Cadet pay

Is there a requirement to pay cadets on commercial vessels?

Not sure if there is a requirement. I know when I was a cadet it was a whole $33 a day. Just enough to save up for port and go drinking, forget who you are, and crawl back up the gangway. Usually accompanied by all the unlicensed who enjoy getting cadets tore up from the floor up.


$33/day would be nicer than $0/day especially over the course of a 100 day project. I was just wondering.

A couple of years from now when your classmates who are getting paid for their summer training gets screwed over by their employers they will be so disappointed & angry. Not you, it sounds like you are getting broke in to the industry early.

If the company HR people try to recruit you to their $0 paying company, find a clever, political correct way to bring up your 100 days of free go’for work & tell them your sucker days with them are over.

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I remember getting US$11.40 a day as a cadet. US flag, from KP, so the company was obligated to pay us, especially the ones operating on a subsidy. Pretty sure that, at least on US flag vessels, pay for cadets is a requirement. Not sure about other flags, though.

MLC requires that seafarers get paid.

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I only found this about Cadets on Norwegian fishing vessels:

Cadets under education in Norway can also serve on vessels under foreign flag, subject to certain conditions:
(I don’t know if they get paid)

I always thought cadets have to get paid the going cadet wage ( which is more than double then when I was a cadet). However I heard some cadets years ago getting qmed wages in the gulf?

Pretty sure MARAD requires it. Are you not getting paid as a cadet?

Certain idiotic HR departments in OSV companies have been paying cadets AB/QMED wages in the gulf since back when I was a cadet. Was kinda a kick in the nuts to find out a classmate was getting $150 a day on a supply boat while I was getting $21 a day with Mormac, but I guess if the companies want to overpay, that’s their problem.

I think the federally mandated rate for cadets is $33 a day though now. If you ship in a foreign company’s cadet program though, you might find that it’s an “unpaid internship” from stories I’ve heard.

The weird thing is that I’m on a US flagged vessel. Does anyone know where to look in the cfr to get any insight on the cadet minimum?

46CFR 310.60 only applies to KP Midshipmen and not to the state academies. If you’re not at KP, you may be SOL.

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Did someone specifically tell you you’re not getting paid?

What? Time to give the full story. What school are you from, and what company are you out as a cadet with? Every company I’ve ever worked for has paid cadets. Have you talked to the schools cadet shipping coordinator about this?

I’m out of glma working on an ATB on the great lakes. The cadet on one of the other boats is also not getting paid. I guess they told him the we (cadets) are volunteer workers.


Not a good idea to guess, first thing you need to do is find out what’s happening from a reliable source.

You’re getting paid in “experience”. Maybe it’s a lesson not to work for them after you graduate. You’re not there for a job though, you’re there to get sea time and exposure to the industry. I know it isn’t ideal, but at this point it would be best for you to just suck it up and make the most of it. You never know what could happen from this experience and you could end up with some very good contacts. Try to put a positive spin on it. And definitely don’t complain to the crew about it.

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If I was on a ship working and not getting paid the crew would never hear the end of it.


I would talk to somebody at your school. Sounds like a bunch of shit to me.