DPO to me stands for Damned Pissed Off


#1

How am I supposed to advance to DPO when no one is willing to train me?
I have even offered to pay for my own basic dp and sign a retention contract with several of the employers that are searching for DPO’s.

They all shoot me down saying they are only looking for DPO’s with several years of experience. Maybe if they started training mariners to be DPO’s they wouldn’t have to steal them from eachother.


#2

Amen, Brother Mike!


#3

[quote=Mike Bolinger;21773]How am I supposed to advance to DPO when no one is willing to train me?
I have even offered to pay for my own basic dp and sign a retention contract with several of the employers that are searching for DPO’s.

They all shoot me down saying they are only looking for DPO’s with several years of experience. Maybe if they started training mariners to be DPO’s they wouldn’t have to steal them from eachother.[/quote]

I’m SO glad I’m not just starting out in the industry. If I could do it all over, I think I would choose to either:

  1. Be an engineer
  2. Play my guitar for a living.

#4

There are companies that have been advertising continuously looking for licensed DPO’s and SDPO’s for at least a year I mean at some point you would think someone in ther HR departments would realize that they need to train some people to fill the gap.


#5

But that would mean they’d have to care about their employees’ career development. Are you nuts?


#6

There are drilling contractors that would not touch me as DPO with an Unlimited Master and over 10,000 hrs on a Kongsberg SDP-21/22, and even more on Nautronix, Robertson, and MT, because of no drilling experience. Don’t feel bad.


#7

I am thankfull for the gcaptain forum. I have already learned a lot in a short period of time from the knowledgable industry professionals on here. And at the same time I do not feel alone in my frustrations. Thank you all for your contributions and support to this thread.
I have a good job as a towboat pilot and previous offshore experience. But by reading some of the threads on here it is becoming more and more clear to me that I am probably better off to stay where I am at. If the industry demands it then maybe DPO could be in my future. But I am getting to be an older dog and at some point I am not going to have the motivation to learn any new tricks.
I guess the next generation of mariners will have to fill the gap if cabbotage law loopholes are ever done away with. However I do fear for the younger hawsepipers coming up because as with most things big money and big business seems to dictate and win out.
Thanks again for your contributions and support.
Captain Mike Bolinger


#8

[quote=Mike Bolinger;21773]How am I supposed to advance to DPO when no one is willing to train me?
I have even offered to pay for my own basic dp and sign a retention contract with several of the employers that are searching for DPO’s.

They all shoot me down saying they are only looking for DPO’s with several years of experience. Maybe if they started training mariners to be DPO’s they wouldn’t have to steal them from eachother.[/quote]

Your best shot at getting DP is going to be getting on with an OSV company. They have plenty of new boats still being built and most all of them are DP vessels. If you can get on with one of them you should be able to get some DP training. You may want to try Chouest. They have their own DP school and once you hire on you can start scheduling any classes available there immediately. It may not be where you want to be, but you can get the training you desire.


#9

Have you considered sailing as Ab for awhile? We’ve had several Ab’s move up to DPO.

Anchorman, I’ve heard the opposite, that a year’s sea time as a Master is worth more than all the DP time you can get.


#10

[QUOTE=marcelmuise;21831]Have you considered sailing as Ab for awhile? We’ve had several Ab’s move up to DPO.

Anchorman, I’ve heard the opposite, that a year’s sea time as a Master is worth more than all the DP time you can get.[/QUOTE]

