Average Ship Captain Salary

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The average salary for a Ship Captain is $92,630.
MEDIAN $92,630
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United States (change)
$48k - $169k
$2k - $41k
Profit Sharing
$2k - $12k
Total Pay
$41k - $170k

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Job Description for Ship Captain

Ship Captain Tasks
  • Command and navigate naval vessels through the transportation of personnel and goods.
  • Keep crew and ship prepared for crisis situations.
  • Track and evaluate records for cargo, crew, and ship maintenance.
  • Coordinate crews for all ship duties in harbor and at sea.

Career Paths

Explore the most common career paths for Ship Captain. Thickness and color of lines indicates popularity of movement from one job to the next. Visit our career path planner to research other job paths.
Ship Captain
Tug Boat Captain
Captain, Mate, or Pilot of Water Vessels
Operations Manager
More common (> 20%)
Somewhat common (8 - 20%)
Less common (< 8%)

Ship Captain Job Listings

Popular Skills for Ship Captain

Skills in Team Leadership, Operations Management, Risk Management / Risk Control and Shipping are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Maintenance.

Pay by Experience Level for Ship Captain

An early career Ship Captain with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $65,003 based on 27 salaries. A mid-career Ship Captain with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $85,964 based on 43 salaries. An experienced Ship Captain with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $98,444 based on 81 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $100,688.
Employees with Ship Captain in their job title in Los Angeles, California earn an average of 37.6% more than the national average. These job titles also find higher than average salaries in Houston, Texas (6.1% more) and New York, New York (4.4% more). The lowest salaries can be found in Chicago, Illinois (49.4% less), Miami, Florida (23.1% less) and Florida, Florida (8.2% less).

Years of Experience

This data is based on 223 survey responses.
Early Career
Mid Career
Late Career