What Should My Wages be?

If your ship is covered by an ITF agreement, you are entitled to the ITF wages in that agreement. See the wage scale documents on the right of the page for the wage levels that apply to the core ITF agreements.

To find out if your ship is covered by an ITF agreement, click on the Look Up a Ship tab above.

For national flag vessels, the ITF believes that no seafarer should be paid below the ILO level.

ILO recommended basic minimum wage for an AB

The main aim of the minimum basic wage for the able seafarer is to provide an international safety net for the protection of, and to contribute to, decent work for seafarers.

It is based on the provisions of the ILO Seafarers’ Wages, Hours of Work and the Manning of Ships Recommendation, 1996 (No. 187) which recommends that the basic pay or wages for a calendar month of service for an able seaman should be no less than the amount periodically set by the Joint Maritime Commission, which is bipartite body of shipowners and seafarers established by ILO.

The Recommendation itself define seafarer as “any person defined as such by national laws or regulations or collective agreements who is employed or engaged in any capacity on board a seagoing ship ….”

The Joint Working Group of the Joint Maritime Commission meets every two years.
This interpretation only relates to the earnings for an Able Seaman and should not be construed as implying an interpretation of the earnings that should be received by other grades of seafarer. The following principles are applicable as found in the relevant ILO Maritime Instruments:

Principle Details
Minimum Basic
Monthly Wage
As agreed by the ILO Joint Maritime Commission from time to time.
Normal Working
8 hours per day, 48 hours per week (which equates to 208 hours per month).
Leave Leave shall in no case be less than 30 calendar days for one year’s service i.e. 2.5 days per calendar month.
One day’s basic wage = basic monthly wage divided by 30. Multiply by 2.5 to get leave pay per month.
Each hour of overtime should be compensated at a rate of 1.25 x the basic hourly rate (the monthly basic wage divided by 208).
Weekly rest day and
Public Holidays
Work performed on the weekly day of rest and on public holidays should be duly recorded and signed by the seafarer and should be compensated by:
1. overtime remuneration in respect of each hour worked at the rate of 1.25 times the hourly rate for normal hours
2. in lieu of remuneration, at least equivalent time off duty and off the ship at the rate indicated in 1 above
3. additional leave in lieu of remuneration at the rate indicated in 1 above
Overtime records should be kept and signed by the seafarer and the master or duly authorized officer.

The last ILO Subcommittee on Wages of Seafarers of the Joint Maritime Commission met in April 2014. The Subcommittee agreed that the recommended basic minimum wage should be raised to US$592 as of 1 January 2015 and US$614 as of 1 January 2016.

•    Minimum basic monthly wage (01/01/2015) – $592 USD
•    Minimum basic monthly wage (01/01/2016) – $614 USD

Taking into account the principles above the total negotiated settlement at present time is as follows:


minimum basic monthly wage (01/01/2016) US$ 614.00
2.5 days leave per month US$ 51.17
104 hours overtime per month US$ 384.00
8 hours compensatory leave for public holidays US$ 29.52
Total US$ 1,078


For further information on what the wages for different positions on board might look like, please see the documents linked on the right of this page.