AB unlimited to 3rd mate

Besides having the proper seatime, what are the exact courses you need to take to prepare you for the USCG test?? (Books, sites, study guides, classes needed)

To prepare for the tests or to be allowed to sit for the test?

The minimum classes required for OICNW are in 46 CFR.

To prepare for the test basically.

Go to the MITAGS website and look at their AB to mate program. Some of those classes are required, some help you do assessments in class that you might not be able to do onboard, and some may just be for knowledge.


Wow look… I’m at MITAGS taking a course as we speak (meteorology). I’ve
taken about 8 courses or the required 17 but I just got fired from my
company over something that got blew up. But anyway I was just looking for
alternate routes because if I get on with another company that doesn’t have
a contract with my union (Masters, Mates, & Pilots), I won’t have the same
benefits of costs of the classes, travel, and room.

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Here’s the required classes, many of these you sould already have.

(i) Medical first-aid provider.

(ii) Radar observer.

(iii) Search and rescue.

(iv) Basic and advanced firefighting in accordance with §11.303 of this subpart.

(v) Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats (PSC) or proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than lifeboats and fast rescue boats (PSC-limited).

(vi) Visual signaling.

(vii) Bridge resource management (BRM).

(viii) Terrestrial and celestial navigation, and electronic navigation systems.

(ix) Watchkeeping, including International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) and IMO standard marine communication phrases (SMCP).

(x) Cargo handling and stowage.

(xi) Ship handling.

(xii) Stability and ship construction.

(xiii) Meteorology.

(xiv) ARPA, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(xv) GMDSS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

(xvi) ECDIS, if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

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If you are an AB now looking to become a Third Mate, you must be in MMP Inland Division, or MMP Atlantic (formerly Local 333). Since you just got fired, you should take all of the courses you need now while you still can. And test for Third Mate.

San Jacinto College’s Maritime Campus offers very affordable classes for the Commercial Mariner. If you are in the Houston area check out our web page or come by and visit the campus: http://www.sanjac.edu/continuing-professional-development/corporate-and-workforce/maritime

There are some online programs as well: http://www.sanjac.edu/online


Capt_Phoenix’s point not all AB to Mate classes have the OICNW assessments included. If you start shopping around be sure you know what you’re paying for.

Dang I just got my license in 2014 and counted 7 extra classes I didn’t have to take. I’m not sure I’d have started the process given the current course requirements. I feel bad for the guys (and gal) going through the Hawsepipe under the new guidelines.