Which gets a better pay? A Pilot / A mariner

Please, I will like to know which gets a better pay between a pilot and a mariner. I am about to resume in a college in Scotland where i am to study Nautical Science. According to the research i did, it seems the pilots get a better pay, but the job of a mariner is more tasking, dangerous and risky. please i will like to be enlightened in this regard Thanks so much…

After spending 35 years in the Aviation business, and obtaining the highest rating possible (ATP) for both Airplanes and Helicopters. I switched to being a Mariner.

Your up front costs to get a pilot job with decent living wages. about 10 years and $80,000.00. The up front costs to make a living wage as a mariner. $1,000.00 and two years.

If you don’t have a pilot job, you still have to keep flying to maintain your currency. That means you have to pay for it your self.
Every place you call is sitting on a thousand resumes. Pilots are always under cutting each other to get the jobs and are killing the pay scale.

Go to sea. it is a much cheaper way to find out if you like something. If you don’t, do something else. Aviation is dead.

On September 10th, 2001, I had the best job in the world. On September 12th, it was crap. Idiotic new regulations that do nothing to enhance safety or security, being searched by Bubba or Laquesha or Achmed in full view of everybody at the airport…it’s insanity.

Now, because Colgan put a pair of cheap, inexperienced pilots in the pointy end of a big, complex aircraft and they made a big smoking hole in the ground, the FAA is looking over our shoulders and busting skillful, experienced pilots for nitpicking little discrepancies.

I wouldn’t recommend a career in aviation to anyone.


I work with a guy that recently quit the aviation business flying a Embraer 145 for Continental. He spent 8 years total training (including 4 years of college) and work to get to that point. Best year he made 36,000 US. There have been some changes with retirement ages that lets older pilots stay in in the industry for 5 more years. FAA raised retirement from 60 to 65. Check out this site for more information and forum airlinepilotcentral.com

The entry level position on the rig is 55,900 as a roustabout. So a guy could get his GED and start out at 55 G’s a year. On a boat first year potential with less than a GED could start out at 40K or better. If money is what you are looking for, I am not sure that flying planes “at the moment” is what you are looking for.

Entry level pay at any airline…except maybe Southwest…is about $20,000, and you’re on call five days a week. No schedule, just sit on the phone and be available to come out and fly when nobody else wants to. The senior pilots look at the weather, the schedule and the times and decide whether to fly or not. It currently takes about 10 years, maybe more, to make Captain where I worked, and being el Supremo is where the money is. You don’t have to work too hard to to make $70,000, but you’ve got to work you’re ass off to make $100,000.

All of the airlines are union (ALPA) again, except Southwest (They have an “in-house” union), and they all have a “seniority system”, so if you leave one to go to another, you start at the bottom again. It’s not a bad system, but it’s far from perfect. I’d hesitate to even call it good. But it’s the one that’s there and will be forevermore.

Airline pilots eat their young. The first thing a pilot wonders when an airplane from his company crashes is “Was he senior to me?” Stay away from aviation.



I came across this website in my previous research. It may be useful to you: http://occupations.careers.org/53-5021.01/ship-and-boat-captains

I really appreciate this replies. Very useful informations. This site is great. I thank God for knowing the site. I think it is very clear to me now as the blue sky. I am new on this site, but i will stay around for a long time… Resuming classes on Nautical Science soon (4yrs) and hope to finish asap so i can go to sea. Can’t really wait… (its Good to seek knowledge)