Get a job on a boat
The time has never been better to get a job on a boat. Most companies hire in the spring for the summer season. This year companies are looking for crew now. Here are two flyers that have recently been emailed to me from companies looking for crew NOW!
How to advance from deck to wheelhouse
Many years ago, there was a 40-year-old guy that asked me if it was too late for him to start a maritime career. My answer was no, but you need to know some sea service benchmarks. Meaning that you need to advance your Merchant Mariner Credentials as soon as you have the experience to do so. I detailed the benchmark and in less than six years he advanced from an entry level OS position to Master 1600-ton. Here are the important career benchmarks. Here are three things to keep in mind.
- Note that these benchmarks are in 8-hour days. Mariners working 12-hour days on vessel greater than 100-GRT may get 1.5 days credit for each 12-hour calendar day.
- Secondly, tonnage limitations may apply based on the size of vessels that your experience is on.
- Lastly always reference the checklist from the National Maritime Center website for the exact requirements, including days, tonnage, previous license requirements, and any additional training.
Benchmarks for rapid advancement
First benchmark is 360-days (1-year)
One year of experience is the mariner’s first important benchmark. With 360-days the mariner can apply for Master 100-ton Inland, Mate 200-ton Near Coastal, and an AB (Able Body Seaman) Special. For tugboat jobs, getting the AB may double your pay. Most importantly, it will always increase your employment options.
Second Benchmark is 540-days (1.5-years)
For mariner’s working on tugs this 1.5-year benchmark is very important. If the mariner has 360-days on a tug they can apply for the Apprentice Mate (steersman) of Towing. This is the first step to Mate of Towing. In addition, the mariner may also qualify for an AB Limited.
Third Benchmark is 720-days (2-years)
At two-years of experience the mariner should consider apply for Master 200-ton. Additionally, they may also qualify for Mate 500 or 1600-ton.
Fourth Benchmark is 900-days (2.5-years)
This benchmark is a big one for mariners working on tugs. With 2.5-years of experience, that includes one-year on tugs while holding the Apprentice Mate (steersman) the mariner can apply for Mate of Towing. No Coast Guard exams are required, but they must have a completed TOAR and a Basic Firefighting Certificate.
Fifth Benchmark is 1080-days (3-years)
Now that the mariner has 3-years of experience they can apply for Master 500-ton. In addition, they may also qualify for an AB-unlimited.
Last Benchmark is 1440-days (4-years)
With 4-years of experience that includes time as mate or master while holding a license you may qualify for Master 1600-ton and or Master of Towing.