I am currently in college getting an electrical degree and PLC certifications. My background has been in construction and mechanical preventative maintenance in the factories. The market within the next 50 miles is flooded with electricians. What would be the best way to transition into a maritime career? I notice marine electricians are well paid both on the water and in drydock and the few I have talked to seem very satisfied if too busy or impatient to answer my questions. Any advice from those who have been where I am going is appreciated. I like to build on others knowledge while gaining my own.
You are describing a pretty narrow, well paid job direction. I don’t know of any shipyards (except government contracted yards (read navy work)) that hire your specialty. I have been involved in new builds/ rebuilds. Outside techs are called in for such specific programming, instrumentation and control installation. You will have to find these niche providers and see if one would take you in as an entry level tech ( of course until you show them some practical results) then they may let you run.
The company I work for hired a guy because he said he could do the needed programming and installation for less. Like 5,000 versus 9,000 bucks. In the end they had to pay the first company the 9,000 again to fix the ‘cut rate’ guys UN integration of the whole engine control, alarms and monitoring system.
Agamemnon…I haven’t sailed in a while but there are several vendors that would seek your skills. Saab and Ian-Conrad Bergan gauging systems always seemed to be looking for techs. Intercontintal Engineering is another that builds couplings, towing machines and winches controlled with PLCs and VFDs. Many other outfits providing switchgear and load sharing, inert gas systems, packaged boilers, ect…Good luck!
Thanks Old Salt. I have been checking into these types of employers. In my heart though I need to be on the water. After being in the factories and self employed, I know I can be successful on my own anywhere. Now its time to work hard at something I want to do. Even after listening to a few horror stories and arguments of “why go, your doing so well” I still want in.
Thanks Cappy for adding a little more perspective to my search. I really didn’t know how narrow a field I was looking in. Would it be better to just get my foot in the door and then work toward the electrical side over a period of years?
It’s not the field that’s narrow. You originally said you were interested specifically in the MARINE aspect of it. PLC and controls are ALL over every industry. Lots of work. Just the marine field is very specific. Look around for the contractors. Call and interview. See what they say. I am not certain of your field. It is possible that the guys I have seen work on a boat/ship for a couple weeks, then go off to do a power plant.
[B]Here’s one that closes on Jan 9th [U]Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation[/U][/B]