The industry is huge. Two-thirds of the world is covered by water. The maritime and transportation industry moves people and cargo by water; it is a critical component of our nation’s economy and global security. The industry is large, and getting larger. There are more than 3,700 marine terminals in the U.S. which move more than $2 trillion worth of domestic and international goods through an intermodal transportation system by train and truck. In addition the ship building and repair industry, which constructs, repairs and maintains ships for our country’s military and commercial maritime interests, represents a crucial segment of our economy. In 2010 along it generated more than $19 billion in revenues. Making sure there are enough skilled technicians to build, repair, and maintain ships is a strategic national interest.
The jobs are there. Maritime transportation occupations are the fastest growing category in transportation occupations. Right now the industry is dominated by an aging workforce; as baby boomers retire there’s a large and rapidly growing need for new employees. There is a lack of technically-skilled workers entering this industry which means the doors are wide open for upcoming workers.
The opportunities for advancement are numerous. Because the industry is growing and the majority of the current workforce is nearing retirement there are numerous jobs to explore within the industry. Entering workers can learn a variety of skills and then determine which area they want to pursue for a long-term career.
The pay and benefits are competitive. The maritime and transportation industry offers well-paying careers and most employers provide important benefits including health and life insurance, retirement savings plans, paid vacation, and tuition assistance programs.
Starting out: Entry-level workers with just a high school degree can earn up to $15 per hour with full-time benefits.
Moving up: With additional training and experience beyond high school technicians can earn an hourly wage between $15 – 26 per hour.
Reaching the top: Apprentices can earn $41,000 - $68,000 annually while college graduates can earn $60 - $90,000 yearly and those holding graduate degrees can earn $75 - $100,000.