Entry Level RatingEntry Level Rating of OS requires no experience, training, or exams

Entry Level Rating

Do you want to get a job on a boat but have no experience? Then you need to get the entry level rating of OS or Ordinary Seaman. To work as a deckhand on any seagoing vessel greater than 100 GRT (about 65-feet) you must have an MMC (Merchant Mariner Credential) rating. There are four basic deck ratings. Three of these ratings require experience, training, and passing written exams. This includes the Able Body Seaman (AB), Lifeboatman, and Tankerman-PIC. However, the fourth rating of OS is an entry level rating for those looking to get their first job on a seagoing vessel, like a tugboat. The experienced gained as an OS can be used to advance, and corresponding increases in pay.

OS (Ordinary Seaman) Rating

Ordinary Seaman (OS) is an entry level rating. That is to say, it is for beginners. Therefore, no experience or exams are required. If you have no experience working on boats and want to get started, then follow these steps to get your OS rating.


Firstly, enroll in the TWIC program. Most important, save and email the receipt with the application.

2. Physical Exam – short form

Secondly, complete form 719KE, Application for a Medical Certificate Short Form. Most important, READ and FOLLOW the instructions.

3. DOT / USCG Drug Screening

Thirdly, get a drug screening. Form 719P DOT/USCG Drug Screening.

4. Pay the fees

Fourthly, pay the Coast Guard fees at the Gov.Pay website. There are two fees for a total of $140. This is a $95 evaluation fee, and a $45 issuance fee. Most important, save and email the receipt with the application.

5. MMC Application form

Fifthly, complete form 719B Application for a Merchant Mariner Credential. Most important, READ and FOLLOW the instructions.

In Section II check the box for an original issue of an entry level rating. And then write in OS as the description.

6. Email to an REC

Lastly, scan and email this to a US Coast Guard Regional Exam Center (REC).

Email Instructions