Find Out Now: How Much Do Barge Captains Make?7 min read

Mar 7, 2023 5 min

Find Out Now: How Much Do Barge Captains Make?7 min read

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Barge Captains are responsible for navigating and operating large barges and cargo ships. They ensure the safety of both the crew and the cargo, as well as the security of the vessel. As such, they are some of the highest paid maritime professionals. In this article, we’ll take a look at how much barge captains make and the factors that influence their salary. We’ll also explore the job outlook for this profession and the educational requirements for becoming a barge captain. Finally, we’ll discuss the various tasks and duties performed by barge captains. By the end of this article, you should have a good understanding of the responsibilities and salary of a barge captain.

How Much Do Barge Captains Make

Barge captains make a decent wage in the maritime industry. According to, the average salary for a barge captain is $73,636 per year. This figure can vary significantly depending on experience level, company size, and location. Captains with more experience, who work for larger companies, and who are in areas with higher wages can make up to six figures annually. Barge captains also receive benefits such as health insurance, a pension plan, and vacation time. Additionally, they may get bonuses or other incentives depending on the company they work for. All in all, barge captains make a good living and enjoy a rewarding career.

Qualifications Required to Become a Barge Captain

Becoming a barge captain is no easy feat. It requires a unique set of qualifications and experience to even be considered for the role. To become a barge captain, you must have a vast knowledge of the waterways, navigational systems, and the proficiency to safely maneuver your vessel through tight waterways and locks. You must be able to effectively manage a crew, and have experience in the maritime industry.

The most important qualification for a barge captain is a valid Captain’s License or USCG Merchant Mariner Credential. This license requires a combination of classroom and practical training, and is obtained through the US Coast Guard. The license must be renewed every five years, and requires a minimum of 360 days of sea service – 180 of which must be as a captain.

In addition to the license, most barge captains must possess a valid TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) card. This card is issued by the US Department of Homeland Security, and is required for access to secure areas at ports, terminals, and vessels.

Barge captains must also have a strong understanding of the rules and regulations that govern the maritime industry. This includes knowledge of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations and the US Inland Rules of the Road.

Finally, barge captains must be able to communicate effectively with their crew and other vessels in the area. This requires a good understanding of maritime terminology and radio protocol.

Find Out Now: How Much Do Barge Captains Make?

While the qualifications to become a barge captain may seem daunting, the rewards of a successful career can be great. Barge captains earn lucrative salaries, and can enjoy the freedom of life on the open water. With the right qualifications and experience, anyone can become a successful barge captain.

Average Earnings of a Barge Captain

The question of how much do barge captains make is a complex one, as the salary for such a position depends on a range of factors. Barge captains are in charge of the navigation, operation, and maintenance of barges, which are large vessels used for transporting various items. As such, their salaries can vary significantly depending on their experience, the type of barge they are responsible for, and the size of the barge.

A barge captain’s salary greatly depends on the size of the barge they are in charge of. Generally speaking, captains of larger barges tend to make more money than captains of smaller barges, as larger barges require more skill and experience to safely operate. Additionally, the type of barge a captain is responsible for can also affect their salary. For example, captains in charge of hazardous material barges typically earn higher salaries than captains of other types of barges.

The experience of a barge captain is also an important factor in determining their salary. Captains with more experience can command higher salaries than those with less experience. Additionally, captains with specialized knowledge or skills, such as experience with hazardous materials, can also earn higher salaries.

On average, barge captains make between $45,000 and $90,000 per year. However, salaries can range widely depending on the size of the barge, the type of barge, and a captain’s experience. Additionally, some barge captains are able to receive bonuses, depending on the company they work for and the circumstances of their job.

In conclusion, the salary of a barge captain is dependent on a range of factors. Captains of larger barges and those with more experience tend to make more money than their counterparts. Additionally, captains of hazardous material barges can also command higher salaries. On average, barge captains make between $45,000 and $90,000 per year, though salaries can vary widely.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Being a Barge Captain

Find Out Now: How Much Do Barge Captains Make?

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a Barge Captain? What could be more romantic than sailing the waterways of the world, taking in the sights and smells of the sea? While the job has its fair share of benefits, there are also drawbacks to consider. In this blog, we’ll explore the perks and pitfalls of being a Barge Captain.

The most obvious benefit of being a Barge Captain is the salary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels was $77,090 in 2019. That’s a healthy income for a job that takes you to some of the most beautiful places in the world.

The job also offers a great deal of freedom. Barge Captains are their own bosses, and they have the opportunity to make their own schedule. If you’re the type who enjoys the freedom of being your own boss, then being a Barge Captain could be the perfect job.

Of course, there are drawbacks to the job. For one thing, it can be hazardous. Barge Captains are responsible for the safety of their crew and vessel, and they sometimes have to work in treacherous weather conditions. This can be stressful, and it’s not for everyone.

Another downside of being a Barge Captain is that it can be isolating. You’re out on the water for long stretches of time, and you’re often away from family and friends. If you’re the type who craves social interaction, then this could be a difficult adjustment.

Finally, the job is physically demanding. Barge Captains have to be able to lift heavy cargo, and they often have to work long hours. You need to be in good physical shape to be a Barge Captain, and this can be a challenge for some people.

Being a Barge Captain is an exciting and rewarding job, but it’s not without its drawbacks. Before you make the leap, make sure you consider the pros and cons carefully. The salary is good, but the job can be hazardous and isolating. You need to be in good physical shape, and you need to be comfortable with the idea of being your own boss. If you can handle those things, then being a Barge Captain could be the right job for you.


In conclusion, barge captains can make a very competitive salary depending on the size and type of barge they are operating. The average annual salary for a barge captain is around $60,000, although some captains may earn up to $90,000 or more per year. While the salary is not as high as some other positions in the maritime industry, barge captains have the opportunity to enjoy a unique and challenging work environment. Furthermore, barge captains may also receive bonuses and other incentives, such as vacation days. Therefore, for those looking for a challenging and rewarding career, becoming a barge captain may be a great choice.

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