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Sailor shares incredible amount of money he made in less than five months onboard ship

Sailor shares incredible amount of money he made in less than five months onboard ship

Sailor Joe Franta reckons he has the 'best job in the world' and that his wages aren't half bad either

If you're struggling for cash and money's tight, have you ever thought about sailing the seven seas to earn a few quid?

As according to this bloke, it's quite the lucrative career option.

Joe Franta explained he has been 'bombarded with questions' about how much he makes as a US Merchant Mariner since he started documenting his work life on his YouTube channel several years ago.

To be fair, taking to the seas to escape the hustle and bustle of city life doesn't sound like a bad idea - so it's no wonder people want to weigh up whether the wages are worth it.

Franta spends his days hopping on and off various ships in both US and international waters while being part of a huge crew who manage part of the maritime trade industry.

This means he is onboard huge vessels which transport cargo, and occasionally passengers, across the sea while as an added bonus, he gets to feel like Popeye and make an incredible amount of money at the same time.

He earns a pretty penny. (Instagram/@franta.joe)
He earns a pretty penny. (Instagram/@franta.joe)

Franta has shared his life as a sailor, which he dubs the 'best job in the world', on YouTube for the last seven years.

He has made a bit of a name for himself in the maritime world by showing people 'what life is like at sea', while discussing his days at the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training in New York as well as all of the different ships he has worked since.

Franta, who also documents his journey living 'full-time' in an RV when he's on dry land, finally answered the questions his fans have had for a long time in a video uploaded to his channel in July 2022.

The sailor delved deep into his filing cabinet where he keeps all of the 'pay stubs and files for every ship' he has ever worked on, as well as breaking down the 'pay scale' on the high seas.


He told viewers: "It's not as easy as saying 'I work at AMC Movies and I make $18 an hour''s a little more than that.

"I work on a union deep sea vessels usually, so guys who work on inland tugs or guys who work on MSC ships or non-union ships, that's gonna be a completely different pay scale."

Franta said he believes there are three major factors when it comes to determining how much a sailor makes; their rating, AKA their job title, the contract they have signed and the operations they will be carrying out on a specific ship.

"Obviously, the steward's assistant doing the dishes isn't going to make the same as the captain," Franta explained.

He said that the next influence on a sailor's monthly pay cheque is their contract, as each employee will have different rates of pay depending on their skills and the specific role they are fulfilling on the vessel.

Franta said they work on a day rate rather than hourly, as well as being able to earn a bit of overtime while onboard.

Sailors are also often given a 'penalty rate', which is essentially danger money and an additional bonus for taking on a hazardous task, which Franta said could be anything from 'working with certain chemicals or entering certain spaces'.

This is then where the worker's operations on the ship come in, as on some vessels a sailor may only be given their day rate as they aren't needed for overtime or any dangerous jobs.

So the bottom line is, the wages Franta ends up walking away with vary largely from ship to ship.

"It's all relative on how it happens at that moment - one month, a ship could be great, the other month it could be crappy," he continued.

Referring to his time on a ship he had recently worked on, he explained the daily rate was 'okay', but he made the big bucks from overtime and penalty payments.

Franta also pointed out he receives vacation pay, while he also isn't forking out for groceries or bills while onboard a ship.

He continued: "For the 250 hours I worked, I made $5,600 in overtime."

Picking up another pay stub which broke down his earnings for working 65 days on a grain ship, Franta said: "On that ship I made $18,000 before taxes, so I still have taxes that have to come out and that's also not including vacation pay.

"But that 18 grand I made, someone can jump on that ship a month after me and make a completely different amount of money, so it's hard to paint a good picture of how much we make.

"The ship I was just on I did 130 days and that was actually the most money I've made in a long time working on a ship.

"Before taxes I made $41,000 and that doesn't include the vacation pay too."

Not bad for less than five months work, eh?

However, Franta warned sea fanatics that they shouldn't sign up to be a sailor simply for the money, but rather the lifestyle, as in his experience the employees who do that are 'upset and salty' while out in the ocean.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/JoeFranta

Topics: Money, Jobs, US News