I am a USN guy looking at a second career soon. I want to work in the towing industry and am leaning hard at the PMI/MITAGS Workboat Academy program. Has anyone out there attended the program and could give me the skinny on it?
A good program if you have the time & money. What is your navy backround? Deck / engineering? How long before you seperate? you may be able to get your ab/qmed,or possibly even a licence before you get out. Read CFR title 46 chapter 10 with a fine tooth comb; then go to www.uscg.mil/stcw and find stcw requirements for what you think you may qualify for, then find the NMC policy letters on the same website. Look for titles that would apply to your situation.
This may sound like cold advice but if you are serious about moving into this industry AND you want to take every advantage you can from your naval career, this is the best option. You will get a lot of good advice and previous experiences from several good people participating on this forum but it is NMC that will ultimately determine what level you qualify for and they adhere strictly to the requirements laid out in the CFR’s, STCW, and Policy Letters.
Your other option is to just go for an entry level position with a good company that has a training program of some sort and work your way up starting from scratch.
I’m ex navy (deck officer) and after researching the CFR’s, STCW requirements, and NMC Policy letters, I applied for and was able to get a license right away after completing only 3 STCW courses.
I worked full time at PMI for a few years up until the beginning of October, and continue there as a contractor. I am 100% in support of the Workboat Academy in concept and in execuiton. It is a great way to get started in the industry in this “new and improved” era we’ve been forced into.
It is hard work, very intense study during the school phases and the sea phases are challenging as well. The guys who have stuck with it and given it their best effort are doing well. We graduated our first group in July, and most of them are now licensed and at work. The second group finishes up in January.
If you choose to attend, your past experience will help you in a practical sense, and who knows it might get you a little bit better license.
If you’d like to find out exactly what your previous time will get you, you might consider hiring Norleen Schumer to review your sea service and she’ll let you know. You should also pick up Leonard Lambert’s book, The New Hawsepipe and read it cover to cover, and then read it again. It will guide you throughout your career.
If you have specific questions just ask, I’m more than happy to help!