So, here I sit, looking up the courses that are required for me to upgrade from 2nd Mate / 1600 Master to Chief Mate / Master and I have found myself wondering a few things. I would like to see what some of the other guys on here think.
With current state of the maritime industry and the amount of idle licenses just waiting for a job, I am wondering if it is a wise decision to fork out the almost $10k just for the courses (Med PIC, Adv. Meteorology, Adv Ship handling, Adv Stability, etc). I hear of all these people who are working at much lower capacities than their licenses allow and some sitting at home or the union hall for extended times with no job in sight.
I currently work in the GOM oil industry as many of you may know. It is all doom and gloom here when talking to others which is understandable since the market is shaky. I am scared that I will fork out the cash for the courses, test, get the license and never actually work on it. I hear of Unlimited guys working as ABs. I know I am lucky to have the position that I hold and am not complaining in any fashion. Then throw in all the talk of the automated vessels that the industry is attempting to develop (who knows if it is actually viable, I see many issues but I have been proven wrong many times in the past) who knows what the future actually holds for us?
While I am still in my 20s I have plenty of time to go through the process and obtain the license. I surely do not need a spot in that capacity as of yet, I am still learning things all the time in the capacity that I currently hold.
Just wanting to see what you guys think and if it is a wise move to go ahead and throw down to get the license and spend the money? I have been telling ABs for the past few years to get all they can and upgrade since the classes that were required were offered by the company at no charge but when it comes to throwing the money down with an uncertain future that could be a different situation all together.
I do not foresee myself going to another industry at the moment, even if I had the Chief Mate/Master. I am one of the lucky ones who happen to be on a nice vessel and work with a great crew with a good schedule. If I was laid off though, looking would be in the future obviously.