Mariner Pay 2023

It’s not stagnant… Loosing money every day.


I get the impression that wage increases have been lower, or have almost stopped this year.

Companies seem to be holding the line on wages by having more people work over, often way over.

Hiring has slowed down. The number of recruiting cold calls that I get directly from companies have dropped off significantly. I see fewer help wanted ads. I haven’t had a call from one of recruiting companies in awhile.

Boat companies are busy and making big money in 2023. Big companies continue to buy little companies.

The true rate of inflation for most people is much higher than what the government claims. Wages need to be going up at least 10% a year just stay even.


Chief Mate at OSG is somewhere around 11-1200/day.

Damn that sounds good

It easily could be more, with much better benefits and less jerking around by the office…

I’m sure MMP will take care of all that.

Surely they will…though probably minus the pension part (correct me if I’m wrong) and more better pay (apparently MMP has some pretty crappy contracts?)

But hey, something is better than nothing.

Yea that’s what you MEBA guys all said during the 12% pay cut era.

Maybe you tone would be different if you were laid off during the layups of the “covid era” enjoying those COBRA payments and working as an AB or a deckhand on tugs to pay rent with a CM unlim license?


Nothing to do with US wages, but on the international level wages for seafarers are increasing due to shortage of qualified seafarers:

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I hope so. I also hope international seafarers are able to gather more power when dealing with employers. I’ve seen the bullshit that many sailors must put up with regarding the agency/employer model because they don’t want to get blacklisted and be unable to feed their family.


I dont understand the strategy here, what happens when no one wants to work over? Looking at the board Im starting to think the people just dont exist.

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I think there are enough mariners, but no slack in the labor pool.

It’s the law of supply and demand. Wages are too low to increase the size of the maritime labor pool. Owner have people working over and retirees working part time to keep wages low.

Restaurants that were paying dishwashers $10 an hour, now have to pay $22 an hour to stay open. Carpenters were $25, now they are $50.

Maritime wages have not doubled the way that they should have. Eventually, something has to give. Wages will have to increase.


This is not what Im seeing on the ground. This week my outfit is missing at least three deck officers, and a handfull of ABs, and some engineers. If they cant sail short, folks are being pulled out of vacation, somewhat voluntarily. This does nothing to save the company money, this is how you burn out the people who tolerate working in your company. We got folks pulling tripple hitches and maybe getting a normal length vacation. The office has to see this is going to end poorly.





Oh wait, you were being serious with your comment? Like the office gives a shit?



Not all “international seafarers” are the same. I presume you are taking about specific groups/nationalities of seafarers?

Not all employers are the same either. There are good and bad + those in between.

I agree that the system of employment agents are bad in many cases, especially when scrupulous agent and politicians work together for their common benefits. (I think you know where I’m going)

There are also advantages with having reputable crewing agents who permanently employ well qualified seafarers that is made available to Owners/Managers on long and short term assignments.

I have seen a lot in my many years in the game., both the good the bad and the downright ugly.
I have even been a “recruiter” for American companies that needed qualified crews for their OSVs operating in SE Asia and for Norwegian fishing vessels operating in NZ waters needing Indonesian crews for their processing.

I have also seen the result when the Unions gets too powerful, like in Oz in the 1960/70s.
They basically killed the domestic merchant fleet by their silliness. (No, not by demanding high wages)

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Box boat - MEBA - including vacation/not including pension/MPB

3AE - ~920/day
2AE - ~1150/day
1AE - ~1400/day
CE - ~1500/day

variable is overtime. MMP guys make about the same, captains making a bit more than CE.


I see the same things. My company is only short because better paying companies are hiring our guys.

My company is poaching from lower paying companies to replace them.

A lot of people are working over.

The company is making money, but they have a strategy to make more by keeping wages as low as possible. The fact that it’s working suggests that there really isn’t a shortage of mariners.

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Only place worth working over is at vane Atleast the pay 1.5 days to work over


I’m not sure about now, but a few years ago Foss in Alaska was paying almost double to work over two hitches, 150 days a year. There were guys complaining about working too much, and guys complaining that they couldn’t get in on any of that extra pay.

Vane is a relatively cheap company, but the 1.5 days pay for working over is smart. It’s cheaper to have 100 guys getting 1.5 times per day than it is to hire another 100 guys and carry them on benefits.

I foresee more companies going 2 for 1, working 240 days a year, rather than increasing day rates.