A merchant marine is a type of trader who works exclusively on ships and other sea vessels, engaging in their trading on water. The job typically involves manning a vessel as it travels between two destinations in its trading routine, providing various services on that vessel as required. For example, a merchant marine could work general duties on board of the merchant vessel, they could be the captain of the vessel, or working in the machine room. Any type of sailor who works on a merchant vessel in general is considered a merchant marine.

Getting a job as a merchant marine is down to experience in most cases. Many merchants are only looking to hire candidates who know what they’re doing and have at least a few years of experience under their belts, so that they can effectively service the vessel and do their jobs efficiently. Experience is actually the most important factor that’s considered in most cases, as merchants are ultimately interested in the performance of their vessels and not training new employees.

A merchant marine can earn a varied sum of money, spanning from $24,000 to $68,000. The difference is mostly attributed to the different ranks a merchant marine can occupy on the sea vessel they work on, and understandably, the higher-ranking sailors earn a lot more than those in the lower tiers of the career ladder on the ship. In general, there are some good bonuses offered for good performance, though there are some exceptions as well where merchant marines don’t earn that well.