I am presently looking to get into the marine transportation industry and was wondering what type of salaries are the standard for deckies. More specifically I have a possible job as 3rd Mate but the pay seems low $350 a day. I know that the OSV pay well but I don’t have all the certificates to work the field. I only hold the 3rd Mate unlimited and 500 Ton Ocean master. Any input on the type of pay I should be accepting would be helpful. I don’t want to start to bring down the industry normal pay rate singlehandedly.


Mariners: We are stronger by sharing wage and benefit information. Here is the most recent information from New York harbor.

International Longshoremans, United Marine Division, Local 333 supplies crews for most of the tugs working in Ny Harbor area. Go to the 333 website and look on the left side of the page for the contracts link to a pdf file of each companies 333 contracts. Choose a company, about half way through the contract, wages are listed. Also of interest is travel pay, grub money, 401k matching info, retirement contributions, etc.


I was paid $450 a day recently on a Chouest Government Division Vessel, as a Mate <1600 ton vessel.


Scuttlebutt I hear is 450-650/day for ltd licensed deck/engineer oil field with average benefits. Untld. add $50-200/day depending on ship/license/experience/benefits etc. Always make sure you compare apples to apples. Some of the better paying jobs I’ve held had poor benefits and vice versa. The pie is only so big for each position, different companies divide it differently.


Thanks for the input and I will keep all information in mind. The Local 333 site shows salaries for the tug industry well. Thanks again.


$350 a day for a 3rd mate? That’s the starting pay for crew boats at Chouest, and you only need a 100 ton. We have decent medical, a good 401k, and some travel pay.
So yea, thats a little low.


Wow! I knew tugs,OSV’s, etc. paid more than cruise ships- but wow! I was getting paid $120 day as an OS at my last job. It looks like these companies pay DOUBLE what I got.

Does anyone know if union wages are usually this high? In other parts of the country?

Thanks again-Anthony


union wage are not so straight forward as saying “$xxx.xx per day”, but all in all they should be towards the deeper end of the trough; also depends completely on how well the negotions went when the contract was agreed upon, different companies can give vastly differnt pay even though they operate the same kind of vessels in the same market - it just depends…


For many years the unions figured USA federal minimum wage times 24 as OS base; add in OT. So, $120/day for an OS with no possibility for overtime pay is sorta low [of course if you’re getting OT that might not be so bad], the cruise industry has never been known for paying above average wages. $120/day and no OT? You can do better.


Thanks- I started on cruise lines as a way to get a foot in the door. I’m glad for the opportunity it afforded me- as well as the opportunity to see Alaska, Hawaii, and the Northwest.

Majestic America line paid me $120 day no overtime. CruiseWest, Safari, American, and ACCL apparently pay the same- or less. I looked into working on deck at NCL- but the guy at the SIU office in Honolulu told me I needed to be an AB.

(is this right- no OS’s?)

I’m excited about getting over to a tug, OSV, tanker- etc- both for the experience/sea time- and the pay!

Thanks again-Anthony


Look at it this way; NCL is going to want an AB and since it’s a ship that means AB Unlimited so you’re going to be toiling away waiting for sea time at OS wages for a few years. The limited tonnage vessels will let you get some sort of limited AB quickly and make more money while you learn. As time passes you can get your AB Ultd and then make a decision as to which direction you want to go, mean time you’ve banked a lot more money as an AB [special, OSV, ltd, or whatever] than you would have as an OS on a ship. Reasonable people would go for the money the ltd offers for the time being, if you didn’t like it you could always switch back !


It looks like you are not going abroad for the love to the sea but for the love of your cash.
In that case forget about maritime transportation and turn your bow to the dredging or offshore world.


In my experience, deep sea union jobs for mates didn’t break the pay down by day, but with an hourly rate and/or an approximate monthly rate. Kinda hard to figure monthly pay if you add in vacation pay. I sailed on some AMO government contract vessels a few years ago where the pay for 3rd mates ranged from about $9k to $13.5k per month (adding in vacation and OT).

Actually, I never heard anyone talk about the pay in terms of a daily rate for deep sea union jobs, although I know that’s common for tugs, OSVs etc.


Hey Sean,
the job is on a dredger down in south america. I am not sure why the pay is in daily terms as I have been on hourly pay the past 13 years. I suppose the salary fits into the 9-13.5K range but on the lower end. I don’t want to be picky with the job hunt but more money is nice.


Shave the beard, take the job and get some experience. Yachting dosen’t cross over very well into the different commercial industries, after about 2 years you’ll have some skills you can sell. This isn’t meant as a cut, just trying to lay it out straight.


Its only in that range if you work straight time, if your working a 2:1 it’s only $7k a month. Even less if you work 1:1.
Do they pay any vacation pay?
As for not having certifications from working in the oil field, what do you think you are missing? You already hold a 500ton Master 3rd mate, so Im guessing its just ARPA, GMDSS, depending on how long ago you got everything, and then DP.


As for the love of the sea. Well I loved it so much that I lived and worked on it’s water for 13 years straight, but atlas I am in a house now.

Jemplayer, I have my ARPA but no GMDSS, towing, DP, and what ever other certificates I have yet to learn about, as there seems to be many. I would like to get my DP but I am not getting much response from companies. I think I will start to call and follow up on the resume that have been sent.
I don’t want to hire on as an AB and get stuck in the hawsepipe with everyone else so I am holding out for something in the house.
Thanks again all


Get with a company that pays are supplies the training you need. Even though you would have to go as AB the training would not cost you anything. Just my 2 cents good luck!


Christopher - If you have a 500 t master/3m, you should not have to work as an AB. If you do, it will be for a very short time. To upgrade to a 1600 t master , it should only be tonnage & sea time. Have you tried Gulfmark, Chouest, HOS in the GOM? $350 as a mate is not bad, not good either. But at least you would have your foot in the door and accumulate tonnage/seatime to upgrade and make more money. Good luck. Happy New Year.


Capt Brain, I am agreeing that I need to get the “foot in the door” as well. I haven’t talked with the companies yet but I will start to call them. They have had my resume for a month or so, but I think I now need to start to talk to people. Thanks for the input.