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Former engineers earn more than captains

Former engineers earn more than captains

At fleet manager level, engineers are paid around USD10-15,000 more annually than mariners, according to the latest salary data released by maritime people experts, Spinnaker, on behalf of The Maritime HR Association.

“Basic principles of supply and demand dictate that in careers ashore, former seagoing engineers are paid more than former deck officers,” says Spinnaker HR Consultant, Lucy McQuillan. “For every ten mariners employed in fleet management there are 13 engineers. Ergo, engineers are paid more. The exceptions are in the container sector, which employs a higher ratio of mariners to engineers and the US market, where pay is more mixed but where former captains are often more highly rewarded.”

Looking at the demographics more closely reveals clear differences in how shipowner and ship-manager staffing is typically structured.  Shipowners that manage their vessels in house typically employ 15 technical superintendents for every 10 marine / S&Q superintendents whereas for ship-managers there are 21 technical superintendents for every 10 marine / S&Q superintendents. “This produces interesting results,” says McQuillan. “Based on the data analysed by Spinnaker, shipmanagers are achieving 5 vessels per technical superintendent compared with 6 at shipowners. Shipowners are also managing more vessels per fleet manager and senior manager.  The reverse is true when it comes to marine superintendents – one marine superintendent for every 12 vessels at shipmanagers compared with 9 at shipowners.”

Spinnaker has been analysing shipping employment salaries and demographics since 2005 when they set up The Maritime HR Association.  Nearly a hundred major shipping employers pool their data, enabling robust and detailed aggregated analysis of salaries, industry structure and employment trends.

Spinnaker Compensation & Benefits Analyst Amanda James: “Salaries for fleet managers in Northern Europe range from €90k to €135k for those with an engineering background and around €80k to €130k for mariners.  The gap narrows higher up the pay scale and is at its widest in the mid-ranges.   In Singapore, the pay gap is typically SGD10k.”

Notes to Editors

The Maritime HR Association was set up in 2005 by Spinnaker’s HR Consulting team.  Managing Director of HR Consulting at Spinnaker is Karen Waltham (FCIPD), formerly a senior member of the HR team at tanker owner AET. 

Spinnaker released The Maritime HR Association’s 12th salary survey recently.  Nearly 100 member companies participate in the annual survey, reporting data for more than 25,000 maritime industry professionals (85% male, 15% female of which 70% work in junior or trainee roles) in 94 countries.

The Technical and Marine, Safety & Quality job family is the largest job family reported within the survey, with nearly 5,000 incumbents reported in 81 counties. This year, the location employing the greatest proportion of those staff – 14% – was Singapore. 

Spinnaker’s HR Consulting business advises shipping employers of all kinds on management consulting projects relating to human resource strategy, organisational design, change management, compensation & benefits benchmarking and management & leadership development.

For more information contact:

Rachel Morgan: Head of Marketing.  Email: [email protected].  Tel: +44 1702 480142

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