AMO "TECH" Program input and experience from graduates?

Please post confirmed information and experiences regarding the AMO “TECH” program summarized here:

ALSO: if there are any alternative “apprentice programs” out there, please post information.

Even hearsay or opinion of folks that went through the program would be useful. I know some people interested in becoming 3rd AE and shipping, but want to explore other paths besides academy ($$$ is an issue). Hawsepipe is tough with new STCW rules, and SIU is a much longer process.

My understanding is the AMO TECH program is much like the old MEBA school that went away in the 1980’s (which is a shame).

Yes, I understand all the downsides of the industry right now, and the overall opinion on these forums of AMO. Any info, comments, hearsay, rants, jokes, are appreciated.

I heard it was a good program

Is the AMO TECH program still active?

Tech program is still very much active. The application closed for the class that starts in January. I’ve talked to a few of the guys who started in September, they all already had four year degrees before starting, and the tech cadets I’ve had on my ships have been solid.

It’s a screaming deal of a program.

When I was in Piney Point in 2015, the students who came in through this program were all sponsored by their respective shipping cos., mainly OSG and Crowley, from the ATB side. This program consists of, I think, 8 or 9 modules/phases. The first 5 are conducted through SIU at Piney Point and the rest at FL. He will only be able to sail on the sponsoring cos. vessels.

The difference here is that in Phase 2, a SIU apprentice can easily make around $9500 gross in 3 months (as an apprentice) and in Phase 5 around $28000 in 4 months (as an OS), the AMO/SIU Star student will make only $1500/pm in those phases as well as in the subsequent modules/phases. He only starts making money after becoming a lic 3AE. But, he does get a bankable degree :slight_smile:

Bear in mind that this program was how it was in 2015 and may have changed now.

While it has been a few years since I dealt with SIU Apprentices, none ever made that much.

Degree? He gets a license. Not the same thing.

It is now. $4/hr (8hrs/day) plus $8/hr for OT (4hrs) for engine and deck. Galley (depending on the ship) would be 3hrs OT or 4hrs OT/day. Then there are the weekends. If you got your apprentice on the Pride of America, as galley is outsourced, you get paid Hawaiian min wage of approx $7.25/hr with OT around $10/hr (things may have changed now). My apprenticeship was under Tote and I came home with just slightly shy of $9500 and so did a few of my batch mates.

I was under the impression (from my conversation with batch mates in that program) that he gets both, a lic and a degree, especially as SIU has tied up with some local university for under grad degrees. My apologies if I’ve misled.

Congratulations for making that much during your Apprentice time. On my ship the Apprentices got some OT but it was not guaranteed nor did it amount to 4 hrs/day when it was offered.

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TECH Program


Gotta hand it to AMO… They really got their shit together with this program.

That’s about one year of seatime on real ships in a two year program.

It’s twice as much seatime as the academy kids get in four years.

Below is a cut & paste of a post @jdcavo wrote a few years ago:

"MARAD has miniumum requirements for academies in 46 CFR Part 310. The Coast Guard has additional requirements, and the amount and type of shipboard training (not “sea time”) varies for each academy and must be as is specified in each academy’s Coast Guard approved curriculum. You are not going to get very far arguing with the academy that you need less sea time than they are telling you. MARAD and the Coast Guard set minimums and academies may choose to exceed those minimums.

STCW requires a minimum of one year, and the Coast Guard allows training ship time to be counted at 1.5 to 1."

What the academies do works.

What AMO does for hands on marine engineer training is twice as fast and probably twice as good for the entry level engineer.

The young Calhoun trained engineers that I used to see years ago were much much better than the young academy trained engineers. After two or three years of experience the academy kids were just as good.

The academies have a lot of room for improvement.

I am all for any program that allows a person to gain entry into the industry. AMO’s TECH program, at the moment is the fastest way to get a license much like the one the MEBA use to have.

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I am an engine department instructor here at STAR Center. Mr. Silvers has the sequence of events correct. Our TECH program bears resemblance to MEBA’s Calhoon School, but it was not built on the same model.

Our emphasis is on continual improvement of the courses offered. I hasten to add that this is one of the best jobs I have ever had in the maritime industry, and the school’s leadership is outstanding - starting right at the top of AMO Plans. I don’t say this to curry favor, but rather because it is true.

To all of you who have said kind words about AMO and the TECH program, thank you for the compliments.

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What are the academic qualifications of the typical student?

What are you looking for in candidates for admission?

Typically, how many graduates per year? How many in total from the program?