Careers To Consider In The Shipping Industry

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Written By Adrian Cruce






The shipping industry is much larger than people think. It involves countless profitable careers that you might want to consider.

You should know that around 90% of all the items you buy were shipped from somewhere. The largest ships used can carry close to 20,000 containers so you can easily imagine how large the industry can be. Shipping is vital for commerce so it is a viable profitable career with large potential financial rewards. In addition, shipping involves transporting anything, from international removals to office relocations, not just commerce-related items.

Why The Shipping Industry?

This is an industry with a really diverse range of possible roles. You can easily find something that suits your skillsets. At the same time, opportunities are evolving. For instance, in the past the shipping industry was infamous for lacking modern technology. Nowadays, this changed and there are opportunities available even in social media marketing related to shipping or environmental roles.

Since the diversity is high, you can definitely enter this industry when you have financial problems or when you look for something else as your current career is not satisfying you anymore. Here are some suggestions that you can take into account right now.


The shipbroker is practically an intermediary between charterers that hire ships and shipowners and ship sellers or buyers. In order to be considered for the better-paying positions, you need to be a graduate but there are also opportunities that require zero qualifications. You just need very good sales and networking skills. Also, being able to build trust with those you meet is an added advantage.

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On-the-job training is usually available and you can expect to earn around $60,000 per year. In addition, a commission is usually offered based on ton of paid freight, at a rate of around 1.25%. This can easily lead to a very high yearly salary.

The shipbroker position is perfect for those that have very strong negotiation skills.


The term used is a general one because this is a part of the shipping industry that is difficult to summarize. An operations team is practically all about communication, customer service, back-up, administration, coordination, and support. The operations department is the one that makes sure shipping goes as smoothly as it could.

In order to be involved, you need to be calm, persistent, and have strong organizational skills. Junior recruits are usually graduates and have a shipping degree. The junior deck officer can also be considered.

At the entry level, you can expect around $25,000 per year but raises are common.


The superintendent is traditionally the chief engineer on the ship that comes ashore. The specialist is responsible for unplanned and planned maintenance, together with managing costs. They also deal with major repairs, dry docking, budgets, environmental compliance, breakdowns, inspections, damages, accidents, and more.

To be considered as a superintendent, you usually need seagoing experience and engineering officer experience. Alternatively, a degree in naval architecture or engineering can help. Nowadays, seagoing experience is not that important and is not seen as a mandatory requirement by most companies.

As a superintendent, you can expect a salary of around $67,000 per year and it is mandatory that your main focus is always putting the safety of others first.

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Claims Manager/Handler

The claims manager is a tough position to pinpoint because responsibilities vary a lot from one organization to the next. As an example, in the P&I part, the handler is important to insure liability claims. For the owners, a claim suggests that something wrong was done. Volume claims are common in liners and in cargo, they are usually of a higher value but there are lower numbers of claims.

The claims manager/handler needs discretion, very good communication skills, and personality. If you are hired, you can expect to earn around $67,000 per year but you do need to enjoy working with numbers.

Shipping Law

The actual term for the position varies from country to country. In England for instance, the usual term is lawyer. Basically, you need to have a strong knowledge of shipping law and you need to be accredited. Traditionally, this means you need the appropriate legal degrees. As expected, the salary can be very high, with most shipping lawyers making over $100,000 per year.