Sea Service Benchmarks (AKA Cheat-sheet) provides a snapshot of the experience requirements for different credentials. Getting the credential does not guarantee that you will get the job. But, unless you hold the credential you will not have the opportunity to do the job. To summarize, the fastest way to advance in the maritime field is to get the credentials you qualify for as soon as you have the sea service experience.
In an effort to assist mariners in meeting this goal I have listed some benchmarks. Additionally here are a couple of useful links to help with this goal.
Sea Service Experience: 0 to 179-days
With no experience the mariner may apply for an MMC endorsement as Ordinary Seaman (OS). Consequently the OS is an entry level rating. To work on seagoing vessels 100 GRT and greater the mariner must have an OS or AB. Application for an OS requires the following. Firstly, enrollment in TWIC. Secondly, DOT/USCG Drug Screening form 719P. Thirdly, Application for Medical Certificate short form 719KE. Scan and email the application to a Regional Exam Center (REC).
For help with the application process check the Home Page.
Sea Service Benchmarks: 180 to 359-days
With 180-day (6-months) of experience the marine may qualify for a Mate 200-ton or less Inland. Or Able Seaman (AB) Sailing, Fishing, OSV ratings.
Sea Service Benchmarks: 360 to 539-days
1-year (360-days) of sea service experience is a big benchmark for young mariners. That is to say the mariner has several good options for endorsements. For instance, OUPV Inland or Near Coastal, Mate 200-ton or less Near Coastal, and Master 200-ton or less Inland. Additionally the mariner may qualify for an AB Special.
540 to 719-days
1.5-years (540-days or 18-months) is another big benchmark for mariners. This is certainly for mariners working on towing vessels. Because at this benchmark the mariner is able to take the first step to Master of Towing. That is to say, the mariner may qualify for Apprentice Mate (steersman) of towing. Additionally the mariner may qualify for an AB Limited.
720 to 899-days
With 720-days (2-years or 24-months) of experience the mariner may qualify for Master 200-ton or less Near Coastal. Additionally the mariner may also qualify for Mate 500 or 1600-ton.
900 to 1079-days
2.5-years (900-days or 30-months) is another benchmark for mariners working on towing vessels. This is because mariners holding an Apprentice Mate (steersman) of towing may qualify for Mate of Towing.
1080 to 1439-days
Another important benchmark for mariners is 3-years (1080-days or 36-months). For example, the mariner may qualify for Mate of Uninspected Fishing Industry Vessels and Able Seaman (AB) Unlimited. Additionally the mariner may qualify for Master 500/1600-ton Inland, or Master 500-ton Near Coastal.
1440-days and more
The last benchmark is 4-years (1440-days or 48-months). Since this is the greatest sea service benchmark, it is required for the three important Master endorsements. This includes Master of Towing, Master of Uninspected Fishing, and additionally Master 1600-ton Near Coastal.
Please email any questions to Dennis@ColumbiaPacificMaritime.com. We are here to help you meet your professional licensing goals.