5 Unexpected Benefits of a Career in Maritime and Shipping

There are many reasons why people go to sea: curiosity, challenge, the call for adventure. But do you know that seafaring also offers unique benefits that can’t be found in other careers? While being away from home does have its drawbacks, the high seas offer a world of bounties which make the voyage all worth the while.

1. Long holidays

The average entitlement for annual leave in Singapore is 7 days. This increases to up to 14 with each year of service and the truth is, a lot of it is eaten up by replying to emails and group chats even when you are away from the office. While it is well-known that being away from home is part and parcel of the seafaring life, this is balanced out by being able to take up to 4 months of uninterrupted holidays per year.

“I work for eight months and rest for four months. Where do you find a job like that?”

– Captain Nordin, Commercial Ship Captain

2. Good wages

A maritime engineer, cruise ship chef or oil safety officer regularly attract salaries of S$5000 to S$12,000 per month. This income is often tax-free, enabling you to save more and reach your financial goals faster. Another unseen benefit is that while at sea, most of your living expenses like food and lodging are all paid for and you won’t be going on expensive shopping sprees on a whim, saving you significant amounts.

3. Structured work and progression

If you are meticulous, detail-oriented and value structures in your life, a seafaring career is perfect for you. Rather than switching jobs often and haphazardly trying to move up the career ladder, seafaring provides a clear path of progression. Whether it’s completing a certification exam, clocking up a certain number of miles at sea or moving up in the ranks to become a Captain or Chief Engineer, you’ll always know what to work towards.

4. Good long-term prospects

It’s not often that an industry prepares you for life after you leave it, but seafaring does just that. Soft skills such as leadership and management, as well as technical skills such as engineering, will leave you in good stead as they are highly sought after in other industries. Plus, your seafaring experience will open doors to a whole host of on-shore jobs and give you a competitive advantage over your landlubbing compatriots!

5. Impactful work

Maritime shipping is one of the most important industries in the world with over 90% of the world’s goods being transported by sea. While your impact on world trade is difficult to fathom, your impact at a daily level will be clearly visible. From day one, there’ll be no running around grabbing coffees here. You’ll be given important responsibilities once aboard and be able to directly see how your work contributes to the day-to-day operations of a ship – and there’s nothing more satisfying than that!


“When you take over a watch, the officers are sleeping so you are in charge. 22 lives are dependent on you and that’s responsibility! Not just lives, but also the company cargo.” – Farhan

Keen to learn more? Check out and find out more about our course details, career paths and success stories set to inspire your own seafaring journey! Or simply click the button below to register your interest to attend a free career talk with us.


Register Interest for SMOU Career Talks. Ignite Your Passion for the Seas Today!

* Email notification will be sent nearer to the event date.



Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search