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Results are in from the 1st Marine Salary Survey

Whilst experience placing men and women in marine related shore-based roles tells us a lot about what is going on in the industry, including; how trends for specific roles are changing, what the reality of the gender pay gap is and how good the prospects for marine industry career progression are, we are driven to investigate the industry further.

There’s nothing quite like irrefutable facts and feedback from all the crew out in the field to give us the full picture - so, when new recruits ask us:  What am I likely to earn?  How long can a career in the marine sector last?  Will my skills be transferable within the sector?  We can provide them with the best advice, backed up by latest industry findings.

So, when we had the opportunity to hear James Ward, Director of Marine Resources Recruitment give an overview of the results from their national marine industry salary survey, conducted last summer, we jumped at the chance to share what they had learnt.


  • The survey looked at 1,715 shore-based roles across 5 sectors of the marine industry: Leisure, Superyacht, Commercial, Maritime, Offshore/Renewables
  • Research was conducted over 11 weeks in 2019
  • 4,655 UK-based professionals participated in the survey
  • 71.9% of the respondents were from South of England
  • Age groups 25-34 up to 55-64 were represented consistently with on average 20-27% respondents per age bracket.  The lowest set of responses (2.9%) coming from 18-24 year olds
  • Average industry income goes up consistently between ages 18 - 44, at which point those in the leisure sector can experience a dip in salary.  Those in the maritime and superyacht sectors will experience a continued increase in salary opportunities
  • Males dominated the responses at 85%, compared to females at 15%
  • 58% of respondents were working in the leisure sector, although it appears this sector pays the lowest salary across all marine sectors, with an average salary of £37,490 per annum (p/a)
  • The superyacht sector's annual salary averages at £50,750, compared to the Offshore/Marine renewables average salary of £60,640
  • Whilst salary average in the marine industry is £38,660 p/a, the UK national average sits at £36,611 p/a (ONS’ latest results, October 2019)
  • The gender pay gap is 9.74%. With men earning on average £39.5k p/a and women £35k p/a, significantly lower than the current national 17.3% gender pay gap (Source: ONS)
  • 33.59% of female respondents earned less than £25,000 p/a, and 10% over £55,000
  • In contrast, 14.28% of men earn less than £25,000 and 25% over £55,000
  • Those working in the offshore and commercial sectors experience a dip in average wages from 45-54 year olds, increasing again at 55 years old
  • 59% would consider defecting from the marine sector


There is clearly work to be done, to continue to reduce the industry gender pay gap.  The industry should focus on promoting the full breadth of opportunities it has to offer to entice young people considering entering marine sectors.  Whilst the industry is great at investing in training and apprenticeships, it needs to get better at retaining skilled talent.  This includes incentivising knowledgeable and talented individuals, who have built up years of experience, giving them no reason to leave the industry and every reason to stay. 


 “It is great to see the gender pay gap below the national average but it’s clear that more investment is required to reduce it to zero and attract more women into the industry. Equally clear is employers’ need to do more to support those entering the industry, with regular training and better levels of renumeration as they progress … to retain the best talent.”

James Ward, Director Marine Resources Recruitment

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