Where to start


#1

Good afternoon gentlemen, I’m currently in the Coast Guard as a Bosun Mate Chief. Stationed on a big white boat in Oregon. I’m about 2 years out from retirement and am looking at possibly transitioning to a job in the maritime industry. I’ve always wanted to work on tugs. I’m done with the military and really want a job where I can go in and do a job without the politics and paperwork and hopefully have some fun while doing it. Problem is I don’t know where I’d start. I’ve got a lot of maritime experience, just over 8 years sea going service with a couple CG Deck Watch Officer certifications and some schools that might be applicable. But I don’t know anything about tugs, or civilian boats in general…how they run, how things work, heirarchy, etc… So do I need to pursue my masters or mate licenses now or do I just start at the bottom and work my way up?

Also, whats the best way to get into the industry? Im working on my resume now and figure one I get a bit closer to retirement, I’ll start sending it out in hopes of being picked up.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Dan


#2

Your first step should be to get a full list of everything you’ve done in the USCG and submit it all to the USCG to see what they consider you qualified for. You will probably have to take a few classes but your ultimate goal if you want to get working on tugs, will probably be a 1600 Ton Mate’s license. Go to the NMC website and peruse all the checklists for various ratings. That should also give you an idea of what you qual for.


#3

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;163901]Your first step should be to get a full list of everything you’ve done in the USCG and submit it all to the USCG to see what they consider you qualified for. You will probably have to take a few classes but your ultimate goal if you want to get working on tugs, will probably be a 1600 Ton Mate’s license. Go to the NMC website and peruse all the checklists for various ratings. That should also give you an idea of what you qual for.[/QUOTE]

Roger that. Yeah I’ve got several checklists that I’m going over, have my TWIC card, and I’ve got my transcript of sea service ordered. I was in contact with the Portland REC this morning and asked similar questions and the response was to look at, to start, the 100 ton master or 200 ton mate and get started at the local MERTS campus here in Astoria with the CG approved courses. Thanks for the help!

Dan


#4

[QUOTE=Dwithers;163898]I’m done with the military and really want a job where I can go in and do a job without the politics and paperwork and hopefully have some fun while doing it.
Dan[/QUOTE]

Don’t think that a job in the maritime industry is without paperwork. We get buried in it daily.


#5

[QUOTE=RespectMyAuthority;163906]Don’t think that a job in the maritime industry is without paperwork. We get buried in it daily.[/QUOTE]

Or politics either


#6

[QUOTE=catherder;163907]Or politics either[/QUOTE]
Yeah I know there will always be politics and paperwork and drama no matter what you do, but having some personal freedoms back and not being weighed in every 6 months, or transferring my entire life every 2-3 years will be nice. Thanks for the replies. I’m working with the local MERTS campus to get my 100 ton masters course done this fall and I will go from there. Hopefully I can make some contacts between now and the time I get out.


#7

[QUOTE=Dwithers;163898]Good afternoon gentlemen, I’m currently in the Coast Guard as a Bosun Mate Chief. Stationed on a big white boat in Oregon. I’m about 2 years out from retirement and am looking at possibly transitioning to a job in the maritime industry. I’ve always wanted to work on tugs. I’m done with the military and really want a job where I can go in and do a job without the politics and paperwork and hopefully have some fun while doing it. Problem is I don’t know where I’d start. I’ve got a lot of maritime experience, just over 8 years sea going service with a couple CG Deck Watch Officer certifications and some schools that might be applicable. But I don’t know anything about tugs, or civilian boats in general…how they run, how things work, heirarchy, etc… So do I need to pursue my masters or mate licenses now or do I just start at the bottom and work my way up?

Also, whats the best way to get into the industry? Im working on my resume now and figure one I get a bit closer to retirement, I’ll start sending it out in hopes of being picked up.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Dan[/QUOTE]

One of the instructors at the mariner training school in (I think) Astoria is an ex-coastie and a Columbia River Bar pilot. It might be worthwhile to chat with him. Can’t recall his name, took me out cross the Bar a couple years ago.


