Who is?

Hi. I am a shipping company director, transport academic, author, family man and all round nice guy. I have worked as shipbroker, shipowner, freight trader and bulk charterer, in senior positions, with some of the largest and most disrespected (joke) companies in the world. Ask my advice on all things shipping and you will receive my blunt and always honest answer. Hang around to learn more about chartering and ship broker salaries, chartering and ship broker jobs, chartering and shipbroker recruitment agencies, cheap freight, maritime education, chartering and ship broker qualifications, become a ship broker, tips on how to be a successful bulk shipping executive, philosophy, Zen and the art of shipbroking, and much more. Yours The Virtual Shipbroker (recently proclaimed the guru of shipbroking) Copyright © 2009-15 by Virtualshipbroker

Thursday, February 12, 2009

shipping salaries / shipbroker salaries

This is my first crack at a blog and many things have only now just occured to me.

It is entirely possible that no-one will ever see this blog....thats a lonely thought.

Also it occurs to me that I probably need to blog something remotely interesting in order to grab 'the viewers' attention.

Shipping is a fairly dry subject but below the surface is an entire subculture in desperate need of exposure. Think big money, think old money, think travel, think flashy suits and fast cars, think corruption, think secret gentlemans buisness, think glamour - think Shipping.

Interesting point one - A Shipbroker / Freight trader / Bulk shipping boffin is one of the highest paid professionals in the world. And the best part is that in most cases you dont need any qualifications. So whats the going rate?

Shipbroker Salaries
Junior less than 3 years experience - USD 30-60k
Mid level 3-7 years experience USD 70-120k
Senior exec USD 150-300k
C level USD 300k plus

Not bad hey!

But the question is How does one become a 'Bulk Shipping Executive?' Thats why I wrote 'Inside Shipbroking!' - check it out when you get the chance.

An update for shipbroker salaries http://virtualshipbroker.blogspot.com/2010/05/shipbroking-and-chartering-salaries-and.html

The Virtual Shipbroker


  1. Hello,

    I would love to learn, how I can get my foot in the door. My brother referred me to this blog, and want to make a career change.


  2. Hello

    Is there any way i can become a Trainee Shipbroker based in singapore I am currently working here.I am ready to pay consultancy even.once i have the job in my hand.Thanks Vinod

  3. Hello,

    I've recently graduated from university in the UK. And i would greatly appreciate a chance to correspond via email, and gain a better insight into the world of shipping. My email address is jamlines@aol.com. I would really appreciate some advice.

    Kind Regards,


  4. James

    You can send me an email anytime at virtualshipbroker@yahoo.com

  5. Well, being a shipbroker myself, I would say that the average salary ranges from £5.00 per hour top anything upto £12.50, enough to get a nice suit and tie

  6. Gee - I think your employer is not paying you enough anon!

  7. Hi,am solomon by name a law gradute and at the moment a posgraduate student of oil and gas management in the uk.i had strong passion for shipping industry,how can i come into the industry?can i maybe start with part-time job as a student then gradually progress from there?my email address is mcsolomonjustice@yahoo.com.

  8. Hello Solomon

    Good Questions and ones that are asked to me everyday by email. The answers are long and varied so I cannot reply to each person. Check out my book 'Inside Shipbroking' for all the answers.

    You have an excellent foundation and now you need to take that next step. Starting your search as a student is an excellent idea!

    Good luck

    Kind regards

  9. Hi,

    Great blog, so glad I found it. I am a Royal Naval (RN) Officer, wanting a career change and want greater and quicker rewards than I am able to achieve in the RN. Shipbroking may well be what I am looking for. I have a question?: What is the normal career progression for a Shipbroker? I ask because I want to be fairly sure that a vocation has the opportunity to allow me to earn £100k or more within 5 years. Is this realistic?

    Many thanks

  10. Jim - 100,000 pounds hey! So you want to skip right into the top 0.05 percent of wage earners on the planet within 5 years. Nice to have high goals.

    Well here is the good news - if there ever was industry that you could so this it is probably bulk shipping. Probably 5-10 percent of protagonists earn this much and more.

    Good Luck - Love the ambition!


