The median annual wage for water transportation workers was $55,000 in May 2015.
The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,440, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $116,220.
Median annual wages for water transportation workers in May 2015 were as follows:
Captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels
Sailors and marine oilers
In May 2015, the median annual wages for water transportation workers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
Support activities for water transportation
Inland water transportation
Deep sea, coastal, and great lakes water transportation
Scenic and sightseeing transportation, water
Workers on deep-sea ships can spend months at a time away from home.
Workers on supply ships have shorter trips, usually lasting for a few hours to a month.
Tugboats and barges travel along the coasts and on inland waterways and crews are usually away for 2 to 3 weeks at a time.
Those who work on the Great Lakes have longer trips, around 2 months, but often do not work in the winter, when the lakes freeze.
Crews on all vessels often work long hours, 7 days a week.
Ferry workers and motorboat operators usually are away only for a few hours at a time and return home each night. Many ferry and motorboat operators service ships for vacation destinations and have seasonal schedules.
Water Transportation Workers
Median annual wages, May 2015
Water transportation workers
Total, all occupations
Transportation and material moving occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics