How are we all doing out there?

So how are we doing on employment lately?
I posted this question awhile back, but thought I would give the question its own topic line.
I noticed a lot less action on the jobs thread line, and it seems a lot of us mariners have found some kind of work lately. A year to 18 months ago it seemed like highly experienced mariners could not find a position.
I am doing okay, really no complaints, got a position that does not pay what I am used to, but the crews and office are great to work with, and the job is interesting enough without being high stress. At least I am no longer working anchors in the GOM.<O:p</O:p
So…… What is the consensus out there both for experienced mariners and for entry/new lisc people? White hull fleet jobs still looking bad? East coast picked up? West coast is where the jobs are at? What are your opinions?

I left the GOM about 6 years ago, where I’d been running anchors and filling in on DP OSV’s. I’ve been doing unpaid volunteer work with Mercy Ships and another maritime org since then. I left back in September to take a break from that and spend a couple years earning some much-needed cash and advance to Chief Mate. I wanted to sail with AMO as I wanted to take advantage of their school, so i signed up with them. It took 2, 2 & 1/2 months, but they finally found me a job, starting in January.

As a ‘backup plan’, I applied to all of the larger tug companies in NY and Florida (Moran, Bouchard, etc), and every decent OSV company in the GOM (Chouest, Hornbeck, etc). i applied to companies I KNEW were looking for people. I hold a 2nd Mate, 1600 Master, and Towing Master, as well as a Tankerman endorsement. I put in applications with every company posting positions available on a half dozen different job boards. Of all the companies I applied to, not a one offered me a job, or even attempted to Contact me.

As a backup plan to my backup plan, I even put in applications with six of the Headhunters, but two of those have gone out of business, and the other four didn’t even call me back. Pretty sad when headhunters don’t call you back.

The verdict? It sucks out there. The waiting list for 2nd’s to ship out with AMO is a couple dozen long. The waiting list for Thirds, several times that. A friend in MMP actually flew to Hawaii to increase his chances of shipping out. The Gulf doesn’t seem to be hiring at ALL. Things aren’t good.

I’ve been out of work for 747 days. I’ve had headhunters looking for me for a year and a half and nothing yet. I had a phone interview last spring with Cruise West but they never called again. My resume has made it to the Selecting Officer in Portland for the Army Corps dredges three times, however my application status hasn’t changed since late August. I’m hoping things change soon I would like to upgrade my license before it expires.

you want us to believe that in over 2 years you could not find employment???
there is work out there but you have to go get it AND LOOK FOR IT, longest I have ever been out of work was 3 months,wasn’t always the job I wanted but it kept me going,
747 days???

Cant say I have had any problems. The company I have been working for is having a hard time finding 2nd and 1st engineers. I work out of the MEBA and most guys don’t want the tankers, so I keep working.

I’ve been blessed enough to work on the same boat for the last 4 1/2 years. Private yachts are different than a workboat in many ways, but the recession effects everyone. To those looking for employment, keep looking, don’t give up.

I’ve recently been going to school to upgrade, and what I hear is more of the same. Some guys have work, others looking, some just getting started. Either way, just be thankful for what you have.

It is definitely slow out there. I was a re-hire at a crewboat company in the oil patch last March, but the bottom fell out of the market in early November, and I was sent home after only two weeks of a four week hitch.

It has been a welcome break to study for the test to upgrade my license. Hope to to that in January, then start knocking on doors up and down the bayou. At least a number of HR types now recognize me when I walk in.

I’ve been fortunate enought to find work three times since '08. Hopefully the next gig will be longer.

I got a job on an tug with 0 sea days on 1/1/10. I finished the year with 227. Took my AB classes this past few weeks. Taking tankerman before I return on the 12th. I never thought I’d get a job but I just kept at it. Good luck everyone

Been out of work for eight months after sailing for six years in Hawaii. Just got in with MSC and start next week. Not really looking forward to going from a life of hawaiian ports every day and eating in the steakhouse, to being at sea for months with no scheduled vacation relief. That flight to and from work is going to be costly and long.