  11. Thanks for maintaining this wonderful blog. I am getting ready to apply for a Trainee ship broker position after gaining a Masters in Shipping from UK.Shall keep you all posted.Cheers

  12. Hello,

    l have a degree in International Relations from Tr.and have an 11-month experience in export as and sales and export supervisor in Tr.
    Plus ,l have been doing a postgraduate course in shipping management in London City College in the UK.it was a l year postgraduate programme.finished in july.l have got a resit exam on 10th December ,then finally l can get my diploma.But as part of my visa ,l have to work for the same employer for 3 years.so l can't get a job in shipping unfortunately.but in 3 years time l can.what do you suggest me to do withing this long time ? maybe a part time masters in London again? maybe just a training without getting paid in London ( if l can get a chance from any companies in London) or maybe l might try to pass ICS exam by studying at home ?
    would ne so glad if you could give me any idea as lm stuck!!
    thank you very much in advance

  13. Derya - send me a private email and I will try and answer some of your questions.

  14. dear vs,

    can u pls advise me yr pvt email id so that i can talk u there about ship brokering, as a fresher how can one enter in this feild , if u can suggest me some good com name in delhi or ncr , thanks in advacne


  15. hi

    my email is virtualshipbroker@yahoo.com

  16. Hi:

    Thanks for maintaining this great resource. I am a Brit currently residing in NYC and have been considering attempting to break into the industry, would it be OK for me to email you directly with some specific questions?

    Regards, jstn

  17. You can email me at virtualshipbroker@yahoo.com


  18. Hi, Nice blog you have here
    Seems to me that you are passionate to give something to others.
    I'm in a shipping company too, but instead of chartering, my company just satisfied operates their own vessel. maybe since only few have enough knowledge bout ship charter/brokering.
    Hope i can learn something from your blog.


  19. Hello Angga

    Thanks your kind words

    I maintain this blog because I suffer from adhd, insomnia, compulsive didactive disorder and any number of other neurotic ailments common to ship chartering people.

    Maybe theres a little passion thrown in the mix aswell.

    Thanks for stopping by


  20. There's no such thing at disorders. It's called Passion!


  21. Hey..

    I've 4years experience in dry bulk and break bulk broking(from year 1999 to 2004). I live in Vancouver, BC and want to join an shipbroking firm and get backto business. Any possibility???
    Pls adv.
    e-mail: capttpsingh@gmail.com

  22. some people rose up to master with 10+2. now to become ship broker, i think you require only 10th pass.

  23. Hey im from singapore. Im very interested in going into the line of ship brokering but i dun have experience. Have send out a couples of resumes out but till now there isn't any outcome. Any good advices on this? Appreciate it. Thanks. My email is canetcher@gmail.com

  24. He Canet. I have plenty of good advice and its all in 'inside shipbroking'.

    The other thing you could do is make a donation and I can check your resume and cover letter.

    thanks for stopping by


  25. Hi VS,

    I am a 2nd Year economics student in a london university. Will you give me some tips on
    1) how best to enter the industry
    2) salary for inexperienced graduate
    3) what are they looking for in a shipbroker?
    4) the main differences and similiarities between normal electronic broking and shipbroking?
    5) How transferable are the skills gained from shipbroking?

    my email: benwoo680@gmail.com

  26. Hello Ben

    Thanks for the post - Wondeing if you have read 'Inside Shipbroking". I am asked these questions on a weekly basis and instead of writing them and explaining concepts over and over again I decided to write a book.

    Check it out when you get some time


    1. Hi VS,

      It has been over 2 years and I have been a frequent reader of your website.
      I finally completed University and got down to buying the 'Inside shipbroking' book. It is an excellent read albeit short. My enthusiasm led me to finish it under 2 hours.

      Having read your book, I have found the answers to 4/5 of the questions.
      I am quite clueless about Qn 4: the main differences and similiarities between normal electronic broking and shipbroking?

      Given the need for a human element in shipbroking, how could a shipbroker job be done by eletronic broking? Could you shed some light please?


    2. Hi Ben - the reason you found the book short is because as you said you couldnt put it down!. There is no such thing as 'normal electronic broking' and 'shipbroking'. Shipbroking involves real people and real contacts.

      Can you imagine the day when all houses are sold on the net without agents? I cant either - same applies for shipbroking...

  27. my son is 25 and has brokered about 5 successful deals in tankers. His boss has told him to tell them what he thinks his salary increase should be.
    What would be a reasonable amount to ask for?

  28. Interesting method the firm is using.

    Hard for me to answer - why?

