Mariner Shortage

The family practitioner I spoke about did not base his career choice on how much money he would make. He chose his profession to help people as a GP. We went to school together. he was a National Merit scholar among other honors He dd not choose his profession to make money and neither did I we just chose what made us happy .We both ended up pretty content. Anyone in the maritime profession that is not pretty secure financially have only themselves to blame. Sure maritime unions are fragmented and do not have the cohesion or power of the ALPA but who’s fault is that?

For sure … divided we may starve. The companies learned early on that we were capable of doing more damage to ourselves than they could do to a coordinated and cohesive maritime workforce.


Yes, sad. Because it takes a lot of hard work and money to become a physician.

Cool story boomer. So your buddy loves his job and didn’t do it for pay. That’s great. But for the rest of the world, part of choosing a career path is about making a cost/benefit analysis.

If somebody has to spend 200-400k +8 years of life in education (very difficult education, with insane studying) and then several years (4-6+) in a low paying apprenticeship (residency), they should be rewarded for their efforts.

Why? Because I want smart people with high IQs to be surgeons. I want the best. And guess what smart people with high IQs WON’T do if they are going to make less than a government bureaucrat that might not even have a degree? I’ll help you: that high IQ person is NOT going to spend 10+ years of their life and 200-400k in tuition to become a physician. They are going to go into a more lucrative career to ensure a higher quality of life.

Take your altruistic hippy bullshit elsewhere. You don’t reward people for hard work, you’ll just get stupid low IQ people taking the jobs.


So how did you make your career path analysis? Make an error or are you happy with the career you chose? Boomer is curious :grin:

But if somebody has to spend 200-400k and 8 years of life in education, say a Bachelor’s in early childhood development, a Masters in education, perhaps a phd in public education, and several years in low paying apprenticeships (teaching assistant)….I guess they should be rewarded for their efforts too?

Oh wait, that’s not how this works.

Even if I too would want “smart people with high IQs” molding the minds of our next generation.

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The Mariner shortage is because some companies are still not paying enough or offering enough benefits in order to convince people to work at sea over shore side. Heard recently one company was offering only 100k for a tanker third mate & no WiFi (…red stack) but AMO union training benefits and another company offering around 120k (…polar bear stack) but limited advancement opportunities and no union training and other benefits. Meanwhile I’ve been pointing others towards deep sea companies and openings that are paying in 130k range with really good benefits and also WiFi onboard.
Message for any new third mates if you are making under 130k without killer benefits too, then You are underpaid!


Teachers are any countries greatest asset but sadly they are underpaid in public schools in many states in the USA, I’m beginning to think that is by design.
IQ really doesn’t count for much and this has been proven time and again. It’s like natural athletic ability. You may have the natural born potential but if you’re not willing to put in the work and education to develop that ability it’s all for naught.

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Absolutely correct if you ignore the existence of people who follow career paths chosen for altruistic reasons or god forbid their selfish need for adventure rather than by how much they pay. By your account they are low IQ morons. You can forget getting an invitation the next time I invite a bunch of those fools to one of my soirées.

There is absolutely no comparison between the education you just listed and medical school + residency. It’s like comparing an ABET engineering degree to a business admin or psychology degree.

And job does one need a phd in education for? Our education system 75 years ago produced results than it does today for the average student. It didn’t take an entire educational-industrial-complex to teach kids how to read, write, and do basic math back then…

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Look you’re the one who said those who spend the most time and money on education should make more.

Most public schools require advanced education or certification to be a teacher. Some require a masters. Most public school admin positions, principles, superintendents (good ones anyway) require a masters or PhD.

You can’t get a bachelors in basket weaving at most public or private universities these days for less than $200-250k out the door. Yet with an undergrad finance degree and a series 7 you could make much more than a doctor in your first year out. An underwater welder doesn’t need any degree at all, and they make a pretty penny.

Point is, its not sad that a Airline Pilot or a Master/CE can make more than a family practitioner. Salary in every industry is not strictly dependent on cost and time of formal education. And in the case of the Master/CE, you don’t get that position right out of school, education doesn’t end after graduation, and any company paying worth a damn isn’t just taking any schmuck who’s ink is still wet on the license.

