Ship Engineers: Salary Overview
Ship engineers supervise activities of the crew who operate and maintain engines, boilers, deck machinery, and other equipment aboard ships.
A ship engineer’s job responsibilities typically include supervising the ship’s technical crew and acting as a liaison between the ship’s captain and its crew.
Ship engineers follow the captain’s orders, start the engines and adjust the vessel’s speed.
They record information, keep an inventory of the mechanical supplies, do routine checks to the mechanical parts of the vessel, and calculate refuel requirements.
They also respond to emergencies such as fires, leaks, and other technical issues that may occur on board and typically conduct safety operations, emergency drills and check to see if the team is ready to respond to emergencies.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for ship engineers is $79,540 a year which translates into $38.24 per hour.
Salaries vary widely depending on a variety of factors, including the level of experience, education, and the industry of employment.
The median annual wage for this profession was $74,610, according to the report published by BLS.
The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,710 a year while the highest 10 percent made more than $130,540 per year.
The 25th percentile for this occupation is $53,690 per year, which means that 75% of ship engineers make more than this amount.
The 75th percentile is $99,050 which means that most ship engineers make less than this while only 25% earned more than this amount.
Ship Engineer Salary by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most ship engineers work in the fields of the deep sea, coastal, and great lakes water transportation, in the field of inland water transportation, or in the federal executive branch.
The report published by BLS shows that the average annual wage for ship engineers who work in the deep sea, coastal, and great lakes water transportation sector was $79,670 per year.
This sector employed 2,560 ship engineers in 2019.
Ship engineer employed in the industry of inland water transportation earned, on average, $85,380 per year, while those who work for the federal executive branch earned a mean annual wage of $74,930 per year.
The industry of inland water transportation hired 1,350 ship engineers while the federal executive branch employed 1,260 ship engineers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1,180 ship engineers worked for companies that offer support activities for water transportation, a field that paid them, on average, with $80,000 per year.
The highest average annual wage was reported by ship engineers who worked for state governments.
The mean annual wage for ship engineers who worked in this sector was $88,440.
About 50 ship engineers worked for colleges, universities, and professional schools and were paid, on average, $85,480 per year.
The field of scientific research and developmental services hired approximately 40 ship engineers and paid them, on average, with $81,820 per year.
Salaries also vary based on other factors, including the region of employment and the ship engineer’s level of experience and education.
Entry-level ship engineers can earn a salary that is closer to the minimum for this profession and their wages will increase after gaining a few years of experience.
Ship engineering is a difficult profession that implies a lot of responsibilities because, as a ship engineer you will have to make quick decisions while at sea.
This is also a challenging profession that will make you keep up with the latest technologies and developments.
Ship engineers also need many years of training but this profession is usually well-paid and salaries increase as engineers earn several years of experience in their field.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Ship Engineers. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.