    1. I have no idea what his base salary is
    2. You say 5 deals but in what time frame?
    3. Were they big deals or small deals
    4. What is the employment market like in his area

    The last one is important because once he starts doing deals he may become hot property with other competing broker firms.

    The firm is being a bit cheacky asking him for what he thinks he deserves. If you son says too much they just say "sorry too much", and if you son lowballs himself then the firm is very happy.

    2 ways to approach.

    1. Ask your son to back to the firm and say "I want what you deam would be fair" - and then wait for what they say - and then HE is the one who can tell them if he is happy or not.

    2. Ask for the upper end of what he thinks he deserves. And then make them say no and then declare their hand. So if you son thinks he deserves another 20k more he should just say so.

    Good luck


  29. Hi,



  30. how do you bye the book

  31. The Virtual ShipbrokerAugust 31, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    Singapore and London are both great places and both offer significoant opportunities in shipbroking.

    and to the next person. you can buy the book by going to the books page of the blog. Simply follow the prompts.

  32. Hello VS:

    I am an American doctorate of Law student (at a respected US University) currently doing a specialization in international law for 1 year in London. I am interested in entering the shipping industry, most likely as a broker, upon graduation next year. I would like to be in London or maybe the US.

    I have 2 years experience as a bond market analyst at an investment bank in London, a post-graduate diploma in international business, and a bachelors degree in finance from a US University. I speak Portuguese and English fluently.

    In light of my past job salary and the probable salary I would get at a law firm upon graduating I am looking to make at least 80K USD within my first year of joining the industry. I'm also curious as to how much bonus one can expect starting out.

    I've heard that being a qualified lawyer and having financial experience allows one to start at a higher than normal salary. Do you think that $80 is a reasonable expectation for a starting salary considering my background? Could you please tell me what the bonus structure and average amounts are like?



  33. The Virtual ShipbrokerDecember 2, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Hello benito

    I think you will find that all that experience will not make any difference to your salary starting out. Expect USD 25-30k as a base and then bonu's for performance. The problem many highly qualified people have is that degrees dont necessarily translate to performace as a shipbroker. I have never heard of any trainee / junior starting on high wages...


  34. Dear VS,
    I have 12+ years experience in the industry and
    mounts of qualifications such as MBA, Law Degree
    etc. which as you pointed out all mean almost nothing. Problem is that I took a break from shipping for a few years and went off to do other things which didnt work out and so now I want back in. Have a few old contacts but have also lost touch with the market. Any advice?

  35. Howdy

    My advice? keep trying!.

    speak to old friends, register with the major shipping placement agencies, get your resume and cv up to scratch and then go fo it!

  36. this money that are mentioned before are after tax?? because if someone earns 40,000 then monthly he earns arouns 2700...

  37. the amounts you say above is after tax?? for example for 30k per year this includes also that you have to pay the tax or is the net profit?

  38. Dear VS,
    I have sailed for about 8 years ( as a chief officer on gas carriers on 4 ships). I cleared my Master's exam last year and have almost attained my membership at the ICS. I am currently planning to take a Msc. course but I am confused between two universities. I have offers from "Cass Business School"(City university London) for their Msc. in Shipping, Trade and Finance course and from MEL (Erasmus Universitly, Netherlands) for Msc. in Economics and Logistics. Please guide me as to which course should I persue to ensure a good job in the shipbroking market without any practical experience.

  39. Hello

    Either course is great...you cannot lose!

  40. Thank you so much for your valuable advice.

  41. hi Mr Virtual shipbroker
    im a 22yr old young very smart lady, thts currently doin in service training and after graduating id like to study further and do a postgrad in maritime economics,i live in south africa please adivse if thts wise

  42. i finished my nautical science course but dont want to sail..so i want to do chartering so going to give my exam in ICS..evethough i am not going to sail can i make big money in chartering or ship brokering??
    pls advice

  43. Hi There,

    I bought your book previously and found it amazing. After two years of trying I finally have managed to enter the industry and am starting on Monday. I know that there will be alot of hard work initially but I hope it is for the best in the long run!

    Just wanted to give encouragement to people looking as it will happen if you want it enough!

    Great book, highly advisable purchase.



  44. per month or per year?

  45. Hello,

    So I got into the SUNY Maritime Graduate Program and will be attending next fall. This programs issues a joint certificate with the Association of Shipbrokers and Agents in international ship chartering. Can you tell me anything about the importance of this certificate? Maybe what I could expect as a starting salary?