Resources

Marine Industry Employment Options

Here in this section we write about the best resources available to help you become informed about how to become a Merchant Mariner and how to become employable in the shortest possible time period with the least trouble.

Buyer beware because every maritime school is trying to take your money and even have you go into debt and at the end of the day they don’t even have the goods to get you hired after you complete their program.

There are many sites out there that tell you how to get the documents, like this site, for example, http://merchantmarinejobs.org/ but at the end of the day that’s not really what you’re looking for, you don’t need a site that explains how to get your documents, you need a resource that explains how to get a job.

Our favorite book on the topic is a book specifically about how to become a sailor in the U.S. Merchant Marine fleet. It’s a book that describes in detail how to enter the industry in a way that helps you to get help with getting your documents and training from within the industry itself and the author has a unique angle on how and why to enter the industry in a certain way.

Again, you should be careful using the maritime schools as a source for information and be especially careful signing up for debt in exchange for maritime training. Sure, it’s great to have your BST and your TWIC and your Z-card and your STCW but if you can’t find an entry level job after that and you have no angle on how to get one, then you’re up the creek without a paddle.

That’s why I recommend the book that directs you on how to understand the concepts of needing both experience and training, or that is to say, why training and certifications alone are not enough. My take is that it’s best to pay your dues in a way that leads to guaranteed experience, because at the end of the day, as a merchant seaman in 2013, one is really not too employable until he has all his certifications up to and including either a Able Bodied Seaman for unlimited tonnage or a QMED (Qualified Member of Engine Department) for unlimited tonnage, and unfortunately there’s only certain ways of approaching the challenge of getting qualified to that level, because some of the steps along the way involve sailing as an ordinary seaman, and there’s almost no ordinary seaman jobs available on unlimited tonnage vessels, so it’s important to understand every step along the way to reaching this level of certification and experience, and to have a solid strategy, plan and formula for how you are going to get there.

Just as the ship you’re on won’t leave the harbor without a map, you shouldn’t just go around buying training without a solid plan as to how you’re going to arrive to be qualified at the level to where you can finally come and go from the job market at your leisure without worrying about whether or not you are going to be employable when you come back from vacation. You can count on me to point you to resources that will help you with this.

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