Career Advice


Brand new here,outstanding site. I have been doing tug and barge work here in the port of Miami and have had my fill of harbor service and freeport runs. I am wanting to go to tankers and was wondering about unions versus non-union jobs. i have my QMED with pumpman and my Tankerman PIC(DL),TWIC and STCW with RFPEW. I have the local MMP hiring hall here in Ft.Lauderdale and went and talked with them and they offered to place me with AHL. Also have a job offer with MSC. Also was wondering about SUP which offers permanent placement with chevron. Any advice would greatly be appreciated. Sorry for the long post.


Welcome to the forum! If you’re getting offers in this economy I say grab what you can and sort out the rest later. Union, non-union, it doesn’t really matter.


What kind of money are they offering?


First congratulations to have job offers in this economy is a great accomplishment in itself. Where to go really depends on what your goals in your career are. If you are interested in getting you license and getting trained you can’t go wrong with MSC they pay for all training and generally are good about promoting people once they get their paper. However, MSC expects you to sail 9 to 11 months a year and in general can be a very frustrating place to work once you get involved with them. I really don’t know a lot about working union except when it’s slow you can go bankrupt waiting for a job


Last I knew MSC civmars are in unions, Deck officers were (are?) MM&P


Thanks everybody for the help. AHL through MM&P are offering $228 sailing as a pumpan. Is this regular or low for tankers? All my buddies sale tugs so they don’t know either and I’m just not sure how much I should be expecting. Thanks again.


No requirement to be in a union to sail MSC. Some crew do join unions but they are held in special divisions and don’t earn time like regular union members, etc.


My advice is to take advice with a grain of salt. Having said that my philosophy is the same as Capt A’s above.

I’ve had guys tell me to avoid this job or that job and they have turned out ok. On the lowest tier of outfits things can get dicey but I’ve never gotten a warning, I didn’t figure it out until the lines have been cast off.

I’ve worked for both AHL and MSC, both were better then sitting on .
the beach watching my money go away.


I would take the union job, or non-union for that matter and stay away from MSC. ( see another thread why).
Yes, MSC allows its members to be union. BUT, there is nothing the union can do as these are US Fed jobs. IE: you cannot strike. The unions like to see membership for dues reasons, but generally when the union does get involved there is little they can do to right wrongs. MSC is not the first choice for marine jobs… I know, I spent years there and it has gone from “ok” in the 80’s to really a bad place to be today.


I will second the advice about MSC. When I was with them I had a captain and C/E both say the same thing about MSC being fun in the “old days”, but sucking now… In fact the C/E properly referred to it as a bunghole company. Too bad, since MSC could be one of the best.