Apprentice programs - SIU or AMO?

Never have truer words been spoken. The degree will open up a world of shore side engineering jobs the license wont. Including becoming a state licensed professional engineer. However colleges will try to tell you their programs take 4 years. That’s a lie, take a good hard look at your program with an adviser you may be able to get them down to 3 years. If I could do college again I would have utilized intersession more.

We only want to give good advice to the young fellows. The degree will help you down the road. I do look at the AMO program favorably, it’s a darn good shot for young people that think they want to sail engine and don’t want to do the 4 year thing. Had I had a chance to do it over again, would take the academy route. I don’t need to work as I am retired, but when I did, there was not a large market for retired Tug Captains without a degree… I helped my son get into a maritime academy, it worked out well. When he worked for MSC, made well over 6 figures per year as 3rd mate. His fellow 3rd engineers about the same. A health issue as a young man forced him to go shoreside. His degree saved his ass. You have some choices to make, I wish you well. Either way, you have some good choices to pick from. And yes, AMO has contracts with MSC, and many other company’s as well, with darn good benefits.

Could you expand on intersession? My impression was that the programs take 4 years so that you have enough sea time throu summer cruises to sit for your license. Am I incorrect in saying that only doing 3 years would mean I would miss out on sea time/commercial internship opportunities? Also, I’m a transfer student, and I have a lot of gen ed credits already, so I may be very well positioned to shave a year off, if possible.

Thank you all for all the advice. I’m excited to take my first steps in this career path.

Do the 2yr gig with AMO, with the college credits you have, a degree can be acquired online in the meantime, and put some cash in your pocket while doing so. Not sure, but you may get some college credits in that program as well. My son is working on his masters on line. It is good to have choices sir, many don’t .I wish you well.

Every program is different, this is why its is important to have the conversation with an academic adviser. You could have this conversation before accepting your admission and base your decisions on which college offers the quickest path.

Community colleges offer courses during the summer and winter. Even if you ship during the summer you can move some of your work load out side of the normal semester during winter. Alternatively University Of North Dakota offers many online self paced courses. Calc 1-3 and Dif EQs are almost always on the critical path of an engineering program. If you can complete those four classes prior to entering into a program you may be able to shave off a year. If you complete one lesson a day each of those UND courses take a month.

You are wise beyond your years to observe anti-union sentiment on this site for whatever reason. Union worked out well for me , maybe not for others. Free education for a well paying job is hard to walk away from. Not totally free. You will have a commitment to the union. Shit ain’t totally free. The armed forces have a similar requirement, but at much lower pay. Hope you find a spot somewhere before another person gets in front of you. Trust me or not, there are many behind you waiting for an opportunity.

I second this. Zero experience to Unlimited 3AE in two years with a guaranteed job at the end is really sweet. Even if it’s a bad paying 3AE job, I assume it’s at least 75k/year… Surely…

Then at the end of the 5 years, if you’re not satisfied with life in AMO, then take your talents elsewhere.

Onboard with that Hawsepiper. Gotta get your hands dirty first, then figure it out.

You could probably do it in 3 years. The academies will likely not promise you 3 years because it’s hard to do but it’s possible. I know at Maine there are a lot of fall only and spring only classes and YOU have to know what classes you need and work out how you’ll get into them all in time. I expect that’s an issue at all the academies because they’re all small and have limited teachers.

The big problem here is that I won’t know if I got into TECH until after the fall semester for the Texas academy starts, so it’s a gamble to wait.

You can accept admittance to a university and not enroll in any classes. You’ll just eat that $500 or what ever the deposit is. This is technically against the bylaws of the universities but its a play many people make if they have not heard back from their dream school before the deadline to accept admittance in their back up school.

Put together a Gantt Chart to identify what the critical path is. Then you can try and fit that into the schools schedule.

Yes, but the amo program acceptance comes out AFTER fall semester at the academies. He would have to enroll, start classes, then withdraw.

The university will normally return the tuition in full if the student withdraws in the first third of the semester. Check in the student handbook/course catalog of your particular university.

However you wont get back the travel expenses and time you spent going there. This form of insurance will have a cost. Its an option but it may not be “the best option”

Maine Maritime I think gives you a week or two.

My best engineers were from Maine Maritime and US Navy diesel submariners. The navy guys are almost gone now.

Yes Texas gives full refunds if you withdrawal before the 12th class day, which I would hear back from TECH before then if I got in. Luckily, from a year of working, I have enough savings to eat the miscellaneous expenses.

Having gone this route, battled successfully to maintain it, and seen others who tried and failed, I’d offer the following advice if you want to try:

  • Bring your transcripts in advance and get approval in writing from the Registrar for exactly which credits will transfer and which requirements for graduation they’ll satisfy.

  • Be clear from the beginning you intend to shave the year and have a documented plan with the Registrar to do so, so you don’t risk missing or being excluded from courses required to do so.

I saw a few folks find out too late that not all their credits would transfer, or they didn’t have the right courses to satisfy grad requirements and even though they were “told” they could cut a year they didn’t have a leg to stand on.

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Its best to have the conversation about transfer credit before you enroll and commit to a college.

Rustbucket and shipengr, good advice sirs