#8

[QUOTE=Dwithers;163898]Good afternoon gentlemen, I’m currently in the Coast Guard as a Bosun Mate Chief. Stationed on a big white boat in Oregon. I’m about 2 years out from retirement and am looking at possibly transitioning to a job in the maritime industry. I’ve always wanted to work on tugs. I’m done with the military and really want a job where I can go in and do a job without the politics and paperwork and hopefully have some fun while doing it. Problem is I don’t know where I’d start. I’ve got a lot of maritime experience, just over 8 years sea going service with a couple CG Deck Watch Officer certifications and some schools that might be applicable. But I don’t know anything about tugs, or civilian boats in general…how they run, how things work, heirarchy, etc… So do I need to pursue my masters or mate licenses now or do I just start at the bottom and work my way up?

Also, whats the best way to get into the industry? Im working on my resume now and figure one I get a bit closer to retirement, I’ll start sending it out in hopes of being picked up.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Dan[/QUOTE]

BMC,
feel free to pm me, I can give you my number and we can have a chat. I’m 2 years out of the guard and have been working civilian maritime ever since. I’ll walk you threw the process and most realistic route to take.


#9

When I got out of the CG I took my terminal leave and went and got my AB Limited, BST/PSC through Compass Courses in Edmonds WA and then tested for my 200Master (no need for any classes). Worked my way up from there. If your sea time can give you a bigger license you’ll have to take some classes.


#10

Well I will have three years of recent sea time when I retire. My current job is on a 210’ WMEC which is 1100 tons. So I kinda have to figure out how that fits. Based on the checklists my options are pretty open. I would just need some different schools to fill in the gaps.

If I can ask, how did you find the transition from CG to a job in the maritime industry?


#11

http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/professional_qualifications/pdfs/crediting_military_ss.pdf

http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/professional_qualifications/pdfs/enlisted_personnel.pdf

E-4 and above holding a Dwo counts for mate time. So if you have the sea time which I’m sure you do then you can take the classes then submit for approval to test for 1600 master and 3rd mate. I don’t think the 210s are big enough for the 3rd mate but it’s worth a shot. Just so you know holding the masters lic won’t land you a masters job. You will still have to start closer to the bottom as an AB or training mate (if your lucky) depending on what sector of the industry you go into. So plan on the possibility of being a non rate making chief pay to start out. You did mention tugs and there you can def plan on ridding as a hand until you learn the ropes, it will also require that you get a TOAR completed before you can legally ride as a mate. You can accomplish that through diamond marine services in NY or by doing it on a tug with a qualified assessor. As far as transition from active to civilian I didn’t have any problems but its due to the fact that I was realistic about not starting at the top. Your transition will be easier than mine as far as the licensing process goes though. I was a heavy wx guy and 47s don’t weigh to much so I had to put in lots of deck hand time on heavy boats before I could upgrade to a bigger license. You however are in a good spot and as stated above should be able to test for 1600 master right out of the gate. To sum it up take the classes get lapware study your as off!! (the exams are not easy) take the test and then start knocking on doors and getting connected with folks.


#12

[QUOTE=Blake;163972]http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/professional_qualifications/pdfs/crediting_military_ss.pdf

http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/professional_qualifications/pdfs/enlisted_personnel.pdf

E-4 and above holding a Dwo counts for mate time. So if you have the sea time which I’m sure you do then you can take the classes then submit for approval to test for 1600 master and 3rd mate. I don’t think the 210s are big enough for the 3rd mate but it’s worth a shot. Just so you know holding the masters lic won’t land you a masters job. You will still have to start closer to the bottom as an AB or training mate (if your lucky) depending on what sector of the industry you go into. So plan on the possibility of being a non rate making chief pay to start out. You did mention tugs and there you can def plan on ridding as a hand until you learn the ropes, it will also require that you get a TOAR completed before you can legally ride as a mate. You can accomplish that through diamond marine services in NY or by doing it on a tug with a qualified assessor. As far as transition from active to civilian I didn’t have any problems but its due to the fact that I was realistic about not starting at the top. Your transition will be easier than mine as far as the licensing process goes though. I was a heavy wx guy and 47s don’t weigh to much so I had to put in lots of deck hand time on heavy boats before I could upgrade to a bigger license. You however are in a good spot and as stated above should be able to test for 1600 master right out of the gate. To sum it up take the classes get lapware study your as off!! (the exams are not easy) take the test and then start knocking on doors and getting connected with folks.[/QUOTE]

