MSC 2023 pay chart and December 6 job fair

MSC 2023 East Coast pay chart:

Dec 6 Job fair:

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Granted that anyone with a bit of experience and awareness about MCS’s record of bidness as usual would recoil in terror but for an entry level single individual with zero prospects, a year or two can serve a useful function: free housing, rapid advancement, paid training, time is vetted, health insurance…


I’d take one hell of a pay cut. Hard pass.


The base salary for a chief mate is only $113,121??

Those numbers are pool pay. When you actually go to a ship it’s significantly more. Last time I worked for MSC in 2020 EPF chief mate base pay was I think 160k that’s before overtime and retention pay, etc…

First officer “Base” on their job posting on is $88k. They advertise that “average annual salary” is $222k but do not include the amount you’d have to work to get there. Most likely 10+ months?

If you worked 10 months anywhere that was decent you’d clear 260k easily.


Can confirm - 10 months as Chief Mate assigned to a ship at MSC is about 220k/year.

Also the cap is 225k-230k/year so, anything over that or if you’re projecting over that cap during the year, your earnings will be deferred. The only way you’re getting that is if you resign or you decide to somehow find a way to take some major time off. No way to invest it so it sits there for years, unable to be touched and slowly eaten by inflation.

I was waiting for someone to mention this. Work as much as you want and make all that OT but you won’t get it until you leave.

I can understand why people would work at MSC, especially ex-military, when jobs are scarce, but I cannot understand working for MSC when union deepsea jobs are plentiful, like right now.


For new 3rds or those who wish to save the maximum possible its not a bad.

  1. Job security; everyone knows the GOM pays well but for how long?
  2. Sea days; as many as you want its an express lane to Chief for engineers.
  3. Pay rollover; not sure why this keeps being seen as a horrible thing its neither good nor bad. You stack cash, advance your license, leave, and then you still keep getting paid until you are repaid in full.
  4. Downtime; everyone here hears about the lack of relief etc but a chunk of those days at sea are spent in a port. Name one other maritime job that will spend up to two weeks in a foreign port while not conducting a major repair?

Also the complaints about the pay… has anyone actually run the numbers? I have and once you do the base wages over most given periods end up being fairly close.

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I thought that the USCG didn’t give full credit for sea days because most MSC ships spend so much time in port?

There is more work than most of us want in any sector right now.

If it came with full seatime credit, working 11 months a year on one of those hospital ships full of nurses would be a nice gig.

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The reduced sea day credit is for ROS vessels in port. There are plenty of MSC ships spending a week or more in port that are FOS.

Only those in reduced operating status status (ROS) get reduced credit.

The 3 for 1 sea days start after 30 days in port if I remember right.

How would the USCG know?

They don’t. They only know if it’s indicated on the discharge.

Exactly. As long at the vessel is in normal service (not ROS) it doesn’t matter how long it’s at the dock, it’s straight time.

Does anyone know how the MSC bonus is paying out right now?

“ A $44,188 recruitment incentive is authorized for eligible selectees. Actual amount is calculated as 25% of base pay. Incentive is paid as a lump sum at the beginning of employment with the Command, and requires a 2-year service agreement.”

What does “actual amount calculated” mean? I don’t think 25% of chief mate base pay is 44k. Anyone with experience on this?

I think it means the amount varies depending on the base pay but the maximum authorized is $44,188.