Photo of Northern Leader

Commercial fishing vessel The Northern Leader in Puget Sound

Washington State’s maritime sector comprises a robust and growing set of industries that support 148,000 jobs in the state and contribute $30 billion to Washington’s economy. Washington’s maritime industry is rooted in the historic strength of our natural resources, our productive workforce, our strategic location and excellent transportation connections that provide efficient access to global markets. It is a diverse industry that includes:

  • Cargo handling and logistics—supported by 75 port districts in the state
  • Fishing and seafood processing
  • Ship and boat building, repair and maintenance
  • Passenger vessel operations
  • Sport fishing and recreational boating
  • Marine technology
  • Numerous support industries, including a solid base of maritime education and training programs

Although maritime activity has long been a pillar of the state’s economy, it continues to grow (an average of 6.4% a year), utilizes the latest technologies, includes leading global companies, and provides jobs with substantially better pay than the average for all industries. The average pay for a job in Washington is $52,000, while maritime workers are paid an average of $70,800—totaling over $4 billion in payroll in 2012.

Gov. Inslee's top priority is to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in a competitive global economy through investments in workforce training, education at the elementary through graduate levels, infrastructure and continued support of key industries such as maritime.


Joshua Berger
Gov. Inslee's Maritime Sector Lead