A job is a job though, and kids need to eat more than canned tuna.

I have a 1600t master oceans w/Master Towing, Great Lakes, Western Rivers, GMDSS, PIC, Etc and I have been out of work for 15 months. I have apps and resume’s out from Maine to Alaska, nothing! Head Hunter…nothing! It sucks out here

I have chief mate unlimited, DPO unlimited, 1600 master. I have been lucky enough to keep myself working but not finding the kind of job I am really looking for. So I am working but still looking. It is VERY slow in the Gulf, no luck with headhunters either.

I have not seen anywhere near the usual number of jobs posted anywhere. Not on gcaptain, not on maritime employment, not on rigzone, not in the newspapers or magazines. I don;t think there is much hiring going on. The Gulf will be dead until they start issuing permits again. I don;t see that happening until Spring at the earliest.

I had to leave the Gulf of Mexico a year and a half ago to stay employed. If you can run a crewboat/workboat there’s work in Brazil. Tidewater, Chouest, Rigdon (Gulfmark), HOS have all been bringing US flagged vessel in like crazy. I know a lot of the guys that I work with (Tidewater) have a hard time getting off on time because there is no relief.

I have been very fortunate. I am having my best year ever. I feel kind of guilty about it because I know things are not good in the Gulf of Mexico right now. If things do not pick up soon they will get worse. I don’t know how long it takes to get a drilling permit approved, but I know that we are applying for one on the 15th of January for a drilling operation that is going to last about 15-17 months. Hopefully things will pick up and get everyone back to work.

If you can run a crewboat/workboat there’s work in Brazil. Tidewater, Chouest, Rigdon (Gulfmark), HOS have all been bringing US flagged vessel in like crazy. I know a lot of the guys that I work with (Tidewater) have a hard time getting off on time because there is no relief.

I ran crew and supply boats for years (before DP) and can still live boat tho I must admit its much easier with DP and I prefer that. I have applied to all of those companies in the past and none have even been good enough to reply that they’re not interested- why don;t they have any reliefs? probably because they aren;t interested enough in hiring anybody to return a phone call!

2009 was my worst year in ages. 2010, I got rehired by a Great Lakes company I had previously worked for and unwisely left. Rumor has it that they want to expand but they are having a hard time finding hulls. Good luck out there guys. Merry Christmas

Wow, Thanks for all the input,

It does seem the employement picture covers a wide range of situations. I know my impression (and what I hear from friends) is there is work, but probably not the kind you want.
By kind you want I mean, actual type, hitch length, pay scale and so on…

I do belive the whole drilling permit issue has slowed a lot of things down. I have found when there is work in the GOM, many mariners will leave east coast to do the higher pay in the Gulf. So when the GOM is dead, the employment picture on the east coast seems to grow dismal also, Not sure if this also applies to west coast work.

I do belive there will be an employment improvement in the GOM later on in late spring doing P and A work. If you followed the news, our beloved FEDs are going to push the removal of older platforms. I know my company is looking seriously at getting into P and A work. P and A work should at least make a improvement in the small/medium tug employment picture. Those anchors for the heavy lift barge have to be moved, and the scrap barges have to be brought in and out. Something to keep in mind if you got offshore small tug wheel/deck time.

Anyway thanks for all the inputs. I found the input about Headhunters most interesting


I hate to sound like a putz, but there is work out there if you keep calling, emailing and looking. I applied for 3 different companies this year and got offers from all of them. It might not be position you want or pay or schedual, but if you take what comes and never take your eye off the prize you will find work and claw your way to where you want to be. Corny as it sounds, never rest on your heels say woe is me and let no creep into your soul and youll get there, just my two cents. happy holidays to everyone, especialy those of us out here on the water and not home with the fam.

With so many people out of work, the companies have their choice of really talented people.

My company has hired several recently, (mostly Engineers and Tankermen).

I’ve been out of work so long…14 months that i feel retired. in fact if i am out of work to long i will be to old for anybody to hire…but thats OK because i have everything that i need right now. I might get a job after the first of the year but i’m not holding my breath.