in the food service industry that get paid as well as even a Chief Cook let a lone a Chief Steward for the typical level of cuisine that is being pumped out on a ship.
It will be a long while before you are able to sail as steward as well. SIU has rules and seniority.

Considering all the steward has to do is hit print on one of their 7 menus, resubmit the same order to Sysco over and over again, and know how to make some eggs, it’s pretty good money.


Damn as in good.

Yeah I didn’t know about that either. I did see a youtuber mention they do stay back in order to do some additional training but beyond that there wasn’t really any information about it. Just in general there isn’t alot of information on Steward through SIU out there.

How long in general before you sail as a steward?

All a 3rd Mate has to do these days is show up for his watch at 8 o’clock and stay awake fort 4 hrs. twice a day. for a few days at sea, before next port of call and next girl (Everybody know that a seaman have a girl in every port)

The ECDI tells them if the ship is off line and the radar tells them if a ship is likely to get too close. If things get difficult, Call the Master per Standing Instruction.

The only hardship is waiting for the relief to show up on time.
I don’t know what they get these film star wages for??

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You fuck up some eggs, you make some new eggs.

You fuck up on watch, you make the front page of every news outlet in the world.

Responsibility is commensurate with pay.


I’ve always thought the steward had the more demanding routines. There are few things they can put off, meals HAVE to be there on time. dishes HAVE to be done, coffee HAS to be available etc. Even as a engineer I had a extra pump or generator… well, there were days ! but the Steward didn’t have a lot of options the way i saw it.

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I didn’t know that 3rd Mates could lay eggs???

If you FU enough to hit front pages the Master’s name will probably be quoted, not the 3rd Mate’s. That is why Masters deserve their high wages.

Pretty sure there’s a little more in the job for a tanker 3m.

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Ask Mr Cousins that same statement.

Oh yes, sitting in the CCR in air-conditioned comfort, watching screens. Maybe touching a screen once in a while to open and close valves. Hardship:

In the good ol’ days, without CCR, but with hand cranked valves on deck for each tank and steam pumps they did get to sweat a bit once in a while.

PS> No lift to get to/from bottom of the pump room.

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Bug, I value your opinion regarding stewards and mates. I will agree to disagree whether the mates have a load or not. I always wanted to be fed well, and that is absolutely important for crew moral. I also wanted to sleep well once I turned over the watch to the mates. Food doesn’t matter if you crunched our vessel. Again, respected your opinions on many things,just not this one. A good mate is worth his weight in gold. Especially in reduced manning and PIC’s that sign off on oil cargo. As are engineers that pitch in and fix their shit. That keeps the master off the 6 o’clock news. My cooks(Didn’t have stewards per se) pitched in as well. Although mostly union, If they didn’t perform, had the latitude to make a change. Can’t imagine in my small world anyone would accept anything less.

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Oh yeah the good ol days, ships half the size, twice the crew, no safety, no paperwork, all the time in port, slammin drinks after work…yeah keep telling me about how hard it was.

Who has a PR lift? I’ve gotta get on one of those.

There are some stewards making ombugge’s 3m film star rates…

I should have put a smiley behind those posts obviously.
Just trying to be funny. (incl. about the PR lift BTW)
Nice to be taken serious once in a while. Just wish it was when I WAS serious.

Yes, smaller ships that looked like ships, not big flat barges with engine. Yes big crews but no fancy automation and no A/C. (hardship in the tropics)
Safety was as decided on board, not forced down your throat.

Paperwork?? On my first command (in 1971) the Voyage Reports after a 5-6 week trip to East Indonesia was something like this; “How was your trip?” Good. “Any problem?” No. “OK, we’ll have a new cargo for you in about a week or two. How much cash do you need for next trip?”
Envious?? (NOT a joke)

PS> I NEVER let anybody know which route I would take from Singapore to East Indonesia. Safety.

You humour me sir at times. Your knowledge of the craft is way beyond me. I only know what I know. I value the fact that younger mariners ask our advice in the many facets of our occupation at sea. I think this is what the site is all about. I could be wrong. Want to give them the best advise I am familiar with.

Oh I thought the question was about pay scale?
I replied to a joke(??) about the Steward’s job, that is all.

Original post wasn’t a joke I don’t think. He got some decent answers from good mariners.