How efficient is the United States Merchant Marine Academy?

I want to become a Third Mate or Second Mate, with my end goal being shipmaster at a cargo ship on a company like Chevron or Maersk. I’m currently in the process of looking at good schools and the United States Merchant Marine Academy definitely caught my eye. (Yes, I am aware of the service obligation required after graduation) But my question is, will this boost up my chances at getting employed as a Third Mate at any of those companies I have just mentioned? Or any shipping company at all?

The short answer is for the most part it will not really boost your chances. Chevron hires their mates so that is a maybe. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is a good school as are the others. In reality after 4 years of school your priorities may chance. We call that growing up.


Which school you attended for your license, or if you even went to school in order to pursue it matters not when it comes to sailing, especially with the companies you named.

I’ve worked with Masters and Mates from all the schools at Maersk and even one Master who worked his way up from the bottom as an Ordinary Seaman (hawsepiper.)

You just gotta get through a program you enjoy/have an interest in and put your time in like everyone else, be it as a low ranking member in one of the unions or sending out resumes and attending career fairs as a cadet and showing interest early on.

As someone else mentioned you may also change your mind completely by or before graduation.

For the most part, Chevron only hires mates that cadet shipped for them or you have a recommendation from someone (Captain or C/M) who works/worked for Chevron. That’s what I’ve heard from CMA kids that work for them. Chevron mates are hired directly by Chevron. Not sure what school you go to matters.

Shouldn’t “efficiency” be measured by how many KP grads actually find work on seagoing merchant vessels?

According to stats on college graduations 80 percent of entering KP students graduated and 65 percent of those grads went into the military. Unless my math is off that means only 28 percent of graduates work in merchant marine industry related jobs. How many of those are actually at sea is anybody’s guess because that isn’t a stat KP or MARAD wants anyone to know.

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