Easy Career Paths?

Often I am asked by young men and women that are interested in the maritime industry how I got into it. My story is long and convoluted as most hawsepiper stories are.
It is difficult for me to recommend to anyone to take the hawsepiper route. I am often having to calculate the “burnout factor” and the upkeep of merely keeping my credentials. (The CG can take away all your credentials if you do not get their useless TWIC!)
I often recommend a young adult to get into some sort of trade. Even if you dont really find it that interesting, you will almost always be in demand, making some money and paying some bills. For example a young man I know got offered an appreticeship in HVAC, he turned it down cuz he said “I just got a raise at my job at Jack-in-the-Box!” Ok, you can lead a horse to water, but you cant make him drink, but I was wondering what you folks here would recommend?
I actually thought about ante-up and pay for my own training to get Sparrows Crane Operator License. I see alot of demand for Crane Operators worldwide, and a person would not really need a MMD or all that other stuff. And it seems Crane Operators make some pretty descent coin.
When I took my HUET training in Houston, the taxi driver I had on the way to the airport said he was going to be a “safety officer” on a drill rig. Now I could tell very quickly this guy had no idea about maritime safety, had no idea what HUET was, firefighting, fire safety, personal protection equipment, nothing. but he said he had some buddies that were already doing this work and were making great money.
So what do you think of my Crane Operators idea? Any other entry-level trade out there that you can think of? What would you recommend to a young man looking for a trade to specialize in, without having to rack up all the years of seatime and running the gauntlet of USCG credentials where the list gets longer every day?

If I was starting over, I think I’d take that HVAC apprenticsehip. Anyone who has the opportunity to take advantage of an apprenticeship program in any of the trades, often times sponsored by the trade unions and emplyers, would be a fool not to jump on it. Especially if they are the type who chooses not to, or cannot for economic reasons, attend college. These apprenticeships lead to high-paying productive jobs, where one can see the tangible fruits of his labor, and you can actually make a living wage at it. Plus, you don’t have to go through the crap you have to go through to work in the maritime industry. I’ve met several young people who have shown an interest in the maritime industry who then opt for another field just because the price of entry is so high in time, effort, and money. I’m afraid our beloved USCG has, for reasons only they can comprehend, compounded the very real manning shortage issue in their efforts to have a race of supermen and superwomen populate the US flagged merchant fleet. I’m somewhat nostalgic for the times when you could grab your crew from the local tavern, and once they sobered up and were at sea with nothing else to do they were hard-working and good shipmates. But no, they don’t fit the new paridigm. They may smoke pot once in a while, or have had a DWI, and that somehow means they’re not fit for duty on a boat. As far as I’m concerned, we were doing society a favor by keeping some of the drunks, drug addicts, and criminals locked away on floating steel boxes, away from society and from their vices, for sometimes months on end.

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My son has opted for the commercial diving route. Somewhat picey to go to school but the money is great and they are really in demand.

Yoga instructor.

Maybe I should be more specific… Lets keep this maritime and rig related.
What do you think of my Crane Operator idea? What about Safety Guy? Something where a guy can invest a couple grand and a couple months training and not have too much problem finding a job. From what I read the industry is really hungry for qualified people in the engineering trades, but something more entry level?
When I was younger I considered Commercial Diving, ROV pilot, some guys I know went that route for a while, but got burned out on it, and said all the deepwater diving, (where the big money is) will eventually take 20 years off your life. 30 years old is the cutoff point for diving, I guess ROV has some future to it…
I totally understand where youre coming from Capt. Anon., Something is wrong when a DWI or other lapse of judgement 20 years ago can jeopardize your entire career, but wont disqualify you to become, say… President of the USA, or manning a nuclear reactor… Many people (including myself) conduct themselves very differently during their well deserved free time than when they have their “game face” on. Im a professional, but I like to have a good time like anyone else.
They expect us to be Saints and Supermen, then companies argue their feeble pay because “we get free food and board” then they go to the local bar, get drunk, and take seeing their family every day for granted. Sitting in their air-conditioned office with leather executive chairs dreaming up with new policies on how seamen should conduct themselves on a ship.
Damn, you got me started… anyhow back to the original question? Easy (maritime) career paths…

Just one more deviation from the path, then we can return. The day I retire, I’m going to tear up my license, shred my MMD and TWIC, jump on an airplane and fly to Amsterdam where I’ll spend a month hanging out in their own unique brand of coffee shops.
We now return you to the topic at hand.

