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Marine Surveyor Salary

Most boat buyers are not experienced enough and aren’t mechanically knowledgeable to decide the value of their purchase. Marine Surveyors take the guesswork out, by completing detailed inspections of boats. They determine a vessel’s seaworthiness as well as give valuable insight on the condition of the boat. A good surveyor is familiar with a range of models, and can give long-term suitability assessments based on how the vessel will be used.

marine surveyor salaryA marine surveyor inspects marine watercraft and vessels to find the condition of the machinery, hull and equipment. They conduct surveys throughout the life of a ship, making certain standards are maintained. They measure the boat’s dimensions, and outline engine type, tankage, horsepower, and electrical system capacity. Equipment is inventoried, and required paperwork is verified. They take photos, examine paint, compare safety, mechanical and electrical systems to industry standards. All the information acquired is compiled into a comprehensive marine survey report for the client’s use. The surveyor recommends actions and repairs to remedy the conditions. Advanced technologies including, aerial photography, GPS, geographic information systems and industry specific software is utilized to complete reports. There are two types of marine surveyors, private and Yacht and Small craft. A private surveyor can do any number of tasks from examining cargo, investigating oil spill and noncritical machinery structures, to preparing accident reports for insurance companies. A Yacht and Small Craft surveyor specializes in inspecting smaller pleasure vessels. Often they conduct their work independently and will do as much or as little as the individual requests.

Anyone can go into business as a Marine Surveyor. Many enter the field after working in shipping, construction, vessel design, on work boats or after serving in the Navy or Coast Guard. To be a "certified," "master," or "accredited marine surveyor requires affiliation with in one of the national marine surveyor associations. Each association has their own criteria to earn a title but the general qualifications include marine survey experience, passing a test, and completion of work samples. None of the organizations require surveyors to have experience operating a boat. A background in construction and design is preferred.

The average salary for a marine surveyor is $63,955 a year. Salary tends to increase as surveyors gain years of experience and can reach $100,000 a year. When hired by large companies, surveyors are usually paid a salary. Those working independently with private clients are paid on a per report or commission basis.

marine surveyAnyone in the market to buy a sea vessel should hire a professional marine surveyor. A marine survey allows buyers exactly what they are getting for the money. Any repairs that are necessary are noted on the marine report, allowing buyers to properly negotiate based on the true value of the boat. Even more important than financial considerations is safety. A marine survey outlines major and minor maintenance issues ensuring the lives of the new owner and crew are not at stake when they take the vessel into the open water. Even experienced boaters can benefit from an objective viewpoint provided by a marine surveyor to ensure their excitement for the purchase does not cloud their better judgment. The detailed, unbiased opinion makes it easier to make an informed decision. For sellers a favorable marine survey report helps support a high asking price.

Large companies rely on the assessments of marine surveyors. Insurance companies use Marine surveyor reports to calculate risk before insuring a boat. Banks require reports before approving financing. The court system relies on Marine Surveyors as expert witnesses. They also give important information to companies evaluating minor boat accidents like fuel spills and machinery failures.

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