Career change

Hey guys,

I discovered this forum a couple months ago and it has been a wealth of information. This is my 1st post and have some questions.

I work in a dying industry (printing) and am in my mid 40’s. I want to switch careers and break out on a supply vessel or crew boat before I get laid off because I can see the writing on the walls. I am the printing supervisor and can see them culling the higher paid employees.
I went ahead and got my TWIC and am about to turn in my application packet to the local REC after I get my drug screen results tomorrow. I took the physical and drug test last week.

  1. What are the chances of me getting a job as a green OS at my age?

  2. I would like to learn something while waiting… Any recommended knot tying books? Or any other study material for that matter. I did spend 4 years in the navy but that was years ago.

  3. Should I apply online to the companies and then go knock on doors or just go knock on doors?? Or perhaps talk to them on the phone 1st… I just don’t want to get stone walled before they have a chance to meet me in person.

Thank you all for helping out us greenhorns. Any help would be very much appreciated!!

Do you know anyone who works on offshore boats? Do you know what you’re getting into? I’m not trying to discourage you, but at 37 (and still very “young” and fit) I couldn’t imagine doing the work I did when I was an OS at 22. Have you thought about the reality of the job which includes chipping and painting rust in the hot sun all day, as well as cleaning up skid marks from the toilets? I’ll tell you, it can suck! On the other side of that, you may end up with a little easier path, but you never know. Like I said, not to discourage you at all, but your post got me thinking about if I was trying to break into the offshore world now, and how I would handle it. Best wishes!

I’d say you have a better chance on crew boats at first. I was talkin with my captain yesterday about this subject, well close to it. It seems like an OSV company will only hire an OS if they can’t fine any ABs and there’s no shortage of them.

90 days as an OS and you can upgrade to AB though. It won’t be easy but it can be done. Just how bad do you want it?

Knocking on doors seems to have the most success.

I am no stranger to hard work and working my way up from the bottom (hawsepipe if you will).
My brother works for GOL, Master 1600 gt/3000 itc with oceans and about to get his DP. We’ve talked about it but I wanted other opinions. And I appreciate yours. I know it’s going to SUCK for the 1st year or so but I plan on moving up the hawsepipe as fast as I can, studying on my time off and upgrading as soon as eligible. I don’t have a family so I will have plenty of time on my hands. The upside in upgrading is incredible!! I know it’s going to be scary at 1st and it’s a risk for me, but a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do.

Well said sir :wink:

Thanks brother!!!

It’s a long climb to the wheelhouse and you gotta muck through all sorts of bulls**t along the way.

I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck! I realize that. Gettin ready to drive on down after fathers day, just waiting on my medical records.

Check out the PMI Workboat Academy or similar. In two years you sit for your 1600 ton Mate, and are going to be making 350-500 a day. I did it at 45 and am very glad I went that route. Call Gregg Trunnell at PMI and ask him about the co-op companies that are involved.
Best of luck!
MT Skier

Yeah, I suppose I could do that… But I wouldn’t have any income in that 2 years. I am by myself and no one to support me during that time.
I could rape my investment money’s and 401k… Because the money is there, but I would rather not have to do that.
How much money we talkin about??

Shaq and mtskier are both correct. If you want the fast efficient track…go to the program. Tap into the money you have and promise yourself to put it back within 2 to 4 years.

But ur a hawsepiper!! How can you say that? My end goal isn’t unlimited… It’s OSV

Who said anything about “unlimited”?? 1600 tons is NOT unlimited. The school they are referring to is not a maritime academy per se. Its a faster way to get a 1600 ton license without having the trade restriction of “OSV” on your license.

Key word "end goal"
I realize 1600 ton isn’t unlimited… But I’ve been reading other people saying:

Academy = Deep Sea and ATB’s

Hawsepipe = Workboats

Vocational School = Workboats

(IMHO: SIU Piney Point = Unemployment)

Crowley actually paid us roughly OS wages after the first couple of hitches. Almost met my mortgage. I took an equity loan against my property to pay for the program.
You equate different programs with different vessel types as though it was a hard and fast rule. The other two mate working with me attended maritime academies in TX and NY. On my first tug after PMI my relief was a KPer…as for seeing the world try tramp towing!
Pencil out the different wage structures for the next five years and see how it works for you. In my case PMI was a much better path…

If its just you and no mortgage, come to Louisiana, get in a boat and work all you can for a year is so, look for a company that will put you through school… When your off of the boat, go to school,.,

  1. Don’t get married or you will not be able to get the schooling you need
  2. Don’t root down anywhere, you are a merchant sean and must be mobile and available at a moments notice
  3. Don’t blow you money!

Looks like I have some more research to do. You have made me rethink this. Thanks for the advice.

There is no cut and dry method to a license. This thread has actually been pretty informative for you. You have made it this far in the thread without anyone totally bashing you…so that’s cool. I had to go the “long route” to the wheelhouse…and I am not quite there yet. It IS a heck of an experience coming up the hawsepipe. I don’t regret a single second of it. However, I see the benefits of doing it either at the workboat academy as mtskier mentioned or coming up through the oil patch via Louisiana. It should be your goal to get the biggest license possible. Because it’s better to have it and not need it than to need and not have it. I say again, with all do respect, take the money and go to the workboat academy. It’s like a hybrid academy/hawsepipe deal…the best of both worlds. Just sayin.

You make a great point! And thank you for not bashing me. I value any advice I can get in this industry I’m about to jump into. I think this thread actually changed my mind… Went to work last nite thinking about going to raceland in a couple weeks to knock on doors… To getting home after a long night on the graveyard shift thinking I’m going to school!! Well sir, gonna do some more research into this. Thanks
P. S. I hope it’s not to late to enroll for this Fall:)

Frankly, I think most people in there 20’s or 30’s would be best served by going to a regular four year maritime academy. Kings Point is free if you can get in. The others are all cheap enough. For a mature student, CMA might be the best bet because of its minimal regimental requirements. For anyone who already has a college degree, SUNY’s masters degree program would probably be the best fit.

Another alternative is to work for a company like ECO with its own school.

I don’t see the point in attending an expensive for profit school.