Actually, I would barely consider DPO. I know that most drilling contractors will not say it, but there is a lack of respect toward guys off workboats. Funny, because I would have to agree to a certain extent (I have first hand knowledge), but there are exceptions, like in most everything, and that burden is something that a person like myself would have to alleviate during an interview, if an interview is offered to begin with.
Simple fact is most junior DPOs are recruited from within the ranks, or Academy grads. Most SDPOs are from the same group. There will be some that trickle in from outside of drilling, but most drill superintendents will be looking for drill experience when the recruiter walks in, minus, say Noble…I don’t know if they even care. They actually offered me a Master spot on a drill ship in Brazil built around the time the earth flooded with all Brazilian crew. Curious, on the other end, Pride wants 5 years of control room experience on top of DPO experience to be considered. Different story with 5th and 6th generation Drill Ships, and rightly so, considering the above average pay scale.
Captain Lee left the AHTS vessels, it must be getting close to a couple of years now, and landed a job with Seadrill as DPO. He just got his Chief Mate, and I’m sure they’ll find that position for him right away. I worked with him for 5 years, and they would be stupid not to give him that position. He is one of the exceptions I was talking about.


#11

Unfortunately you may be right regarding work boats. I think that’s slowly changing though, and the boats you’re handling now are actually rather impressive ships. Supply boat mates bring some valuable experience.


#12

I have a few friends working for transocean. They have received all of the training they needed from them (all payed for) and moved up to DPO from A-DPO in just over 18 monthe of working for them. Sounds like a great job to me. Have you considered working for them?


#13

Ok to answer a few questions all at once. I have tried to get hired on supply vessels. I have past supply vessel and utility boat experience. Right now no one is hiring. That was my first thought was to get on a DP supply boat and move up from there. I have applied to Chouest countless times. They toss your app after six months. So I have kept applying every six months. They are not hiring. I was told by ACO that I was over qualified. They don’t have a boat over 99 gt. even though they have some 220 and 240 class supply boats. Ah, tonnage manipulation. They were afraid of someone with brains I think. I have applied to several DP companies for everything from AB to galleyhand to try to just get my foot in the door. No luck.

One thing holding me back is I have not gotten my 3rd mate unlimited yet. I need some time on vessels over 200 gt as Captain. Got plenty of inland time but no offshore time as a captain over 200 gt yet. And as I said the shallow water gulf companies are not hiring. They are having a hard time just keeping the crews they have on the boat. That makes it hard for an outsider to get hired on. Deepwater supply boats are the same story. Trans Ocean and other unlimited tonnage companies won’t consider me for dp trainee because I don’t have the ticket. Does Trans Ocean have limited tonnage vessels? I apply to unlimited tonnage companies to run AB Unlimited or even OS and no reply. I think it may have something to do with that workboat hawsepiper stigma. They see the 1600 ton master oceans / master of tow oceans on my resume and maybe figure I’m over qualifed to be an AB or I won’t be happy or I will be a trouble making know it all. I don’t know what the train of thought is but sometimes I think maybe I have the black plague and don’t know it.
I have sent emails and talked to port captains offering to run os, ab, anything. And I get told, "We’re just not looking for anybody right now. Not enough work."
Plus you got the Boudreaux and Thibideaux system on limited tonnage work boats in the gulf. They get first pick over a yankee from Chicago.
Hell, even MSC is not hiring AB’s. Can you believe that? I would go back to sea as AB and get my unlimited tonnage time in that way to get my 3rd but even MSC is not looking for AB’s or even OS’s. Their pay is way down at the bottom of the heap. And even they don’t have work. I have applied to other types of limited tonnage work boats to run AB just to get my foot in the door. No replies. Phone calls yield voice mails. Messages left are ignored. It gets frustrating. For all the advice I get no one seems to have an inside guy I can talk to and at least try to sell myself to over the phone. Maybe I should rewrite my resume and drop the master stuff off of there. Maybe that would help.
If I was lucky enough to get hired on to Trans Ocean as AB I would have to do like 5 years to get my 3rd. Where as if I could get 1 year on a 200 ton offshore boat as relief captain I could get my third. I think I would choose the latter. Unless AB pay is at least what I am making now as an inland towboat captain.
I think that answers most of the questions asked of me in this string. Thanks for the advice. I’ll take a name, number and reference if anybody has one. If you know someone that is hiring let me know. I am on just about every internet job website there is and have not seen a gulf job posted that I qualify for in at least a year or two. My email is MikeBolinger1@msn.com. All leads will be pursued as I have been doing for the past two years. Thanks again, everyone.
Mike


#14

went to transocean website. looks like a great company to work for. checked their job listings. Not looking for AB’s or OS’s. Definately no limited tonnage jobs. No 3rd mate listings. Same story. Different company. No dp trainee positions. No foot in the door positions. No galley hand jobs for a 16 year captain. Oh, well the search goes on.


