Is still worth it to become a seafarer here in germany or is it a dying career field?

Is it still worth it to study to become an officer as a german (and perhaps seafarer in general as a Western European) or would that just be a very lengthy application for unemployment benefits due to how expensive germans have become compared to asian and eastern european competition?
I finished grammar school summer last year, and am unsure whether or not the subject I’m currently studying at university is really the right one for me and whether I might not want to look into something more hands on and less theoretic, and seafaring was one of the career paths that crossed my eye, but at the same time the few recent articles I found on the state of the german shipping industry and seafaring mention almost always mention how murky at best the career outlook for german seafarers supposedly nowadays are.
Really hoping here are some european or perhaps even Germans that can help me out, as the only german seafaring forum I know of ( is practically dead.

I’m not a German but I was there a couple weeks back and had a fairly long conversation with a young pilot about this very subject. He was saying that they were going to have to lower their standards for hiring pilots because of the lack of experienced German Masters. I gathered that they are generally dissatisfied with the current state of their national maritime opportunities as we are in the US. I wish I had better news for you, but from an American’s standpoint, I was told when I started training to be an officer that the end was near and it still hasn’t happened. If it is something that you wish to pursue passionately, you will make it a success wherever you wind up. A lot of us on this forum have found this to be true.

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There is plenty of inland shipping in Germany, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to die as long as there is enough water in the Rhine. Times are changing, though, and the romanticized image of the owner-operator working with his family isn’t really true any more. Most boats are owned by big shipping companies, and competition is tough, with the old hands complaining loudly about days gone by. My impression is that it’s pretty easy work to get.

As for grosse seefahrt, I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

Aren’t there also plenty of Eastern European mariners that are also competing for those inland jobs? I thought Germany was open to all EU/EEA countries.

You can also aim to be a 1%'er or 1/2%'er in your field. Those are the guys who make it through every down sizing, flag change & buyout. Almost every 3rd world operation that I’ve seen had 1 or 2 westerners who spoke the language, knew the game & were considered a vital part of the operation and were considered indispensable by the locals & foreign owners. It’s hard but doable.

I choose to sail because salt water is in my blood. If I couldn’t get paid to do it, I’d still find a way to be on the water. But OP’s question relates to whether or not it makes economic sense to chase this profession given the reality of those able to work in Germany for lessor wages.

I assume that in most countries there are those in the field that are very successful and can even earn a healthy income. But if the number is very small, this job might not make sense for all.

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Indeed, the majority of deck hands are Easterners, and the pay is pretty lousy. However, the majority of captains seem to be Dutch or German, and you’ll get nowhere in Europe without a solid grasp of the German language, except for the lower Danube.

For a young person today learning to speak foreign languages fluently and read & write in them could make you quite valuabble in the shipping industry. I was watcing NHK Newsline some time back and they were showing young students in Asia learning to speak, read, and write Geman. In time they will be dealing in contracts with other countries companies.

For those in Europe to lean Spanish will assist with leaning Italian and Portuguese Much of South America speaks Portuguese.

Why don’t you look at some of the Expat forums where you are and see what others there tell you more about this. I’m sure some work in the shipping industry. You can still work in Maritime Business and make a respectable income with these skills.

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Thought you said employers were realizing young people are lazy and too expensive to train?

who world just looking for cheaper employees they are far dumber today than the past due to continually lowered standards so are hence cheaper and the continual lowering of standards allows more into the bottom of the pyramid to compete and hence lower wage demands

Does Deutschland have any type of protection for German officers? Specifically, is German citizenship required to obtain an officer license as it is in the USA?

Merkel is a fan of multiculturalism and invited lots of people in the front door to shit on the carpet. Taken to the limit, this will leak into maritime sector if there are zero protections.

MaYbe hEz speCiaL.

oK bOoMeR

I think Germany (and all EU countries) are obligated to give a CeC to any EU citizen. Poorer EU countries like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Croatia, Greece, etc undoubtedly provide a lot of highly trained mariners with lower wage expectations.

I’m not sure, but I believe any EU country vessel may do “local” work in any EU country.

Getting back to the question originally posed. It really boils down to what you want to do, and what you see yourself doing. IF it really interests you then go for it. I personally enjoyed going to sea.

Germany has a rich shipping history and tradition. I don’t see that going away soon.

Anyhow there are still Big Marine Market in Germany with its major ports like Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Wilhelmshaven. The total number of inbound vessels becoming bigger and bigger that means You are all still in the Game. Many holders of Master-marine Certificate are applying to become a pilot - either docking or river. Like German said - Ich denke wie lass uns nicht entmutigen, means never give up. :grinning: