Marine surveyors have many different responsibilities depending on the kind of surveyor they become and where they work, but most of the time they access all aspects of watercraft to insure they meet specifications and are insurable.
There are four different types of marine surveyors which include: Government surveyor, who ensures all marine craft meets federal regulations of the country in which they are going; Classification surveyor who inspects and ensures that the crafts are built to code for that specific class; Private surveyor, is one who may investigate any accident that the vessel is involved in; and yacht and small craft surveyor, where a majority of the work will be dealing with smaller water craft such as sailboats and small yachts, again, ensuring that they are built to code and insurance specifications. Salaries range depending on the geographical location as well as the company and can be anywhere from $40,000 to $80,000 a year, plus benefits.
All surveyors have the same basis of qualifications, first and foremost, they must be able to handle constantly working in or on the water, and they must have a working knowledge of boats and other watercraft. This type of experience is usually found some form of college education, either from a four year college, community college or vocational college.
When starting out with any company, you are starting from the bottom, surveyors cannot expect to walk into this job and instantly earn $80,000 a year. The estimated starting salary should be between the $40,000 to $50,000 depending on prior experience and type of education. There are also bonuses offered through most companies which can be as high as $2000 a year, bumping the starting wage up even more. Most companies offer full medical and dental benefits with just a handful not offering any benefits at all.
The factors which determine salary is mainly determined by the kind of experience the candidate has. If a young adult comes in with little experience and has just recently obtained their license, they will not make near as much as those who have been doing it for twenty or more years. It is also important to note that there are many different types of degrees which can also determine pay scale, most have a four year bachelor degree while some will only hold a two year associates degree or a simple certificate from a vocational school.
Generally, the longer you go to school, the higher the starting wage will be. Another factor when determining wage is what country the surveyor will be working in. It is recommended that the surveyor remains in the United States because the pay is generally higher than those in foreign countries, while staying close to home. In addition, surveyors are generally paid on a yearly salary basis with paydays ranging depending on the company they are employed by. While it is rare, some may pay once a year, while others can pay every other week.
Benefits are generally very good with marine surveyors. Most companies will offer full medical, dental, vision and life insurance policies to all the surveyors with just a handful of employers do not offer any kind of benefits. Since this is a year round job, it is typical that the surveyor could work varying hours and shifts which could include weekends, nights and holidays. Some employers will offer holiday pay that consists of either paid time off or overtime pay if the holiday is worked. Normally, if a person is working out of the country however; national holidays will not be observed, therefore, they will not receive holiday pay for those dates.