Earnings vary widely with the particular water transportation position and the worker’s experience, ranging from the minimum wage for some beginning seamen or mate positions to more than $42.02 an hour for some experienced ship engineers. Median hourly earnings of water transportation occupations in May 2004 were:
|Captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels
|Sailors and marine oilers
Annual pay for captains of larger vessels, such as container ships, oil tankers, or passenger ships, may exceed $100,000, but only after many years of experience. Similarly, captains of tugboats often earn more than the median reported here, with earnings dependent on the port and the nature of the cargo.