7 Compelling Reasons to Switch to a Maritime Career Today

Did you know that workers are more likely to work for multiple employers than ever before? While it’s never easy to change jobs or career, there comes a time when you have no other choice but to jump ship. Here are 7 compelling reasons to take hold of your mast and shift your sails in search of finer bounties.

1. You’re not being paid enough

The median wage in Singapore is approximately S$3,749 per month. However, once you add on rental, personal savings and children’s education, there’s not much left. In comparison, a job as a Maritime Engineer can vastly expand your budget with salaries of up to S$12,000 per month.

2. You’re not getting enough leave

Some jobs require you to work more throughout the year than others. But for long-term career sustainability, you need balance. Is the average minimum of 7 days annual leave enough for you in the long-run? While you may need to work offshore for extended periods of time, seafaring can offer up to twelve times that annual leaves per year.

After every long contract, I get a vacation of about 2-3 months, no disturbances.”

– Chief Officer Milli Koh

3. You’re not progressing

For 3-4 years, Farhan worked as an account executive in the advertising industry. However, it wasn’t long before he found his career stagnating. The work became monotonous and the opportunities for progression dwindled. Fortunately, he was introduced to maritime by his brother in law, and at the age of 27, he began studying to become a captain – a decision which led him to a career that offered a clear training structure and progressive wage model.

4. You’re tired of travelling

Travel and long work hours may seem exciting when you first start your career, but circumstances change and this lifestyle may not be viable with a spouse or family. While sailing may seem like an odd choice for settling down, there are seafaring opportunities that sail close to home so that you can stay close to your loved ones.

I think mid-career switchers can make it more than the youngsters. There’s a very good scheme called ‘special limit officers’. Unlike foreign going sailing, the special limit scheme is catered for officers to sail on vessels that ply within a 30-mile radius from Singapore. The vessels are usually bunker tankers, smaller oil product carrier and ferries. The bulk of the people who joined this special limit are all mid-career switchers. Some already have children.”

– Capt Cheong Kwee Thiam

5. Your work is unstable

Offering flexibility and mobility, contract workers account for over 10% of Singapore’s resident workforce. However, this comes at a cost as Cadet Harish, a Personal & Logistic Coordinator, recently discovered. While working on contract in China, his company went into restructuring. Forced to return home, he signed up for the TETA programme and has now found a stable career path in becoming a Chief Engineer.

6. You’re uninspired

Tired of commuting to the same workplace to do the same thing day-in, day-out? A new environment with new experiences could be the spark needed to revive your career. Whether it is foreign sunsets or BBQs with a multinational team, seafaring offers unique experiences that’ll ensure no two days are the same.

On my second vessel, we went to Alaska. We went in August, summer time, but you can still see the icebergs floating. Polar bears are the only things we didn’t see but we saw some walrus carcasses and whales doing backflips.”

– Ivan Wu

7. You’re working in a declining industry

Some industries are experiencing a downward spiral in terms of growth and job opportunities in recent years. While the future digital economy will no doubt impact the maritime industry as well, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has injected a further S$100 million to improve long-term prospects and make the industry future-ready.

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