Could use some advice on OSV jobs

Hello everyone, I am a first time poster on this site but i have been following topics on the forums for a long time…I was hoping you guys could answer a few questions for me. Here is a little background on me. I hold a 500 ton near coastal and a master of towing near coastal. I also have a A/B special. I have worked for one company for close to 15 years up in Alaska and love it except for one thing. And that is there is no set schedule.You could say it is feast or famine and my quality of life is lacking…Anyway I have heard through the grapevine that that there are a lot of jobs down in the gulf on OSV boats. So i had a few questions that i was hoping could be answered…

  1. Is my license big enough? And are companies in need of licensed people? ( i would like a mates job)
  2. Does not being from the area (down in the gulf) hurt my chances?
  3. Does anyone know as far as a vague picture on what the wages are?
    4.could you please tell me some of the companies I might try to inquire with?
  4. Do most companies have schedules and do they pay for your travel

I know this is a lot to through out there but I am just clueless as far as this part of our industry… anyway any info would be helpful. Thanks

[QUOTE=alaskaberger;130638]Hello everyone, I am a first time poster on this site but i have been following topics on the forums for a long time…I was hoping you guys could answer a few questions for me. Here is a little background on me. I hold a 500 ton near coastal and a master of towing near coastal. I also have a A/B special. I have worked for one company for close to 15 years up in Alaska and love it except for one thing. And that is there is no set schedule.You could say it is feast or famine and my quality of life is lacking…Anyway I have heard through the grapevine that that there are a lot of jobs down in the gulf on OSV boats. So i had a few questions that i was hoping could be answered…

  1. Is my license big enough? And are companies in need of licensed people? ( i would like a mates job)
  2. Does not being from the area (down in the gulf) hurt my chances?
  3. Does anyone know as far as a vague picture on what the wages are?
    4.could you please tell me some of the companies I might try to inquire with?
  4. Do most companies have schedules and do they pay for your travel

I know this is a lot to through out there but I am just clueless as far as this part of our industry… anyway any info would be helpful. Thanks[/QUOTE]

  1. Your license is not big enough unless you hold an ITC endorsement… i.e. 500/3000. You might find work but you will not be making the big bucks, nor will you be setting yourself up for long term success.
  2. People from all over work down here. Your issue with that will be that you might actually have some real knowledge and be seen as a bit of a threat to the local coonass navy veterans. But don’t let it deter you from coming down and making a good living for yourself.
  3. Mate pay starts around 500/day if you have the 3000… not sure what the smaller boats pay.
  4. Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO), Harvey Gulf, Hornbeck Offshore Services (HOS) are the big players right now.
  5. Yes and no. Most schedules are consistent within a day each way, but depends on what type of OSV you get on and what company the contract is with. Schedules vary but 28/14 is very common. As folks have started making more money the even time is much more sought after and is available. Your best chance to employ with ECO is 28/14. Just tell them what you are looking for. HOS I hear has 3 weeks on 3 off and ECO does have 28/28. You will get some sort of travel “gift” but it won’t cover your cost. You will be responsible for arriving at the crew change location.

I know from previous license questions posted on this site that the 3000 ITC would be issued when you applied for the 500, but you had to ask for it. Not sure if they are handing that out retroactively…

Good luck.

Ea$y Money thank u for the response. As a mate up here in my neck of the woods mates make the same as you stated for OSV. I had heard it was better money than tow boating but my sources are not the most reliable! I was wondering what kind of testing if any on getting that IC 3000 endorsement? Like I said i am just looking for a schedule but maybe staying in the towing industry might be my best option! anyway thanks for your response…very informative

It might be as simple as asking for it. Not certain what the exact regs are. Maybe some of the towing folks can chime in on what you can do with the towing ticket. Lots of opportunity here. Depends on what you want to do, and how long term your outlook is… stay a mate for the rest of your career? Lead captains bank 850/day and up… nothing to sneeze at; working 240 days a year even the 500/day returns 6 figures.

You will get captain pay with a 500 master with a 3000 OSV endorsement. The gulf is different. The mates want to be called second, third, fourth, fifth, and sometimes sixth captain. First of many peculiarities you will discover about OSV’s.

The 3000 OSV is simple to get. No assessments or testing. Just ask for it.

Travel pay is minimal and dependent on distance from office.

Last I heard, training “captains” were at 675/day at ECO.

If all you want is a schedule go work in Valdez. Everything about it is awful but the schedule is real steady.

Thanks guys for the info. I actually have a application in right now with the maritime center. So I will call them tomorrow and see about adding the 3000… Although my application is like glacial speed right now and I’m just trying to renew! It’s ridiculous.

I would really like to get away from going up to prince William sound if I can help it. I have spent enough time crossing the gulf of alaska to last a lifetime! But you never know I guess if that’s where the work is.

One last question… Do you think having 15 years of towing experience in alaska would be a big help trying to find a job at a OSV company? Or do they not really care to much? Anyway thanks again for your guys responses.

[quote=alaskaberger;130671]thanks guys for the info. I actually have a application in right now with the maritime center. So i will call them tomorrow and see about adding the 3000… Although my application is like glacial speed right now and i’m just trying to renew! It’s ridiculous.

I would really like to get away from going up to prince william sound if i can help it. I have spent enough time crossing the gulf of alaska to last a lifetime! But you never know i guess if that’s where the work is.

One last question… Do you think having 15 years of towing experience in alaska would be a big help trying to find a job at a osv company? Or do they not really care to much? Anyway thanks again for your guys responses.[/quote]

i’ve been fishing in alaska since 2003, out of dutch harbor in the bering sea and gulf of alaska, so i hear what your saying about going back and looking for a job in alaska. The company i used to work for tied up some vessels and transferred that fishing quota elsewhere, letting us all go, so i decided to take a trip out to louisiana and see what would happen about getting on out there, i just got back on feb. 13th. There are all kinds of jobs out there in louisiana, especially if you have a mate or captain license. I only have an ab unlimited but need my rfpnw which i am taking on the 24th. First company i went to i got hired on, i have to go to orientation next month, so everything went good down there. There are so many opportunities out there. You should check out, e.c.o. They just built a whole bunch of new boats and are supposed to be hiring over 700 new people this year. Harvey gulf just bought out a big company and acquired allot of new boats and are hiring captains and mates right now. These are other big companies to check out —bordelon, freedom marine, global towing, l&m botruc, r.e.c. Marine logistics, ottos candies, seacore, adriatic, gulf offshore logistics, hornbeck, tidewater, ranger offshore. You need a safe gulf card to work in the gulf of mexico, so i took that class while i was there its a 3 day class but its required, its 450$. The bigger companies will pay for it if your hired on i believe,

Felix, thanks for all of that. Good to have somebody that understands the gulf and what kind a toll a takes on you! That is very encouraging as far as there are a lot of jobs. Did u get a schedule with a rotation? And is the pay pretty good? But it sounds like I would need to go down there and show up in person… Is that what u think? Thanks again for your response