The shipping industry has long been one of the most important economic forces in the UK. Today, our shipping industry consists of more than 100,000 vessels, crewed by more than 1.5 million professional seafarers from nearly every country in the world. The volume and diversity of goods and merchandise transported by shipping routes is astounding, and establishes essential economic connections between the UK and nations all across the globe.
Of course, the industry is based in coastal regions and those easily accessible by river systems, and so the majority of work is centered in London, Essex, Kent, Gwynedd, and Merseyside. Recruitment agencies commonly list career opportunities in the areas of freight forwarding, dangerous goods handling, ships, crew, and dock management. Positions in the shipping industry do not typically require many qualifications, certifications, or degrees. Training is usually given on the job, and physically able individuals are needed for the often-strenuous work.
Salaries start at about £16K annually for entry-level roles, and the average shipping professional earns approximately £24K. The top five percent of workers make upwards of £40K. In London, average wages are slightly higher than elsewhere in the UK, and the average income there is about £33K.