Thanks Blake, I appreciate it. I still planning on giving you a call. Just got tied up with work today, you know how it is. I was also a heavy wx guy. Stationed in Morro bay for a couple years. Had a blast and crossing bars has helped me tremendously on the 210 as we have to cross the Columbia river bar pretty often. It’s definitely not the same as on a 47’ but the bar knowledge helps.
I’m definitely not under the impression that I will be sitting on my butt right when I got onboard watching people do work. I’ve always felt you needed to earn your place on a ship, because really I’m gonna show up and not know much. I’d essentially be a ship rider collecting a paycheck while the seasoned guys are working harder trying to train me up. I started my career cleaning toilets and washing dishes and as A chief I still find myself washing dishes, cooking for the crew, and cleaning toilets. I’m cool with whatever, I really just want to enjoy my job again and hopefully have some fun.

Once again, thank you to everyone who has helped me out in this thread, and via PM. It’s awesome and its easing the stress of retiring quite a bit.

Dan


#13

Based on the experience you have described, you may be able to sit for Master 1600 and Third Mate “unlimited” with a 2000 ton limitation, and AB unlimited.

Most of the retired USCG chiefs that I have seen didn’t have any problem with the USCG exams. Presumably, you’ll have to take an original radar course. However, in order to get STCW II/1 & II/2 so that your new license(s) will be valid on a vessel over 200 tons outside the Colregs boundary line , you are going to need to also take a lot of USCG approved STCW courses, GMDSS, BRM, ARPA, Medical Care Provider, Leadership and Management, ECDIS, Basic and Advanced Firefighting, BST, VSO, and a few more. That is about 10 weeks of classes that will take six months or more to schedule. The classes, travel, hotels, etc will cost about $30,000. You may be able to get grants, you may be able to use GI benefits, and you may be able to get employers to pay for some it.

I suggest that you hire a USCG license consultant to help you properly prepare your application and Shepard it through the process. Then start taking the classes as soon as you can. You can take the classes before you take the license exam.

You are entering the industy at a good time, with good experience, and you will have many good opportunities. You won’t be on deck for long.

      • Updated - - -

Based on the experience you have described, you may be able to sit for Master 1600 and Third Mate “unlimited” with a 2000 ton limitation, and AB unlimited.

Most of the retired USCG chiefs that I have seen didn’t have any problem with the USCG exams. Presumably, you’ll have to take an original radar course. However, in order to get STCW II/1 & II/2 so that your new license(s) will be valid on a vessel over 200 tons outside the Colregs boundary line , you are going to need to also take a lot of USCG approved STCW courses, GMDSS, BRM, ARPA, Medical Care Provider, Leadership and Management, ECDIS, Basic and Advanced Firefighting, BST, VSO, and a few more. That is about 10 weeks of classes that will take six months or more to schedule. The classes, travel, hotels, etc will cost about $30,000. You may be able to get grants, you may be able to use GI benefits, and you may be able to get employers to pay for some it.

I suggest that you hire a USCG license consultant to help you properly prepare your application and Shepard it through the process. Then start taking the classes as soon as you can. You can take the classes before you take the license exam.

You are entering the industy at a good time, with good experience, and you will have many good opportunities. You won’t be on deck for long.


#14

I’d make sure that if you have the sea time, you get a 500/1600 master’s license issued to bypass some of the STCW crap for OICNW rather than get a mate’s ticket THEN upgrade.

The amazing difference in this thread is the guy came on here looking for advice without claiming to know it all, it should be an example for future question-askers.

Talk to people here that have offered, and consider hiring a license consultant familiar with military transitions as tugsailor suggested.


