Salary for Ship and Boat Captains

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This occupation has now been updated to Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels

Also known as:  Barge Captain, Barge Master, Boat Pilot, Car Ferry Captain, Car Ferry Master, Coastal Tug Mate, Deck Officer, Docking Pilot, Ferry Boat Captain, Ferry Captain helps find better paying jobs across all specialties and locations. Sign up in our career community today!

Boat captains can be employed by large hospitality industry companies, such as in the case of pleasure cruises, in private practice, or in the industrial or fishing industries. These positions typically require advanced marine operations training, logistics, and transportation study, as well as hands-on experience in other positions on ships, such as being a deck officer. Many boat captains in the private sector come from military or naval backgrounds.

A Ship or Boat Captain will normally receive a salary between $36,810 - $153,070 depending on experience and domain knowledge. will normally receive average salaries of eigthy-nine thousand seven hundred and fourty dollars every year.

have the highest pay levels in Mississippi, where they get average compensation of about $106,310. People working these jobs have the highest average potential salary in Administrative, Support and Waste Management Services, where they earn an average job salary of $97,610.

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The national wage distribution is shown below. To overlay local salaries for a Ship or Boat Captain, please select your state.
Annual salary
Hourly rate
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The annual compensation for this career has gone up since 2004. Salaries have increased by an average of 73.06 percent nationwide in that time.


Ship and Boat Captains tend to make the most in the following industries:

Administrative, Support and Waste Management Services
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
Transportation and Warehousing
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Public Administration

In general, they earn less within the industries below:

Wholesale Trade
Other Services (except Public Administration)
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
Educational Services
Retail Trade
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