What are the basic requirements for tugboat jobs in the U.S?

Maritime Jobs Information

Are you looking for tug boat jobs as a mariner on a U.S flagged vessel? Well, it is important to be aware of the different credentials that are required of all merchant mariners in order to stand out before potential employers. Many people wishing to become sailors look for shortcuts due to the fact that there are many credentials that mariners have to keep up with in order remain skillful in their jobs. Unfortunately there are not shortcuts in the merchant marine job market. It is essential to have all your qualifications in order. This includes meeting the basic requirements that mariners ought to have in order to be considered for various job opportunities on maritime vessels.

One of the fundamental documents that you must hold is a Merchant Mariner Document. This is basically a license that every sailor must have in order to be allowed to perform various roles on a ship, barge, tow boat or any other sailing vessel. Upon application, you can obtain your MMD from the Coast Guard. This document is often renewable upon expiring and mariners are expected to keep it up to date.

In addition to the MMD, mariners also have to go through formal training at a maritime institution and obtain a couple of important certifications. The first one is known as a Basic Safety Training course. Holding this certification means that a mariner is capable of employing personal survival techniques, prevent and fight fire and perform basic first aid. This is a compulsory certification even for tugboat jobs.

The other qualification that you must have when looking for a job on a tow boat is the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping abbreviated as STCW. This credential demonstrates that a seafarer is conversant with standard maritime procedures and operations.

It is important to emphasize that there is need for other specialized training in addition to the above three qualifications in order to elevate to better tugboat jobs and employment opportunities in other kinds of merchant fleets. Most employers will look for the aforementioned credentials before hiring an entry level mariner. If you have had prior experience sailing in the ocean or on inland water bodies such as lakes and rivers, it is worth mentioning this when applying for merchant marine jobs as this counts as ‘sea time’ as well.

Another important consideration to make is where to get the best training. To learn about the best merchant mariner schools and the secret to finding your first job or even how to elevate to a higher position, check out our Resources page. There you will find a ton of information regarding different kinds of jobs and work environments that will help you decide whether a seagoing job is the best way to make a living. Most importantly, learn how to make yourself marketable to potential employers, something that most novice mariners struggle with just after completing their training. With the right resources, you can make the best of your time and money that you spend trying to get a Merchant Marine job and by following a proven formula you can use the valuable information to begin a successful career as a merchant sailor.

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