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Shipmanagement Salaries Technical versus Marine

This year, the annual salary survey produced by the Maritime HR Association reported data for a whopping 4,600 technical and marine staff (the latter encompassing marine superintendents, HSEQ staff and Port Captains).

Our analysis showed that demand continues to be higher in the industry for technical staff, and only within the LNG industry and at the oil majors is there a greater demand for marine staff.


• This higher demand means globally higher salaries for technical staff when compared to marine staff, although over the years the gap has narrowed and now remains small. However, there are some clear regional differences – we noted that the USA pays consistently high salaries across all levels of seniority for example.

• We were also able to report that, overall, staff working with LNG vessels are paid the highest salaries of any vessel type. At the entry level, salaries in the LNG market are significantly higher than in other industries but this difference becomes less apparent as the level of seniority increases. We suspect that the high seagoing salaries in LNG dictate the need to pay higher entry level salaries to seafarers to attract them ashore.


• Whilst technical salaries tend to be higher across the industry than marine salaries, the reverse was actually true in 2015 when it came to bonuses.

• Globally, marine bonuses were higher than technical bonuses at the professional level and above – and the gap widened with level of seniority.

• The USA paid the highest bonuses to marine staff at all levels and they were also the country with the greatest disparity between technical and marine bonuses.

• Not only do LNG salaries tend to sit at the top end of the salary ranges, overall they also received the biggest bonuses. Perhaps not surprisingly, those in the dry bulk sector received the lowest bonuses overall this year.

• The LNG industry seems to pay higher bonuses to marine staff whilst, conversely, the container and dry bulk industries appear to pay higher bonuses to their technical staff, perhaps reflecting the relative demand for technical vs. marine staff in these industries.

Sarah Hutley, Compensation & Benefits Consultant, HR Consulting. You can find out more at

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