hello, it is first time when i posted my reply, but your topic is interesting. I am working with upper lakes for 5 years, and only after 3 years I've got an answer for your question. Salary is about $600/day, depending on your seniority and type of boat. If you are new guy for lakers, you will be a relief second for uncertain period of time,does not matter what ticket you brought. That means unpredictable scedule of work, $32/hour, if you are lucky,you got overtime. Every time regular chiefs will sent your evaluation to the office, so you have to kiss there asses. Remember, there is CADETS PROGRAMM and these lucky bustards will step over your head when they are making their career. 5 years ago I started,now I am chief on training.Crews 50 percent are lasy, suffering from diabetus and not able to do the job,but they have greater SENIORITY,then you. That means that they have better time for vacations, better opportunities for promotions and they have right to choose the ship. You don't. Believe me, I swallowed this 5 years, it is not for everybody. I got my canadian 1class in 1999,but who cares?
Algoma paid same money, but the life is more brutal, not frendly crew, no tools, no hands.
Desgagnes paid less, benefits are extremely cheep (your life insurance on board of tanker loaded with gasoline is $50,000, I am not talking about dental etc.)And can you speak French? 99% of crew is from Quebec and they hate speak English. I worked 2 days with them, it was enough.
Sorry for dissapointing you,buddy,but people must know the truth.