Deck vs Stew Vs Engine

If you somebody was going to enroll into a union training program (U/A program at the SIU’s Paul Hall Center in Piney Point) and during the program, they had to choose between three different career paths in the USMM, which one would you advise and why?

Please provide some feedback and list the pro’s and con’s of each of the 3 jobs/departments listed below.

Also, any idea as to the payrates in the SIU?

Thanks in advance!

  1. Deck: AB-Special

  2. Stew’s Dept: Chief Cook

  3. Engine Room: QMED- Oiler, Fireman/Watertender

I m going towards the deck but if i could do it over again i would choose the engine room, from what i see less politics and faster to move up

Nothing against the other departments, as they all serve very important cogs in the shipboard machine. However, if you are a mechanically inclined at all, I would go engine side. I’m a little biased being an engineer. It is a constant learning experience no matter what ship you go on. In the long run I think it is a more diverse path and offers many more opportunities. This is especially true if you ever intend on going ashore. Your skills can be transferred to building and power plant maintenance and eventually management positions.

I gotta admit I some times envy the E/R guys because as the previous poster pointed out there seems to be less politics and administrative BS involved in their job. But what I think it really boils down to is where will you be happy. What every department you choose you will be in that job for 8-12 hours a day, 7 days a week, sometimes for 2-3 months at a time, with not much of a break. For me I’d rather be in the wheel house sailing than down in a hot sweaty engine room sucking fumes for all that time. But I know guys who wouldn’t rather be anywhere else than down in the engine room.

How about all three? Working on a tugboat I get to do a little of it all. Just my 2 cents.

You do not want to go engine room. It is the most thankless job in the industry, and due to the economy, everyone has and is upgrading tickets, from dde to chief limited etc. You can get seatime on a tug, but you are usually a deck engineer, despite what the company tells you. That means cooking, cleaning, and when you’re done with that, go downstairs and change that power pack. Truly a terrible decision, I wish I’d have used my seatime towards the deck…

[QUOTE=SLUGWRENCH;46988]You do not want to go engine room. It is the most thankless job in the industry …[/QUOTE]

Yeah, he’s right. All you will ever get is money and job security plus job prospects when you want to swallow the anchor, none of the good stuff like fancy hats and being called captain.

First a big thanks for all the responses!

Does anybody have any comments about the Stew’s Dept?

[QUOTE=Steamer;47008]Yeah, he’s right. All you will ever get is money and job security plus job prospects when you want to swallow the anchor, none of the good stuff like fancy hats and being called captain.[/QUOTE]
Hey Steamer, we don’t get the fancy hats… or the sour attitude.

K.C.

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;47010]Hey Steamer, we don’t get the fancy hats… or the sour attitude.[/QUOTE]

Geez, I should have added thin skin … it was a joke, Captain. Just to make up for my omission, here’s a nav aid for you … :smiley:

I wish I hadent gotten a job on the water at all. I wonder if I could be a garbage man???

Screw the engine room. Those guys bust their asses all day long while I am making lowfat lattes with white rasperry mocha syrup and whipped cream and complain about how cold it is on the bridge. They stink, they are always dirty and all they do is complain about not getting paid enough. It is a love hate relationship, but I could not do my job without them. Deck and into the bridge is the ONLY way to go, but if you can’t take the pressure or pass a third grade spelling test, probably best to go in the hole. Steward??? Screw that.

[QUOTE=Capt. Lee;47015] … all they do is complain about not getting paid enough.[/QUOTE]

It looks like that artificial latte mix produces some hallucinatory effects … but you are correct, we never get paid enough, seldom what we are worth, but in almost every case we get paid more than the froo froo latte crowd in the solarium. [I]Insert navaid here for you know who[/I]::smiley:

And for the guy who wondered if he could get a job as a garbage man, if your technical skills are up to it and have a good tax and investment advisor, go for it. Just like engineers, those guys make more money than captains. [I]Insert navaid here for you know who[/I]::smiley:

Many captains become toy boat surveyors or sell insurance so there is a good chance they won’t all starve to death and their sea stories at the bar make sure there is a steady supply of dreamers crawling on top of each other for a low paid deck job hoping to become a captain just like the guy on the bar stool who told all those great sea stories. [I]Insert navaid here for you know who[/I]::smiley:

The stewards department is a thankless job, you will get complaints no matter how hard you work. Deck is ok but advancement is slow and you will need lots of school to advance anywhere. Engineers advance much quicker and mae much more money than deckies. If I could do it all over again I would have been an engineer and as mentioned above those skills transfer to shore if you need.

[B][I][U]The stewards department is a thankless job, you will get complaints no matter how hard you work.

[/U][/I][/B]

That is 1000 percent correct, you can never make people happy with cooking that are not happy to begin with

[QUOTE=Steamer;47016] but in almost every case we get paid more than the froo froo latte crowd in the solarium.
[/QUOTE]

I don’t know where you are getting your numbers from, but in most cases I know of the bridge is getting more. Once you get to Chief Engineer in a chief’s spot it is about equal to the Captain in most cases. Maybe it is just the drilling rigs, but with a 3AE as a 3rd ero or even as a 2nd ero and a 3rd mate as a DPO the pay difference is significantly higher for the dpo by about 45k. I know it varies from company to company. We could all make more if we wanted to work all the time. The demand is high right now for experienced people.

As an AB Unlimited w/STCW and i’ve been out of work for almost 15 months, If i had a choice knowing what i now know i would go to the Engine room and work my way up from there. I could have had several
trip jobs in 15 months.

I’m gonna have to call you on that one - I know ABs who are getting their vacations cut short because the companies need people.

There is a reason why the engine room can take control away from the bridge, but the bride can not take control away from the engine room

[QUOTE=brjones;47034]There is a reason why the engine room can take control away from the bridge, but the bride can not take control away from the engine room[/QUOTE]

Heard of lots of ships with unmanned engine rooms. Never heard of one with an unmanned bridge. Tell me again how important those guys are…

In all seriousness I’d probably go into the engine room. Seems like there are always jobs to be had.