Mariner Shortage

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Raise your old, out of date, low wages, and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