Capt_Anmnmous – You 'da MAN … and don’t forget to window shop!

Some of my favorite windows in the world can be found in Amsterdam.
There I go, digressing again…

Stellar Sea
I have a question for ya. Your name here is Stellar Sea. I see that Icicle Seafoods now has a 315’ processor named M/V Stellar Sea. I think PeterPan had it for a while before. Did you ever sail on that boat?
Then, about commercial dive school… I did that route in Seattle 1981 at Divers Institue of Technology. It cost $5000 for a six month program. Dont seem like much now but that was a pile of money for me then. When I got out a bunch of us headed down to Morgan City to seek our foutuntes in the oilfields. Well, by 1983 the GOM was belly up for dive contractors and so was the company I worked for. I would not advise anybody to go into diving now. I think a comercial diving program runs about $10,000-15,000+. A guy could pay for most of the OICNW classes with that much money. I see lots of 50 year old skippers but not one 50 year old sat diver. After getting bent like a pretze a few times, a little dose of bone rot, and some nerve dammage I guess you could be a dive supervisor. Diving is a young mans business.

''The day I retire, I’m going to tear up my license, shred my MMD and TWIC, jump on an airplane and fly to Amsterdam where I’ll spend a month hanging out in their own unique brand of coffee shops. ''
I found it much more economical to visit those places while still on the company dime, not in retirement.
I’m tired of traveling.

Did your company pay for the pot hash as well? I know that you’re old school with a foot out of the door, but most companies started drug screens in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Why else travel 6,000 miles for coffee? My retirement plan involves having an orangutan drive my golf cart and keep passing the beer. I don’t see much traveling either.

Not so fast CA. Check out this link: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081206/D94T8T200.html
<span id=“intelliTXT]<font face=“Verdana,Sans-serif” color=”#000000" size="2]Amsterdam to close many brothels, marijuana cafes</font><font size="1]

They just have to ruin everthing…

Unbelievable Just my luck.

back to anchorman
The company probably bought some back then, one way or another. Even lately, there seems to be an abundance of the “polio weed” and idoits who seem to forget we are under random testing.
I remember a question on a CG exam about what to do when an intoxicated crew member arrived from ashore during cargo ops. The answer was to escort him to his quarters ect. Somehow, I don’t think it’s like that in the question pool now!
I had a practice run on retirement today watching my grandkids wrestle bull reds out of the surf.

You can probably get what you want from the hippy guy with the “Family” hat in the other thread, but it looks like it might be a little strong.

I’m sure it would be totally organic, bro!

Ok this thread has gone totally off track, but oh well we are having fun with it…
Yah Bob, Thats what Ive heard about commercial diving, it will take a few years off your life. I was going to work as deck boss on F/V STELLARSEA, but decided to turn it down, I didnt want to get too wrapped up in the fishing industry, and for crab processors its very specialized. I worked on F/V COASTAL STAR for a few years with Icicle Seafoods, and actually the ship that I broke me into this business. I always thought STELLARSEA was a cool name, so I use that as my moniker. And, BTW the Bering Sea fishery is another one that will take a few years off your life, but there are some ol’ salty Norweigians that are doing it well into their 70s, but those guys were born to fish. Amazing.
I like the sound of Captain Anonymous’ 12-step program, but he shouldnt be so hasty to tear up his license, he might need it for rolling papers sometime LOL!

When it comes to commercial diving I always tell people I was born with to much common sense to be a diver. We wrapped a buoy line in the wheel one time because a clutch wouldn’t come out of gear. The work boat comes over and in 4ft chop the diver jumps in between us, were only about 20ft apart and the work boat is live boating.
A real statement would be to throw some herb in your license roll it up and drop it off at the local REC before leaving the country.

If I were to start a new career in the E & P sector. I would choose ROV pilot. We recently did a job in which we had the ROV’s & Crew on board. It is a little stressful at times. But, what career is not. These guys make some pretty decent money and don’t really have to worry about USCG credentials and the politics involved. On the other side, you would not be limited to “oil field” work either. Yes, it would take some time to move up to a pilot position, but they have some cool equpment to “play” with.

DP OPerator, it is not tied into the USCG and is great money. That said, I want my son to go to college or a trade school before deciding on a career. Personally six figures with a highschool degree has me pretty happy.