AB to OSV Mate: How long will it take?

Hi All,
Not having worked as an AB in the GOM I was wondering generally how long it takes to make the jump from AB to to OSV Mate? I only need 360 days to have enough time to qualify for 1600 Mate NC but was wondering what the reality is of actually getting promoted. Lets assume Im a likeable guy (dont ask my ex wife for a reference) and does a good job on deck.

1600 Mate NC requires you to have ALL the OICNW STCW classes, see http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/checklists/MLD-FM-REC-118_Mate_500-1600_NC.pdf and policy letter 01-02 (http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/marpers/pag/1-02.pdf + http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/marpers/pag/1-02enclosure1.pdf + http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/marpers/pag/1-02enclosure2.pdf). For Mate OSV, you will need to be employed with a company in the GOM who has an USCG approved Mate OSV program and complete the Mate OSV assesments as set forth in the program. Mate OSV is more cost effective to move up to the wheelhouse. But, you will be limited to OSV’s in the GOM. Hopefully, this will help you on your endeavors.

Bob, to go from A/B to mate OSV you will have to complete OSV assessments this could take a while depending if the capt. on board is an OSV assessor and if he is willing to assess you. This is more than likely your best option starting out. If you have the money and time you could get and unrestricted mates license. That Also comes with having to do a bunch of assessments and 12 weeks of school to the tune of $17,000+ bucks. The problem with those assessments your assessor needs a 2nd mate or above to do them. This is all covered in policy letter 01-02. http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/marpers/pag/1-02.pdf. The good news about the unrestricted lic/test is that the 1 test covers you from 1600 mate to 2nd mate unlimited. It is a little more in-depth that the OSV exam but the basics are the same. Rules of the Road are Rules of the Road no matter what test you sit for. Same goes for navigation. Just more subjects are covered in the generals. To answer the rest of your question once you have the lic. it is almost an automatic promotion to the bridge. I don’t think i know of anyone who had a mates ticket and was kept on deck. If you are in your words “assume Im a likeable guy…and does a good job on deck” then i don’t think you will have any problem.

good luck and welcome to the nightmare of what is getting a USCG lic.


Capt Brian-chaos
Thanks for the speedy reply… Looks like Il be doing some reading tomarrow.
Thanks again,

Bob, it depeds on which company you go to work for with respect to the promotion question.

At a company like Edison Chouest, where they have their own training center, you can knock out your courses relatively quickly, probably 3-5 months. You should be able to get your assesments done in 2 or 3 hitches. From there it is just a matter of completing your sea time. As for the promotion, I have yet to see an individual NOT get immediately promoted to the wheelhouse as soon as the company has a copy of their license.
Since Chouest is the only GOM company I have worked for I can only speak about them. I’ve heard good things about other companies but no first hand experience.

Good luck

Hi there,
Wow, that NMC Policy Letter 01-02 pretty well dots every eye. Thank you. You guys saved me a bunch of hours bumping around the internet.

Bob - The following schools offer all the STCW classes (On the East Coast) needed for 1600 Mate/3rd Mate: MPT MAMA Star Center(AMO Union School) MITAGS (MMP Union School). I am sure there are a few that I have missed (SUNY, Maine MA, Piney Point, Mass. MA, etc.) But, if you are going the non-trade restricted route, this should help you out some.