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The average seaman salary is $55,413. The most common degree is a high school diploma degree with an business major. It usually takes 1-2 years of experience to become a seaman. Seamen with a First Aid, CPR and AED Instructor certification earn more money. Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -2% and produce -1,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Seaman Do

There are certain skills that many seamen have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed customer-service skills, manual dexterity and mechanical skills.

How To Become a Seaman

If you're interested in becoming a seaman, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 30.6% of seamen have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 3.3% of seamen have master's degrees. Even though some seamen have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Career Path For a Seaman

In addition to switching up your job search, it might prove helpful to look at a career path for your specific job. Now, what's a career path you ask? Well, it's practically a map that shows how you might advance from one job title to another. Our career paths are especially detailed with salary changes. So, for example, if you started out with the role of operations specialist you might progress to a role such as technician eventually. Later on in your career, you could end up with the title operations officer.


Average Salary for a Seaman

Seamen in America make an average salary of $55,413 per year or $27 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $136,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $22,000 per year.
Average Seaman Salary
$55,413 Yearly
$26.64 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Seaman

There are several types of seaman, including:



For an average of $17 an hour and a whoping $36,000 a year, performing manual duties and ensuring the general well-being of a ship hasn't been more attractive. Its a pretty sweet job as you get to work with your hands, that is if you like that. And then, you get to live on a ship or maybe even a super-yacht.

A Deckhand should be fit physically as you will be active around the clock, lifting objects for the guests and cleaning just to mention a few tasks. Have I mentioned that a Deckhand will also get to drive jet skis when the need arises? Pretty sweet. Things can also get serious in the time of a health or safety incident and a Deckhand will be the first responder.

Vessel management is the major skill for a deckhand and you don't really require an academic degree to venture into the field. The abilities to be very physically active, respond on time, and work efficiently with your hands are the things that shine brightly in this amazing field.

  • Average Salary: $56,163
  • Degree: High School Diploma



Who ensures order and peace within your society? That would be the hardworking cadets. They are the young citizens or trainee police officers who understand the law enforcement profession by offering their services in police and law enforcement departments. The two most important things to be a successful cadet are to obey every order and contribute interest in learning.

A strong cadet performs various clerical duties such as answering calls, providing directions and general information to the people, keeping records, and entering data in the computer systems. They usually work under the direct supervision of an Officer to do various tasks in the department. These tasks are helpful in their career advancement into the law enforcement career.

The qualifications required to become a successful cadet are a high-school diploma or equivalent. They are usually hired by police and law enforcement departments of the state. The training agreement contains an average of eight working hours daily, with essential overtime in certain situations. On advancing to a successful cadet, you can earn approximately $19.39 per hour.

  • Average Salary: $41,427
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Able Bodied Seaman


Able-bodied seamen are responsible for using emergency, damage control, lifesaving, and safety equipment on the merchant ship. They perform general repair, maintenance, and sanitation duties. Also, they monitor the ship during its course or trip. They work on the merchant ship and help with general lifting operations by loading equipment and supplies aboard the vessel. Furthermore, they operate skiffs and rowboats to transport personnel. Additionally, they secure and remove the vessel's docking lines to and from docks and other vessels or platforms.

Primarily, you need a high school diploma or its equivalent to apply for this job. However, having a training program certificate is a plus. You must have a year or more of relevant experience. Applicants must possess decision-making, attention to detail, interpersonal, communication, and teamwork skills. You must be physically fit. Able-bodied seamen make an average annual salary of $54,529. This ranges between $35,000 and $84,000.

  • Average Salary: $54,062
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Seaman Jobs

Number Of Seaman Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
3New York5$82,222
12New Jersey0$82,445
13Rhode Island0$78,733
16New Hampshire0$74,172
26West Virginia0$51,970
27North Carolina0$53,261
30South Carolina0$49,247
32New Mexico0$48,081
37South Dakota0$42,401
42North Dakota0$39,507

Seaman Education

Seaman Majors

20.1 %

Seaman Degrees

High School Diploma

40.5 %


30.6 %


17.6 %

Top Skills For a Seaman

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 22.8% of seamen listed safety equipment on their resume, but soft skills such as customer-service skills and manual dexterity are important as well.

  • Safety Equipment, 22.8%
  • Navigational Aids, 10.0%
  • Coast Guard, 9.2%
  • Law Enforcement, 9.2%
  • CPR, 5.7%
  • Other Skills, 43.1%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Seaman Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Seaman templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Seaman resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Seaman diversity

Seaman Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among seamen, 28.1% of them are women, while 71.9% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among seamen is White, which makes up 54.5% of all seamen.

  • The most common foreign language among seamen is Spanish at 56.6%.

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Top Seaman Employers

Most Common Employers For Seaman

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1SEACOR Holdings$176,425$84.824
2Exxon Mobil$153,034$73.571
3Ontario Systems$89,391$42.982
4Pacific Architects and Engineers$72,171$34.701
5Lockheed Martin$64,267$30.901
6The Unlimited$62,582$30.091
8Communications Systems$54,655$26.281
9U S Merchants$52,998$25.484
10Kyber Network$51,667$24.841

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