I was offered a gig as an OS today with MSC. I applied close to six months ago for that position. At that time my credentials were as follows: 50 ton nc master, BST, Lifeboatmen PSC, AB Special, and Radar Unlimited, and over 1400 days on the water, small boats, tours and commercial fishing, and the like. I don't hold RFPNW, but its on the list of classes to pay for this winter. Hope that lets others know where they stand potentially.
I have since upgraded my license to a 200 nc. and will most likely be able to test for my 500 master in a little over a year given my present job as a master on a vessel slightly below 100 tons. At that time I will be about 180 days short of a 1600 mate.
Should I take this job? I am leaning towards declining it at this time as it is the high season for where I work, they have been good to me in the short time I have been employed with them, and I have potential to upgrade to the credentials that I stated above. If I go MSC, I would for sure be trying to upgrade to a 3rd mates position, and it would take some time as only a small fraction of my present sea time is over 100 tons. According to the NMC checklists, all sea time must be over 100 tons for 3rd mates position. it would also be a pay cut to slightly under half (base OS pay, assuming no OT earned) what my yearly salary is at my present company, and of course i would be away from my wife for months at a time. we have discussed this and we are comfortable with it, as we have lived and worked apart for 3 to 6 months in the past.
So what say ye, fellow mariners? should I take the OS job and earn time for unlimited tonnage 3rd mate, with the potential to make less money and be gone from home? or should I stay on my present course and earn the 500 master, 1600 ton mate? Am I being short sighted by rejecting the OS offer, in favor of the money I make now and potential for upgrades to my masters ticket? Looks like I have the weekend to decide.