Apprentice programs - SIU or AMO?

I’m looking at apprentice programs for engineering. AMO requires a 5 year commitment after 2 year school and I will be ready for the 3rd Assistant Engineer Motor exam. I’m not sure on Piney Point other than the year of schooling/sea time. What program and union would you recommend for the long term? Both are free tuition, room & board.

Going for a third’s ticket is generally your better option, have you looked at the academies?
Not free of course, but you’re also not tied to one union.

Academies cost too much. I’m in NY - SUNY Maritime is over $100,000, Great Lakes would be the easiest for me to get into but the price is $88,000. Maine is $136,000. I couldn’t find a price for Texas A&M out-of-state and Massachusetts is $154,800. I didn’t check CA because I know OOS is really expensive. I can get loans but my parents would have to co-sign and they don’t want to go into debt a lot before retirement.

Then do the AMO program. I’ve worked with a few people who had gone through it and they were pretty happy with how things had turned out. Do your time, learn, and move on up and out.
AMO is awful but a golden nugget in comparison to SIU. Stay away from SIU at all costs.


Did you try for KP?

Most things I’ve heard about SIU haven’t been that bad, but it’s also hard to get information on things like this, what makes you say that?

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What’s KP?

Oh Kings Point. Yeah, I looked at it. I didn’t take Trig. My grades were good but not at the level they want. I would need a Congressional recommendation and the deadline has passed already.

Lmao it’s this guy again.

Can you please fill us in on the situation you encountered with the SIU? I’m blindly wondering why you have so much hatred for them and continue to steer away some potential talent.

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I’ll put it as simply as I can- taxation without representation. That is all you need to know to stay the fuck away.
I have also never encountered another union where contracts get worse over the years. Watchstander pay rates are often times lower than minimum wage in some states. How is that okay? And how about the non existant pension fund? The benefits suck too, considering how much you pay in. And as I said in another post, please, don’t get injured on duty, because you will be completely on your own from there on out, this is the worst part.

If you consider it a somewhat expensive employment agency, fine, but a union it is not.

And let’s not forget the typical SIU member these days. If you hold AB Unlimited, you should be able to tell left from right when steering. I’ve seen mates having to babysit people time and time again, which is an unacceptable situation.
If you want to learn and get ahead in life, first thing you should look for is to be surrounded by good people; people better than you, skilled professionals. Join SIU and you’ll have the exact opposite of that, (of course with some rare exceptions)- people that are there for some change, free food and a rack to sleep on. THAT’S IT.
And throw on top of that wages akin to spit in the face. SIU is a complete joke of a union. Stick up for them, but hey, Sacco with his- accounted for- quarter of a million salary just laughs all the way to the bank.


Still no clarification on the situation that you encountered. But ok.

I get that the union has some sub-par contracts. No disagreement there, BUT there are plenty of really good jobs in the union with some of the best contracts I have ever seen in my career. I’m by no means a seasoned sailor, I’m fairly new to the SIU( within the last couple years). I hawse-piped my way up to 3M and have worked for some shit ass companies and have never had this kind of pay or benefits in my life (Union and non union). Personally I think everyone in the industry should have to work on a shitty old tug boat or a shitty old ship with a shitty old contract before they take the bees knees of a job but I guess some people just want everything handed to them on a gold platter.

The OP wants to get his 3A engineer and I can tell you right now if he went the SIU route he would end up with a really good contract as an officer. Sure officer jobs aren’t as plentiful as the SIU is majority unlicensed, but I can tell you he’ll have a damn good contract when he has that license in hand.

Anyways, I would love for you to share your story so that I can watch out for what you went through and would love to hear if anyone else has had the same experience as you did.

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Do you think SIU gets better contracts than AMO? It’s hard to tell looking at their websites.

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No. Your idiotic comments about gold platters and bees knees jobs convinced me to not waste my time any further with you. I’ve said my piece many times over, no amount of personal information is going to change your mind. You were wrong by the way, most of the contracts are absolutely disgraceful. It is the majority not minority. Go read them, if they let you. It is all out there. So are the benefit details. Talk to old timers as well about how well their pension fund is managed. I bet they’ll tell you how happy they are to be getting 700 bucks a month after 40 years at sea.
SIU is a pimp game. Join it and find out for yourself.
If I were a youngin just out of high school and couldn’t afford school, I’d join the military, get a GI bill and go to academy.

I think they’re better, but less plentiful. Obviously AMO (being an officers union) has a many more contracts than SIU. I believe there is some kind of program where you can transfer between the two 1 Time and carry over seniority/tenure but I haven’t really looked into it or researched it yet so don’t quote me on that.

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Thanks. That gives me something to look into.

Sounds like you just like running your trap and can’t back it up. I think you’ve made it clear. Zero credibility.

You got to be shitting me. That is complete bullshit. But it’s funny I gotta say.

To you, yes. You don’t know me and don’t need to. You’re waste of my time, punk. I simply gave an advice, just like my senior officers gave advice to me back in the day- get the hell out of SIU. It didn’t take too long to see it with my own eyes. Everybody is welcome to try everything out for themselves. You did your part too, you spread complete bs and the young kid got his confirmation bias. Everybody happy, no?

It seams to me that @ItsJody has stepped up to the SIU licensed side and may see it through a different lense than what the unlicensed see. Good for him I suppose.

I have no experience with the licensed side of this “union” but years of observation on the unlicensed side has not left me thinking they are an honorable organization. Most of the sailors I have worked with whom are affiliated with SIU tell tales of shocking shipping practices, questionable leadership, and downright criminal retirement for a lifetime of working.

If they are so disparate in reality, one should ask why.


Damn right. If you work for three or four decades and retire with barely a $1,000 a month pension something ain’t right, not with the leadership nor the membership. They need to “take it back” and fix it.