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Report: Salaries Are Rising as Seafarer Job Market Gets More Competitive

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Published Jan 22, 2024 11:23 PM by The Maritime Executive

Crewing provider Danica reports that recruitment of seafarers is getting harder than ever, based on the results of a new survey of shipowners.  

70 percent of crewing managers and other shipmanagement professionals reported that their work has become more difficult within the past two years - even when compared with the COVID era. Almost half said that it has become harder to find the qualified crewmembers they're looking for. 

For seafarers, salaries are rising as the market gets more competitive, and there may be more opportunities to transfer to a new company with better pay. 60 percent of the shipping firms that completed the survey said that they had raised wages for officers and ratings. Salaries for senior officers have risen by 10-30 percent at these firms. (Ukrainian shipfitters have done particularly well: because of a shortage of availability, they are seeing wage increases of up to 30 percent.) 

Crewing managers overwhelmingly believe that pay is the main reason their employees to change jobs. Crewmembers agree: 80 percent of the seafarers who completed Danica's most recent crewmember survey reported that salary was the main reason for switching employers. 

"The results [of the survey] are interesting and demonstrate how shortages of competent sea staff, particularly in certain ranks, are impacting crewing strategies for shipping firms. It also seems the majority of ship owners and managers are recognizing that salary levels need to increase in order to recruit and retain top talent," said Henrik Jensen, Danica's CEO.