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Earning over $250,000?

Well pat yourself on the back as you are now officially ultra-rich and as such will be taxed accordingly, at least in the US where President Obama is targeting higher earners.

Although many people have to rely on a lottery win to earn $250,000 – surely we are all rich in shipping aren't we? We thought we'd find out what the score is.

Spinnaker has done a bit of research to find out what shore-based shipping staff are pulling down around the globe. We analysed salary data provided by shipping employers for 4,300 shore based staff and found that in shipping a mere 2.2% earn base salaries of $250k and above. Another 40% earn more than $100k and a third of them top $150k.

Despite all those sexy rumours only 1.5% earned a bonus in excess of 100% last year and you might be surprised to learn that just 2.4% landed a bonus of 50-100%. Some 91% earn bonuses of under 30% of salary.

So, who does get all those big bonuses then? No surprise that the loadsamoney brigade – those with bonuses above 100% – are chartering and freight-trading staff with a few senior executives such as CEOs, CFOs and general counsel thrown in. A similar picture emerges for 50%+ bonuses but with some senior ship management staff and senior operations staff creeping in.

Unsurprisingly, the dry cargo market fared much better than the tanker market in bonus terms last year, with higher proportions earning bigger bonuses in dry than in wet across chartering and ship management staff. Proportionately, three times as many dry chartering staff earned bonuses in excess of 100% and twice as many between 50-100%.

Interestingly, operations staff fared no better in the dry bulk market. It's difficult to say why. What is unarguable is that operations staff, particularly those with strong contract of affreightment experience became much better paid during the boom years as owners and operators realised the need to deliver repeatable high levels of customer-service. Whereas once they were second class citizens, senior operations staff in particular can earn very respectable salaries nowadays.

In case you've managed to miss our less-than-subtle self-promotion in previous months, Spinnaker is secretariat of the Maritime HR Forum. To benchmark your salary and bonus packages against 50 leading empoyers: shipowners, oil majors, commodity groups and shipmanagers, contact [email protected] for an information pack.

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