The average salary for cruise line captains was $153,379 as of 2012, which was a 22.8 percent jump from the previous year. By comparison, captains of container and bulk carrier ships made around $110,981 per year.
Specialist rates for inshore marine pilots can be significantly more, however. For example, in 2012, senior pilots working in the Panama Canal brought home as much as $450,000 annually, while San Francisco Bar Pilots members averaged a net pay of $451,336 during the same time period.
Crew of sailing vessels also earn a good living. Chief officers aboard a cargo ship brought home $82,737 in 2012.