#15

Roger on all. That’s a helluva lot of courses to take. The only problem I think I’ll have is trying to fit them in with my current underway schedule. I’m gone 180 days a year give or take. The good part is I’ll be able to use tuition assistance for the courses I do take, which should pay for about 75% of the cost. I will definitely look into a license consultant as well. I’ve got about 2 years to try and get as much done as possible and anyone who could help me smooth the process out would be well worth the money. I could also use my GI bill to go to school full time for the three months I’m on terminal Leave to try speed things up as well. I guess I need to get in touch with Clatsop community college and see what they can do for me and then find out where I’d have to go to get the rest of the courses.

Does anyone know if any of my CG experience might satisfy some of the courses? I’ve got basic firefighting school as well as damage control and advanced damage control certifications through the CG. Also recently went to the SCCS/ECDIS and visual communications schools as part of a pipeline training for my current job. Im guessing they won’t satisfy.


#16

I’m not sure how getting Master 1600 bypasses any of the STCW courses.

I had Master 1600 before STCW came into effect. When STCW came along, I was grandfathered in. However, I have since had to take all the STCW courses.

There were a couple of courses that the USCG said that I was still grandfathered for, but foreign port state control, and the HR staff at many companies do not want to hear about grandfathering. They just want to see all of the STCW certificates.

Many companies now demand, or at least prefer, a lot more licenses and certifications than the USCG requires. For example, many tugboat companies with vessels under 200 tons, nonetheless insist on a 500 ton or 1600 ton license, and some want all the STCW certificates too. There Is at least one tugboat company that asks for Medical-PIC, although that is only USCG or STCW required for unlimited chief mate and unlimited master.

I do not see anyway around taking all of the “thought to be required” STCW courses.

One of the functions of a license consultant is to figure out which STCW classes are must haves, to get the necessary STCW endorsements on your license.


#17

Thats all very good info for me Tugsailor, thanks. Especially considering my goal is to work on tugboats.

Just got off the phone with a contact at the REC in Boston and it turns out none of the courses I’ve taken in the CG will be able to be applied to my required courses. That’s unfortunate, but it is what it is.


#18

perhaps I should say “assessments” or whatever. I won’t get caught up in verbiage but it’s definitely more time and cost effective to go straight to master 500/1600, at least for those who have the service before 2014.


#19

Your head is for sure in the right spot and I have no doubt that you will do just fine on the outside. It’s to bad your getting out though, the coast guard could use more Chief’s that haven’t forgotten where they come from.


#20

[QUOTE=Dwithers;163993]Roger on all. That’s a helluva lot of courses to take. The only problem I think I’ll have is trying to fit them in with my current underway schedule. I’m gone 180 days a year give or take. The good part is I’ll be able to use tuition assistance for the courses I do take, which should pay for about 75% of the cost. I will definitely look into a license consultant as well. I’ve got about 2 years to try and get as much done as possible and anyone who could help me smooth the process out would be well worth the money. I could also use my GI bill to go to school full time for the three months I’m on terminal Leave to try speed things up as well. I guess I need to get in touch with Clatsop community college and see what they can do for me and then find out where I’d have to go to get the rest of the courses.

Does anyone know if any of my CG experience might satisfy some of the courses? I’ve got basic firefighting school as well as damage control and advanced damage control certifications through the CG. Also recently went to the SCCS/ECDIS and visual communications schools as part of a pipeline training for my current job. Im guessing they won’t satisfy.[/QUOTE]

I would really talk to a license consultant like Andy Hammond or Chuck Kakuska and let them look at all your schools and paperwork. You’re only looking at a couple hundred bucks. On schools, your GI bill should pay for what you need, as most of the schools appear to be approved (but check first!). At least you have time and you can plan ahead somewhat. I wouldn’t take classes too soon; I believe the certificates are good for what, 12 months after issuance if you don’t send them in (somebody correct me if I’m wrong).

Also get that certification of sea service letter before you depart the CG and make a copy of all your records, replace anything missing etc because once you’re out, it gets harder and takes longer(I’m ex-Navy)

You seem like a nice person who has his head screwed on straight and you will do fine.