I am currently a 100 ton captain in the GOM. I am interested in getting an unlimited 3rd mates license. I am not interested in cadet corps and already have a 4 year degree. Are there any academies that offer programs for mariners like me?
SUNY has a day student program for people like you. You would attend classes but not be affiliated with the regiment except during cruises. I don’t know much about it, but I think it would take you almost three years to complete. You would come out with a Masters in Marine transportation.
There are other ways to get a 3rd Mate’s license. Earn while you learn. You can start by upgrading your license and getting on a bigger vessel. Take all your OICNW courses and take your 3rd mate test at the coast guard. Once you have your 3rd mate license you can get on ships, drilling rigs or something classed unlimited if you want. Most of the new supply boats do qualify you for unlimited time even though you are operating them with a limited license. Of course there is a lot of detail I am leaving out, but it can be done.
If I were 18 and I knew then what I know now and still wanted to work on vessels, I would go to a maritime academy. Be a guy in my mid twenties trying to start a family I had only one choice and that was to work and test. Going to school was not an option. All depends on your situation.