How Much Does an Officer on a Cruise Ship Make?

By Michael Ferguson

Working as an officer on a cruise ship can be an incredibly rewarding career path. A job on a cruise ship offers a unique opportunity to travel the world, meet interesting people and gain invaluable experience in the hospitality industry. Plus, officers on cruise ships typically receive competitive salaries and benefits packages.

Cruise ships employ officers of many different ranks, each with their own specific duties and responsibilities. These range from entry level positions such as Third Officer or Deck Cadet to more senior roles such as Chief Officer or Captain. Officers at the higher ranks generally have greater responsibilities and are paid accordingly.

The salaries of officers on cruise ships vary depending on rank, experience, company and location. However, according to PayScale, Third Officers typically earn between $35,000 and $55,000 per year.

Chief Officers earn between $50,000 and $80,000 per year while Captains can earn upwards of $100,000 or more. In addition to a base salary, officers may also receive additional compensation such as bonuses or incentives.

In addition to competitive salaries, officers on cruise ships may also receive other benefits such as free meals and accommodation while onboard the ship. They may also receive discounts for onboard purchases including food and beverages. Most cruises will also provide officers with medical insurance which is usually provided free of charge.

Overall, working as an officer on a cruise ship can be very lucrative. With competitive salaries and excellent benefits packages available to officers at all ranks it is no wonder that so many people are drawn to this exciting career option.


Working as an officer on a cruise ship can be highly rewarding both financially and personally. Depending on rank and experience they typically earn between $35-100k per year plus additional bonuses/incentives which makes it an attractive career choice for many people.