Future of Deck Officers 2019 and Beyond


I like your perspective, but the data I posted above show that 144 graduated w/ licenses from SUNY and only 70 of those went on to maritime afloat jobs (don’t know exactly how many deck, but probably less than 25). Then you have to factor in the attrition rate from afloat jobs as years progress.

While it seems to have worked out for you, the stats show that any U.S. deck mariner working his way up the ladder is a rare breed.


SUNY is an outlier. This was disscussed here, evidently the NYC area has a high demand for SUNY grads ashore.


I think someone once said something along the lines of, “…there’s lies, damn lies and then there’s statistics.”

Although I am a viewer of most things being either right or wrong and with limited grey areas, I AM inclined to disagree with these particular statistics for making career choices. I never did get around to discussing automation - that’s a whole 'nother soap box - but even with that threatening specter, I believe there will be work in the maritime industry for those who choose it.


I don’t disagree with you at all. But the industry WILL determine what kind of work. It seems a shame to graduate with a license only to be forced behind a desk in some cubicle. My ideal maritime job would be on an cross-Atlantic passenger liner. But they just don’t exist anymore.


Deep-sea union jobs used to be a place where the not-so-bright school grad could make good money without much effort. Basically just show up where you are supposed to be on time. And if you were not a idiot you could rise through the ranks, it’s not that way anymore. There’s a higher risk of finding yourself out of a job.


What if I worked for a foreign flagged ship? Would the employment rates be better?


Can you elaborate on what kind of work ashore is offered to Deck Officers?


Yes, you can sail foreign and there are many that do. It is not as dire as people make it out to be if deep sea is your goal. Jones Act is not your only option.


Chartering, brokering, finance, management, etc. Your degree will serve you well from the school. Its all about the network. You could get an MBA somewhere else but your chances of breaking into the industry are diminished.


Hey brother would you mind telling what your undergrad GPA was? I will likely graduate undergrad with a 2.75 in Mechanical Engineering and I was wondering if my application would be thrown out if I applied to both SUNY and A&M Galveston Master’s Programs. I would really like to avoid going for a second bachelors.


My GPA was a 3.7. Don’t let that discourage you for applying though. It’s just a superficial number anyways.


They both want your money a lot more than they want a high GPA.


Have you taken the GMAT or GRE? A high score on tone of those might influence them in your favor. A mediocre or poor score might have the opposite effect.


How many of those “automatic upgrade” second mates go on to get their C/M and Master tickets though?

I know there was a shortage of upper level deck licenses not long ago, and the required classes are probably cutting into the non-union guy’s pockets too much to advance in a lot of cases (I know my company cut out the loans for classes not required for OSV licenses to try and hold on to people, and they probably weren’t the only ones to do so).


I plan on studying for the GRE starting this Fall, hope I can kill it. Honestly wish I’d chosen and easier undergrad major but it’s too late. Thanks man


I hope you’re right, I would get instate tuition at Texas A&M and would likely have little trouble paying those loans off, thanks man


They require a 3.0 but a 2.7 with an ME would probably get you through the door. There’s a definite difference between someone with a 2.7 with a ME and a 2.7 in humanities.


Something you ought to be aware of. A graduate of an ABET accredited school with a degree in electrical or mechanical engineering, and six months of seatime is entitled to sit for the USCG 3rd AE exam. You can get your national USCG license as 3AE with only six months of seatime. However, you need much more seatime to get STCW Officer endorsements

There are many inland and shoreside jobs for licensed 3AE marine engineers without STCW. Vessels under 200 Grt (that’s 90% of tugboats), fishing vessels, and all vessels on the Great Lakes and other “inland” waters.

If your degree in Mechanical Engineering is from an ABET accredited school, I suggest that you go get an entry level job as a wiper on an OSV or other vessel over 4000 Hp, and get 180 days (Only 120 days, if it’s 12 hour work days) of seatime. Then get your national USCG license as 3AE, and every QMED rating endorsement that you can with STCW.

Then you will be at a point where you have credentials and experience in the industry, and enough good job opportunities. On your time off take GMAT and GRE prep courses and make sure you get great scores on the exams. Next, you can reevaluate whether to go to sea or go back to school.

Just my opinion, but you might profit from a few years of work experience before going back to school. I also think you might want to consider engineering management and MBA programs at the best schools you can get into.


I would tend to agree, but I have a job lined up on the Panama Canal once I get enough experience. Thanks for the heads up though, I’ll keep al of that in mind.


Thanks man, I feel much better. I still have 3 semester to go so hopefully I can raise my GPA a bit more.