I’ve been working for a small tugboat company for a year and just got my AB. What should my next step be?

I’m 20 years old and this has been my first “real” job I guess. I’ve gotten enough sea time and obtained my AB special, but this company does not pay for ABs. Where’s my best bet?

I suggest that you not focus on your next step until you have an idea about the second step…

Do you have any idea about what you want to do? Continue to the bridge? Stay on deck? Work long hitches? Work foreign? My point is that you need to explore the long game and think about where you want to end up… Get some ideas on that, and the “next step” question might answer itself.

Deep sea, oil patch, wind service, dredging, salvage, tugs, Alaska… there are many different routes…

There are many different types here on this forum, so ask some questions about where you can go.

Good luck!

1 Like

If you’re thinking of going to Mate or Master of towing vessels, and leaving where you are, look for a company that has “Designated Examiners” on stakk who can sign the “TOAR” you will need for Mate of TV.

1 Like

What do you mean “does not pay for ABs”? They just have one pay rate for deckhands? Or they don’t pay for the school?

Get hired on at a bigger tug company as an AB. Learn your trade, learn how to be a good deckhand, then decide where you want to go from there.

Do you want to stay there and move up? Do you want to stay doing that kind of work? No one can tell you how to proceed unless you know what you want to do.

My guess is it’s this option. Inland tugs aren’t required to carry ABs so no inland company I’m aware of pays you extra for having one.

1 Like

Just go to a bigger company, even if it’s a deckhand job first. Then go be an AB at that company.

I know of several tug companies that pay AB $100/day more than OS. Some tugs are in fact required to carry an AB in some circumstances.

1 Like

So do I, but I don’t know of any inland tug companies that aren’t required to carry ABs that pay ABs any more money.

True, and I wasn’t talking about any of those companies.

1 Like

Everybody on the Great Lakes is looking for ABs. I can personally recommend Interlake, Great Lakes Fleet/Keystone and Lake Michigan Carferry .

You can get on a bigger tug for more money, or you can start studying for the apprentice steersman exam.

Pretty sure G&H offers a small pay bump for AB/Oiler.

G&H does. Currently OS/Wiper is about $270 and AB/QMED is $375.

McAllister NY OS is $250, AB $350.

Reinauer in NY is at $411.21 for ABs and an additional $50 per day for travel.

40% pay increase for AB/Qmed, that’s good incentivisation.