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Merchant Mariners


The merchant marine is that part of the maritime trade industry concerned with transporting cargo (and sometimes passengers) from place to place via water routes; it is also known as the commercial shipping industry. Merchant mariners operate ships and other water vessels on domestic and international waters. Workers on these ships are divided into three crews: the deck crew, which handles navigation and cargo operations, the engine crew, which oversees the generating system that propels the ship, and the steward department, which sees to meals and living quarters. Each crew is commanded by a designated officer. Water transportation workers hold 78,500 jobs.

Salary Range

Below $25,000 to $100,000+

Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma




Faster than the Average
Personality Traits


Hands On


Career Ladder

Chief Mate, or Chief Engineer, or Chief Steward

Various Mid-Level Positions

Able Seaman

Ordinary Seamen