27 years old looking to enter the shipping industry (?)

It seems there are a lot of gCaptain users who know a thing or two about the shipping industry so I figured I would start here.<br><br>I graduated college a few years back (degree in History; 3.0 GPA) I have been working as a carpenter but am looking to make a radical life change.<br><br>My passion in life is traveling and seeing the world. A passion that requires both TIME and MONEY and it seems, from what I have gathered, that the shipping industry could provide me with both. I am willing to work any job as long as the pay is good and I have time to travel. <br><br>My question’s are:<br><br>Where do I start? <br><br>Is this worth my time? ie: no degree, no contacts, no work history <br><br>What should I expect working in the shipping industry as far as life on the ship?<br><br><br>Any info would be a great help.<br><br>Thanks<br>

Hello Greenhorn,<br><br>Have you heard about the SIU (Seaman International Union) Pall Hall Center school in Piney Point, MD ? <br><br>http://www.seafarers.org/<br><br>Check out the unlicensed apprentice program ( Under the pall Hall training center )<br><br>I’m 42 with no experience and am looking for the same benefits as You. I am in the hiring process for Kirby Marine right now, so I have my fingers crossed. Seems Like good money after just a few years and 2 weeks off after 30 days on the boat,some companies work 14 days on and 14 days off.<br><br>Good luck.

There are a few training programs out there, here is a link to one at the Pacific Maritime Institute in Seattle. 2 years, entry level to Mate. 1 year of school, one year of on-board training and seatime. MITAGS in Baltimore also offers the same 2 year program.<br><br><a title=“Pacific Maritime Institue’s 2 year workboat mate program” target="_blank" href="http://www.workboatacademy.com]www.workboatacademy.com<br><br><span style="font-size: 13px;]Disclaimer: I work at PMI.</span>

I guess my next question is — What are the advantages of doing something like PMI opposed to getting on a ship and working from the bottom up without a training program?

Well, greenhorn, one advantage is that some schools allow you to move up the advancement ladder at an accelerated rate. If you want to simply get onboard a boat, sure…you could probably do that. I would recommend getting your Merchant Mariners Document and Basic Safety Training at a minimum. This would make you much more attractive as a prospective employee to those looking to hire. Yes, these two items are expensive and time consuming, but how badly do you want to work offshore? If you are VERY lucky, a company may agree to pay for these two items in exchange for you coming to work for them. I don’t think that you will be able to find such an offer these days, however. I know that my company has an overabundance of applications from personnel wanting to come to work for us. It may not be the case at other companies, however, and I can’t speak for them.<br><br>I would suggest checking out the following magazines: Martime Reporter, Marine News, and Workboat. They have had some recent articles about schools that offer the newbie the opportunity to get a decent start.<br><br>I’m just an old hawsepiper myself, but looking back…it would give you a definate advantage to attend a maritime academy. After a mere 4 years in school, you are pushed WAY up the advancement ladder. If I had known what I know now, that’s the route I would have taken, and I would definately recommend doing so, if you can affford it.<br><br>Hope this helps and good luck.

It is a kind of Catch-22. Most companies won’t hire you unless you have at least an AB (able seaman) endorsement on your MMD (merchant mariner’s document), and you can’t get your AB without seatime, on the job training and experience.<br><br>It is simply impossible to hawsepipe anymore without going to school. STCW ended that for everyone. You just cannot work your way up the way a lot of us did in the past. The major advantage of attending a program that has been USCG approved (Piney Point, PMI, etc) is that the time invested is much less as you’re granted seatime credit for more than the number of days you actually spend at sea. If you tried to work your way up from the bottom on a boat, you’re looking at three to five calendar years before you are qualified to test for your first license. The schools compress that to two years. Be aware that even if you get your Mate’s license after a two year program, a company might not choose to sail you as a Mate right off the bat. You may have to work as an AB until you can prove to them that you’re capable of standing a navigation watch on your own. <br><br>I have heard that some of the four year maritime academies will admit you to a shorter course of study towards your 3rd Mate’s license if you already hold a bachelor’s degree. Don’t take my word for it though, you’ll need to check for yourself.<br><br>I agree with Achiever that the oil patch is a great place to be, I worked the oil patch in the 90’s and plan to return later this year. I would add that the tug and barge sector is also full of opportunities. The average age of a licensed officer on tugs in the USA is approaching 60. There will be a massive exodus of talent in the next five to ten years, allowing the younger folks a path to advancement. This is a very good time to be getting into this industry.<br><br>Regarding your question about life aboard ship, imagine locking yourself in a 500 square foot steel box with five or eight other guys, for at least 28 days, probably more, and you’ll start to get a feel for it. It can be just fine, or it can be pure hell. Mostly though, it is what you make it. This career is very hard on families and marriages. You will be away from friends and family for months on end, for the duration of your career. Every mariner’s relationships suffer. Every mariner I know has been divorced, is someday going to be divorced, re-married or decided not to get married at all. I’m on my second marriage and thank god I found a woman who is at peace with my career. But we’re older and the kids are grown. That makes a difference. Every mariner I know has missed weddings and funerals and little league games and graduations and holidays and the births of their children. You’ll need to consider this as being a very real part of the package. <br><br>But, there is nothing so beautiful as sunsets and sunrises on the open sea, or the 360 degree panorama of stars on a moonless night, or the dolphins surfing your bow wake. There is nothing like having a 50 foot humpback whale breach twenty feet off your beam. There is nothing like the sleep I sleep on a moving boat. Uh, when I get it, that is. There is nothing like the challenge and satisfaction of safely navigating your way through heavy traffic in restricted visibility. There is nothing so fun as operating a Z-drive tug in the indirect mode behind an oil tanker. There is no thrill like the thrill of<span style="font-size: 13px;]<sup>1</sup></span> being at the controls while maneuvering and tying a 200 foot boat to an oil rig in 8 to 10 foot seas with an opposing current, or better yet, holding it in just the right spot (what they call “crewboating it”) for hours on end without the aid of tie up lines, pumping water and fuel and barite while backloading from the rig. <br><br>For many of us, the personal satisfaction gained by doing this kind of work justifies the cost. I’ve been at it for nearly thirty years, and I still get excited by it. If this kind of stuff makes you excited, then you might just be looking at the right path for yourself.<br><br><sup><br><br>1 </sup><span style="font-size: 11px;]Pre-DP, of course, for those of us who remember…</span>