#15

[quote=dougpine;21794]I’m SO glad I’m not just starting out in the industry. If I could do it all over, I think I would choose to either:

  1. Be an engineer
  2. Play my guitar for a living.[/quote]

I was having the same problem when I was trying to find work on anything as an OS this past year, and everyone I talked to was only considering AB’s. How am I supposed to become an AB if I can’t get sea time (small sailboats won’t give me the sea time I’m looking for)? Awfully frustrating, economic state is killing us young guys trying to get our foot in the door. Who am I kidding, it’s hurting everyone! I was hoping to enroll in the Workboat Academy at MITAGS in 2010, guess there won’t even be a 2010 class anymore. I just might start hanging out in the engine room more.


#16

Just because there aren’t any jobs posted on the website doesn’t mean it’s not worth sending a resume and getting yourself known. Transocean has a lot of ships out there and people quit last minute, get fired, etc. Better to have a fresh resume in at HR than to wait for a job posting. I’ve filled two AB spots off of this forum on my old rig before a job could ever be posted on rigzone or the website.


#17

Camthrop,
not sure where you have the oppurtunity to hang out in the engine room at. If you are working unlicensed deckhand somewhere like on an inland work boat, that time counts toward an AB special. Some inland towboat companies are still looking for deckhands. This time also counts toward AB special. The best way to get an OS job or deckhand job is to know someone. You can go to the ACL website and see if they are looking for deckhands. If you are on the east coast there are some inland companies around there also you could work deckhand for to get your sea time. Good luck.

Captmrb,
The website won’t link you to hr to send a resume unless there is a job posting. I don’t want to send an AB resume to a 3rd Engineer link. It will just get deleted. Maybe I should call Houston and get fax number or try to talk to hr?


#18

Again visited trans ocean website. filled out online resume using 3rd engineer link. Wasted my time. I put in the extra info box that I was looking for an AB job. When I got to last page it said that if you are submitting a resume for anything other than the job listed it will be deleted. How nice. There are contact numbers for Houston office but good luck getting past the secretary. Yes, this is another job where it is not as much what you know as who you know. Thanks again. Mike


#19

[quote=Mike Bolinger;22083]Camthrop,
not sure where you have the oppurtunity to hang out in the engine room at. If you are working unlicensed deckhand somewhere like on an inland work boat, that time counts toward an AB special. Some inland towboat companies are still looking for deckhands. This time also counts toward AB special. The best way to get an OS job or deckhand job is to know someone. You can go to the ACL website and see if they are looking for deckhands. If you are on the east coast there are some inland companies around there also you could work deckhand for to get your sea time. Good luck.

[/quote]

I already am in the works of getting my AB Special, just waiting to get my sea letter then off everything goes to the REC. I have been working on tugboats doing day boat work on the East Coast, and I have actually gotten a lot of engine room experience out of it, which I have really enjoyed. I might try to find I wiper job and see how I like it!


#20

Some licenced engineers make just as much as captains. if you like the er go for it. I don’t know for sure but it seems like there is alot more to keeping up a captains license nowadays than there is keeping up an engineers license. After you get that ab special try Andrie Inc on the great lakes. they help you get your tankerman and then the pay really goes up. or if you like east coast try bouchard. ab tankerman makes over $400/day there. that is more than i make as an inland towboat captain. vain brothers has also been looking for ab tankerman. $321/day to start.
best wishes
mike