Rewards and salaries

A Master Mariner from Western Europe can earn more than €100,000 annually. But even regular seamen can be sure of their rights - from conctractual hours of rest to paid annual leave and health and safety protection.

In one place and for the first time, the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 brings together international minimum standards aimed at ensuring appropriate working and living conditions for seafarers, while simultaneously helping to ensure that the competitiveness of ship-owners complying with the convention is not undermined.

Guaranteed rights

Under the MLC 2006, every seafarer has the right to: a safe and secure workplace that complies with safety standards, fair terms of employment, decent working and living conditions on board a ship and health protection, medical care, welfare measures and other forms of social protection. It covers almost every aspect of a seafarer’s work and life on board a ship including: minimum age, seafarers’ employment agreements, hours of work or rest, payment of wages, paid annual leave, repatriation at the end of contract, on-board medical care, the use of licensed private recruitment and placement services, accommodation, food and catering, health and safety protection and accident prevention and seafarers’ complaint handling.


Average salaries

Although the salaries of seafarers will vary from company to company, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (the ITF) negotiates terms and conditions (including salaries) on behalf of unionised shipboard personnel and this sets an international baseline for salaries, terms and conditions.

Table 1 provides some indicative average salaries for shipboard and shore personnel within the maritime sector in the EU. This can be compared to the global situation portrayed in Tables 2 and 3. For information on average seafarer salaries within some specific EU countries, please visit the following sites:

Additional sources


For information on average seafarer salaries in general or within some specific EU countries, please visit the following sites: 


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