Paul Hall school is top notch and highly recommended. It’s also free !

I am also 27 and seriously considering a career at sea. <br><br> What does the paul Hall school base its admissions selection process off of? <br>Seems like a really simple application with not much information about yourself.<br>Do they pretty much admit anyone? Im assuming a lot of the people that move through the program dont stick around long in the industry when they find its not for them. <br><br> Has anyone here been through the program? What was it like and how was the at sea portion?<br>Im going to print and mail my app today I think.

What is your job experience anyway? Where have you been working? Getting into the shipping area can be tough or not, depending on what “assets” you have, your work history, committment and so forht.<br><br>Are you looking for a roustabaout position?

I do not have any job experience in maritime industry. Like I stated, I have been working as a carpenter so I am good with working with my hands and solving problems on my feet. <br><br>So I guess my “assets” are a college education and a willingness to work hard and bust my ass.<br><br>“Are you looking for a roustabaout position?” I am looking for the position that is going to pay the most and give me the largest block of time off. <br><br>I want to thank everyone for your input and suggestions it has been a ton of help.<br>

I was looking at Paul Hall (SIU) schools until they told me I would have to study engine and steward work along with my deck stuff. Having 400 some-odd days seatime as a deckie already, I didnt feel that learning to slap together a sandwich or manage a galley was worth my time.

The multi-department work is for the entry-level trainee program. If you’re working for an SIU contracted company and a member in good standing, the school, transportation, room and board are free.

Multiwork is okay… if you’re unsure what route to take. I wanted to go deck and get my AB through them, so engine department and steward department do not and never will interest me, nor is it really useful for someone like me. I am just sailing for non-union outfits until I get the AB, then I would crossover and join the SIU.<br><br>They told me I needed to pass an 8th grade level math and english test to get in… guess I better study… :slight_smile:

So you want to travel and see the world while making money, With your already obtained college degree it’s a quick trip to an (ESL) English as a Second Language training program and then off you go to any place in the world to teach english. Check it out at <A href="http://www.eslcafe.com]www.eslcafe.com</A>. The investment of time and money to get into this industry is a very big step. With quick on-loads, off-loads and turnarounds and the companies “time is money” attitude, you may not see a lot of the world except from off the coast or to and from an aiport, personal time off in port can be very limited to the point of being frustrating. Reality check.

limited port time may be the reality but how many occupations allow for so much time off? If you want to really travel and see the world you need big chunks of vacation time. How many occupations allow you to work 8 months out of the year and still maintain a nice standard of living?

If you want port time get on a bulk carrier.

Sorry to bump an old thread but dont think this is worth its own thread. <br>I am enrolled in a STCW BST course starting sept 8th. With just my MMD and BST what kind of work should I expect to find? Im kind of excited about the prospect of working my up from the bottom. I just hope there is still work out there for a total newb with simple BST training and nothing more.

Just a note to the Greenhorn:<br><br>Dougpine mentioned that some of the 4 year academies allow you to get in and out in a shorter period of time in order for you to get your 3/M license. I know one place that does this is New York Maritime in Throggs Neck, NY.<br><br>They offer what they call a “grad-license” program, where you earn a Master’s Degree (M.S.), as well as your 3/M license in as little as 3 years. The degree is in International Transportation Management, and sort of focuses on the business side to the shipping world.<br><br>If you like, I can probably offer you some more information - let me know.<br><br>New3M

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<DIV class=CommentBody id=CommentBody_2373>I am 47 and just got my TWIK and MMD. I am looking for entry level openings in the gulf on crew boats, dive boats, whatever. Anyone know of companies that hire newbis? have sea experience on fishing trawlers in Nova Scotia and Tall ships around the world. ny tip greatly appreciated<br><br>Tom Gibbs </DIV>

i dont know alot about the oil patch as a hole but i can tell ya that it can be lots of fun on the smaller boats but they are not the best ride in the world. I hear that the big boats pay mor and ride better but my experience is limmited to crew boats or fast supply boats. ive been out here almost 2 years now and im already unlicensed engineer so theres room grow good luck to you and i hope that i was helpful.