Marine Surveyor

Inspect boats to determine their value.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$31,000 – $90,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Marine Surveyors do?

A Marine Surveyor has a unique skill set. Not only do you have an impressive understanding of ships and boats as a Marine Surveyor, you also understand both the insurance and the financing industries. That’s because you spend your days evaluating the condition of (surveying) marine vessels, to provide a basis for financial transactions. Most commonly, these vessels are fishing boats, cruise ships, sail boats or ski boats.

There are two main reasons as a Marine Surveyor that you survey these vessels, appraisal value and damage. Appraisals are used by sellers to set an asking price. Buyers use your report to uncover problems, or confirm condition before taking out a loan.

Whether the client is buying or selling a boat, you scour every inch of it to evaluate its condition. You record basic dimensions and specifications and then scrutinize the vessel top to bottom. You check to see if the roof and deck bulge or leak. You get under the boat and check for damage, thump a mallet along the hull, investigate the plumbing and electronics, and inspect the galley. Then you access local classified listings and value charts to formulate an appraisal value.

The second reason you survey is to evaluate the amount of damage on a vessel. Rather than a full inspection, this part of the job has you inspect only the damaged area. You assess damage caused by the accident. Then you write up a report on your findings. Insurance companies use this information to evaluate claims and payouts.


Should I be a Marine Surveyor?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Ship Surveyor, Supervisor, Mapping, Surveyor, Marine

    How to become a Marine Surveyor

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