When I was hunting for crew this summer at good wages, it was difficult. It seemed like there was a large Mariner shortage.

Now that I’m hunting for some winter work, I have a different perspective. I think that there are enough mariners available to work, but many companies still have wages that’s are not competitive and/or they have tied themselves up in knots with cumbersome HR processes.

I’m finding more temp work than I can do, a few days here and there. Most of the pay is a bit substandard, but I like the variety. I don’t want to work too much this winter either.

I’m progressing down the HR pipeline for a couple of very good permanent jobs, but most likely I’ll return to my current employer in the spring.

I’ve enjoyed turning down a couple of offers that came after too much HR delay, and I was already committed to someone else.

I really enjoy telling some of the low payers to pound sand! I’m not desperate or destitute. Its bad for the industry for guys to work too cheap.

My advice to employers who see a Mariner shortage is simple:

Raise your old, out of date, low wages, and

When you find a guy that you want to hire, tell HR to get it done immediately before someone else hires him.

Another mistake that companies are making in the current maritime job market (my company has made it too many times) is don’t wait until you desperately need a guy, and then be forced to hire the first warm body that comes along. When you find a good guy, hire him, even if you don’t need him immediately. Put him on the payroll and send him to a boat as an extra hand, then you’ll have him up to speed and ready to go when you need him.


Eh…add at least 20k to that figure with a year of sea time. Benefits, bonus, training are all good

Maybe that additional 20k, bonus etc. is for thirds that stay there for a set number of years? Not the new thirds? I know many people don’t leave that company and there is little advancement. So again, if you can upgrade to 2nd mate, there are 2nds jobs over that 140 mark. And "good’ is relative might be better than some companies but I know it is worse than others. Might be good for someone that needs to be close to home on a set run. I often recommend for new thirds to get traffic experience and try several types of vessels to see what they like. However, it might not be bad for someone to just do a year or two there then move on once they get their 2nds license.

Is that a tanker 2nd mate working 120’s? Or box ships doing 70-90 day hitches?

When I say the annual wages I’m averaging out the pay for 180days of work in one year total

As of right now wages are good but they’re not exorbitant. Rumors of increasing pay but nothing so far.
Current typical GOM supply boat Deck wages are, aprox;

OS/Rigger - 230-300
AB/Rigger - 325-400
Mate trainee - 500-600
Mate - 600-750
Chief Mate - 750-950
Master - 1000-1350

QMED - 350-450
Assistant Eng - 750-950
CE - 1000-1350

Depends on company, vessel, location.

New deck officers are flocking to the Gulf of Mexico in droves from A&M, but few engineers.
Which is also strange, because we pay a 3rd/AE as much as a CM and they have 1/2 the responsibility.
Maybe if they stopped flocking we would get another boost, no company is going to give out more money and benefits while they have a line out the door for interviews.

I’ll know it’s getting close when I start getting spammed by the office asking for me to work over.

For real though,
I’m not sure where else you can come out of school all freshly fresh after 4 years of partying and summer cruises, squeaky radio voice, still not knowing how to adjust your radar or rebuild a gate valve or properly strip a cargo tank and still make $120-$150k/yr with 6mo vaca.

Certainly not in the aviation industry, as alluded to.
Being responsible for the life of 300 passengers is a bit different than being responsible for a crew of 13 and a ship and it should command more training requirements, schooling and more pay.

The current market is set to last a while and 2024 being most likely a Republican takeover, creating an even better environment for drilling and exploration so even better times are still on the horizon.

With wages as good as they are local I see no reason to sit in a hall fighting other mariners for a spot on an old rusty ship to work a 90-120 day stretch and be at the disposal of union thugs who try to tell their members how to vote, when to work and where to go.

It seems like such an antiquated way of surviving to me, I guess they (unions) have their place though.


That’s what I did, Inland Master was not hard

you had me at 2x4

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