Navigating the complexities of the marine industry can be challenging. There are many regulations and variables for each position and ticket. However, for those who are just getting started, here is a broad overview of the average salaries and career outlook from WorkBC and Statistics Canada:



Annual Provincial Median Salary: $54,226

Expected Job Openings (2019-2029): 1,800 positions to be filled

Education: Most dispatchers are required to have completed secondary school and will usually undergo informal training on the job. A strong understanding of computers and the ability to multitask is considered an asset.

Job Description: Did you know, of the jobs that will be required to be filled, 48% are specific to transportation and warehousing? Dispatchers are employed in the marine industry for many companies such as marine unions, Seaspan Marine, Tymac and more! Dispatchers are responsible for the movement of tugs, barges and other marine vessels and their crew. Their job requires detail orientated personnel with strong communication skills. They maintain work records and generate reports as well as being actively involved in operations on the water.


Longshore Workers

Annual Provincial Median Salary: $87,595

Expected Job Openings (2019-2029): 1,600 positions to be filled

Education: Some secondary education may be required however these positions usually require on-the-job training. Depending on your role as a longshore worker, you may be required to obtain crane operating certifications in addition to/or heavy equipment operating tickets.

Job Description: Responsible for transferring cargo from or to ships, such as deep sea vessels and working throughout the dock area, this career requires personnel to be highly alert and responsible as they will be handling industrial equipment such as cranes, trucks and tractors. They may be responsible for other activities such as lashing cargo aboard ships as well as cleaning the holds of ships.


Master/ Commanding Officer

Annual Provincial Median Salary: $79,253

Expected Job Openings (2019-2029): 600 positions to be filled

Education: There are many operations all over the world who require varying Masters certificates- depending on where you desire to work will depend the experience and knowledge that is required. From smaller operations that require a Master 60GT Ltd ticket to larger operations such as cruise ship Captains that may require a Master Mariner Certificate.

Job Description: This position will require the Master to plan and safely execute passage for the crew, cargo and the vessel while understanding the use of navigational instruments, charts and navigational aids. As the Master is in command of their vessel, they will supervise any loading or discharging of cargo as well as accurately record voyage information such as, weather and sea conditions, drills, incidents, occurrences and more!


Deck and Engine Room Crew

Annual Provincial Median Salary: $58,397

Expected Job Openings (2019-2029): 420 positions to be filled

Education: Some secondary schooling is generally required in addition to on-the-job training. The secondary schooling generally consists of completion of safety tickets such as the Marine Emergency Duties however, depending on your future position, tickets such as the Bridge Watch Rating can be an asset.

Job Description: In this position, you can expect to handle mooring lines, splice and repair lines as well as standing watch and steering the vessel under the direction of an officer. You may be required to work machinery such as winches or auxiliary equipment as well as maintain the vessel by cleaning, painting and performing duties in the engine room such as lubricating machinery, checking oil and coolant levels and recording and reporting any abnormalities.


Chief Engineer/ Marine Engineer

Annual Provincial Median Salary: $78,481

Expected Job Openings (2019-2029): 220 positions to be filled.

Education: Depending on your place of employment and the tonnage and cargo of the vessel you will be working on, this will dictate the engineering level that is required. An entry level engineer can hold a certificate such as the Small Vessel Machinery Operator course, along with the relevant experience and can work as an engineer on vessels such as tug boats! BC Ferries and other vessels generally have multiple engineers, each with varying education and different expectations in their jobs. On larger vessels such as these, you will find chief engineers and others!

Job Description: As an engineer, you will be required to maintain and monitor the performance of engines, machinery spaces, auxiliary equipment and more! This will include performing inspections and maintaining records associated with any machinery used on the vessel. This is generally a full time position that is required for most vessels! Whether you are assigned to a tug boat, a deep sea ship or something coastal like BC Ferries, there is a wide range of opportunities for any marine engineer!


Data and Statistics taken from WorkBC