Thinking of a career as a marine surveyor?

In Australia and the Australasian region, private commercial marine surveyors work across the entire spectrum of shipping.

Their work encompasses all categories of surveys from cargo, insurance, salvage and towing to recreational vessel insurance and pre-purchase surveys to domestic working vessels needing a survey under the National Law requirements.

Due to the complexities of shipping and the maritime industry those people who already have a shipping or maritime background make the best marine surveyors and are generally more successful than those coming from outside the industry.

The AIMS promotes marine surveyors across all sectors of the industry, and provides the training required to become a professional surveyor.


Marine surveyors are generally paid according to their qualifications and experience. 

To become accredited by AMSA or become an AIMS Certified Commercial Marine Surveyor you will need qualifications in marine surveying, experience in the maritime industry as a seafarer or maritime professional or as an engineer or shipwright.

Until 2014 all marine surveyors were trained on the job however the Diploma of Maritime Operations (Marine Surveying) was accredited by the Australian Government and became the accepted entry level qualification.

This qualification has now been phased out and replaced with the more industry specific and flexible International Diploma of Marine Surveying (Working Boats)™ and International Diploma of Marine Survey and Ship Inspection™, and dovetails into the new higher qualification of the Advanced Diploma of Commercial Marine Surveying™.

An entry-level Marine Surveyor who is undertaking or holds a Diploma of Maritime Operations (Marine Surveying) as well as other maritime qualifications such as those suggested above and who has less than 5 years of survey experience can expect to earn an average wage of around $70,000.

A Marine Surveyor with more than 5 years experience can expect to earn somewhere between 
$80,000 to $90,000 depending on the type of experience they have had and their qualifications.

A senior qualified and experienced Marine Surveyor with more than 10 years of experience can expect to earn between $90,000 and $150,000.

More information on wages and salaries can be found here: 
Average Salary Levels Marine Surveyor.pdf


Nearly all marine survey work is conducted at a port or slipway and nearly all tasks are performed outdoors and in all types of weather conditions. 

Travel is part of the job role and can be extensive and continual although many companies work a roster system.

The upside to the constant travel is the opportunity to visit other countries and ports and meet new people. 

Weekends and after hours work is common so if you are looking for a 9-5 Monday to Friday job then marine surveying is probably not suited to you.

Entry level surveyors are generally supported by a senior surveyor and are taught on the job skills that compliment their marine survey studies.

Still have questions? Please email our Training team.

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Download the Student Handbook here

About AIMS
The largest industry body in the Australasian region for professional marine surveyors. Established 1986.
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