I'm 24 and want help getting into the industry

I’ve been working on getting my MMC already have a TWIC, but I wanted to just get in the door as quick as possible because I’m tried off my current job, but I called the SIU hall yesterday and they said I’d have a hard time finding work being an OS so they recommended going to an Academy, but I work full time so I don’t think I can afford going to an Academy so my question is, is there any other way currently to get in, should I not even consider the Apprentice program for obvious reasons that being no OS jobs? Also whats the longevity of this kind of work? I’ve read some articles on it becoming remote, as in controlled, and I want to work on the deck rather then an engineer.

What’s your objective here? Make as much as possible? See the world? Get experience for a couple years or a lifetime career? It all depends.

Lifetime career? Go to one of the state academies or kings point and get a license. Google or use the search function on here for more info on specific topics.

Best of luck

Lifetime career doesn’t sound bad. So Academy it’s gotta be then.

Doesn’t have to be, just the easier overall path. Even if your first job out is on deck, you’ve got a license in hand and can move up when needed.

Ok so real quick what is the difference between licensed and unlicensed?

Gonna encourage you to Google that one.

1 Like

If you successfully complete the Apprentice program you will have your Able Seafarer—Deck endorsement. Suggest you do some research and read up on what the program offeres.

2019 / 2021 Course Catalog Unlicensed Apprentice Phases

Phase 1-During Phase 1, students receive 16 weeks of resident training at the SHLSS. These courses provide fundamental maritime knowledge and safety skills required for a merchant mariner. Detailed course descriptions follow.

Phase 2-In Phase 2 the unlicensed apprentices spend 12 weeks aboard a vessel contracted with the SIU as a student observer. During these weeks at sea, the students spend 30 days in each shipboard department (deck, engine, and steward). This experience provides hand-on experience learning the skills and knowledge introduced to them during the Phase I training.Phase II provides the students with the opportunity to determine their personal interest and their area of specialization when they return to study at the SchoolStudents must complete a Sea Project which requires collecting information from each department aboard the ship.

Phase 3-During Phase 3 students return to SHLSS for advanced formal training. First, stu-dents begin their training with Tanker Familiarization and Government Vessels, followed by their specialty courses in either Ratings Forming Part of the Navigational Watch (RFPNW) for deck department, Basic Auxiliary Plant Operations (BAPO) for the engine department, or Galley Oper-ations for the steward department.

Phase 4-During Phase 4, students serve in a paid position aboard an SIU-contracted U.S. flagged commercial vessel for at least 120 days. Here, they will gain hands-on experience and earn sea time by working in their selected shipboard department.

Phase 5-In Phase 5, deck and engine students will return to the SHLSS for 4 weeks of advanced specialty training. Deck students will complete the 4 week Able Seafarer—Deck course, Engine Department students will complete the 4 week FOWT/Able Seafarer—Engine course, and Steward Department students will complete the 12 week Certified Chief Cook course. Upon successful completion of Phase 5, students will receive their specialty rating and their probationary union seniority, which will allow them to register and ship from any SIU union hall.

1 Like

10-4 I’ll Google licensing and my bad for some reason I thought going through the Apprentice program only made you an OS with a B card yeah I called SIU yesterday and talked to them again and found out what you had said, so another question are you in SIU and would you recommend them? Ok and I see licensing is just a officer position

If you’re willing to consider being an engineer, I would say that AMO’s TECH program is the way to go…from off the street to 3rd Asst. Engineer-Unlimited in two years is the best deal I know of. Pretty good discussion of it here:


1 Like

MSC is currently hiring OS in their advancement program that offers a quick and straight path to AB.

I’ve heard that these applications are being processed quickly and people are starting work within a few months of applying.

If you looking to go licensed look into the Workboat Mate Program. 2 years vs 4.

1 Like

My careers was as an engineer. No I am not in the SIU. I recommended the program to my son as college was not for him. He seems to be happy with his decision. That said, if you look at my posts regarding the SIU I have my criticisms. Go into it if you wish with eyes wide open. You can make a good living there or you can use it as a stepping stone to something else.