Chances of finding work as an ordinary seaman

Im new to this merchant mariner life lol I’m from Jacksonville,Florida I’m currently waiting on my mmc but I have everything thing else. I just wanted to hear stories about how everyone got started and was it difficult starting as an ordinary seaman

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I would say its harder now then it was when i started out over 20 yrs ago. You will be competing with lots of licensed mariners sailing in entry level positions, trying to get experience so they can actually use their license when an opening pops up.

I am not trying to discourage you…just letting you know the competition is fierce. The good thing is the industry is turning around for the better currently…more jobs are out there these days.

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By licensed do you mean ab and up? I have bst. That’s good to hear that it’s looking better. All of the threads I searched were old so I wanted a more current opinion. Once my mmc comes I plan on beating the pavement in Louisiana

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Have you thought of joining one of the Unions?
https://www.sailors.org/

Then there’s MSC
https://sealiftcommand.com/departments/deck/ordinary-seaman-advancement-program/39

They want you to go to their school. I think I’ll try msc once my mmc get in

SIU does want you to go to their school, SUP is different

By licensed i mean an officer, be it deck or engine.
An ab is a rating, not an officer.

Its good that you have bst. That will definately make you more marketable. If you are planning on going to the gulf, take any job you can get. I have seen on facebook occasionally crewboat and supply boats hiring and any seatime is good seatime for entry level! Upgrade and/or get a license as soon as you have the means. Avoid being a career deckhand.

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Ohhh. You learn something new everyday. I do plan on moving up it’s always been my dream to be on the ocean. I’m willing to take whatever to start out

Sorry, but is anyone else tired of these questions? Must be dozens of threads on “how do I start out?” “What academy is best?” “Should I try shipping out?” “Which end is the bow?” “What is a ship?” …

I haven’t even been on here that long, but honestly do some research. Take a drive, visit some companies , find someone who’s worked out here. Just stop looking for all the answers on here.

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I didn’t look for answers I asked for other people’s stories on how difficult it was if you can’t read

Give the kid a break. At least until he asks you to do his homework for him. It’s coming, there hasn’t been one in a while.

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It is difficult and still is 20+ years later. Honestly getting harder. Good luck

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Don’t worry about it, if you know what you want in your heart, develop a thick skin and keep on pushing.

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I won’t give up I’m not just some kid looking for the next thing I really want this in my heart and I’m going to do everything in my power to make it happen I came too far now

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Sadly we’ve gone from 1900 blue water ships when I was out
to 82 plus MSC and even more sad Ready Reserve.
Travel to a large port and try to pick up a relief slot. Good luck.

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You should take a look at inland tugs and push boats. They are all hiring at the moment (there are over 5,000 inland tugs on the water) and the licensing is easier. Take your pick from the following: Canal Barge, Florida Marine, Enterprise Marine, Marquette, Golding Barge Line, Magnolia Marine, Lebeouf Bros Towing, Savage Services etc. Captains are easily in the $600-700/day ballpark and every company that I just mentioned is hiring. I think deckhands start at $150/day but you can advance relatively quickly.

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Sadly, deep sea jobs are disappearing for US mariners so inland is a good option if you are so inclined. Either that or work foreign but I wouldn’t recommend it.

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Nothing wrong with asking questions here. It’s part of the research. You can try SIU or SUP. Just to get on the water. Get your time, work your ass off and take all the tests to move up. Both those unions are decent starting points.

You need RFPNW nowadays to sail as an OS in most instances. Definitely if you’re gonna be joining a union. Also without having tankerman assistant endorsement you will be having a tough time getting out.

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