Find out the benefits and drawbacks of working at sea.

The open water beckons and is an attractive area of employment for those who love adventure, but it’s important to know the pros and cons of being a maritime worker. The industry includes many roles in a wide range of roles, from work on cruise and fishing ships to a career working on the docks. Find out the benefits and drawbacks of this field of work. You’ll be able to make an informed decision about your career path with more information about what working at sea can offer.

Pros of Being a Maritime Worker

Being a maritime worker comes with a wide range of benefits that can be broken down into the following categories. Find out if they’re suited to your lifestyle.

Career Opportunities

There’s a wide range of career opportunities available for those who want to work in the maritime industry. High-skilled career paths such as naval engineers and architects are in high demand, as are skills that don’t require a higher education. You’ll also have the flexibility to move from ship to ship

High Wages

Maritime workers can get paid significantly more than their on-shore counterparts, as wages are higher and they do not have to pay taxes. Those working at sea also can enjoy free room and board as well as other expenses which are covered by their employer. Many positions within the industry are unionized, meaning on-shore workers can also enjoy higher wages.

Rapid Career Advancement

Within the maritime industry, it’s possible for someone to become a captain of a ship by age 30 if they enter early. Workers can move up the ranks in the industry fairly quickly because the industry as a whole is often understaffed.

Cons of Being a Maritime Worker

While there are major benefits to working in the maritime industry, there are some significant drawbacks as well. Learn what they are before making a commitment.

It’s Dangerous

Maritime industry workers are more exposed to danger than workers in other industries. Dangers maritime workers face include the following:

  • Drowning
  • Slips and falls
  • Broken bones
  • Exposure to hazardous substances
  • Muscle and joint injuries
  • Death

Under the Jones Act, seamen, or workers that spend their time around waterborne vessels, can sue their employer directly in the event that they are injured, even from a fall. Working with a lawyer who is experienced in maritime accident cases can be vital to obtaining the compensation you’re entitled to in the event of an accident.

You Could Be Far From Home

Unless you’re working on-shore, the maritime industry could take you far from home for much of the year. You’ll also be far from other people who aren’t on your ship or at your dock facility. While some people won’t mind the isolation, it can wear on others.

It Takes Training (but It’s Free)

You won’t be able to just walk down to the docks and sign up to get on a ship if you want to join the maritime industry. You’ll need to go through training to learn how to work safely around ships and heavy equipment or onboard them, and this can take a year, even for entry-level positions. However, much of this will be covered by your employer.

Should you decide to pursue a career in the maritime industry, it’s important to know how to protect your rights. You’ll face a different regulatory structure than that you would have encountered in other industries, and your relationship with your employer will be different as well. If you’re injured, an experienced maritime injury lawyer can help you navigate the process to receive the compensation you’re entitled to.