Joining Canadian Maritime Industry as US Mariner?

How hard is it, or is it possible to get a Canadian Maritime Job with a USCG license, and as a US citizen? Anyone done this?

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Short Answer: No. You cannot do it.

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You eyeballing those McKeil Marine or Puglisevich jobs @kelsonbaird? @tugsailor is 100% correct. Long Answer: you would need to become a citizen and submit to obtain a Canadian certificate of competency through Transport Canada.

Most training will need to be redone in Canada regardless of License held & seatime. All current documents would be heavily scrutinized. Best bet if you still think it’s worth it is find you a nice Skidder Queen up there in the woods & settle down.

Puglivich, and just about everyone else in Newfoundland, wants to hire Newfies, they only hire other Canadians from off Island when they have to, and quite reluctantly.

Transport Canada’s licensing system is similar to the MCA’s, except you must be at least a Permanent Resident to get any type of Canadian seamen’s documents. The Transport Canada exams are much more difficult than the USCG exams. Canadian mariners spend months in school to upgrade and prepare for the exams.

The Canadian Mariners that I meet who are sailing on good sized tugs and OSVs all have unlimited licenses.

Canada, like the US, does have rulebeater tugs that are under 150 GT with limited licenses. Like the US “tugs” under 26 feet, Canada allows tugs under 10 GT (15 GT for older boats) that do not require a license.

It’s difficult, but doable for an American to immigrate to Canada, if you can find a job in a trade that has strong labor demand, such as nursing or trucking. You’ll need three years of experience in that trade, and one year of that experience must be current (within 5 years). Good health and a clean record are required. Higher education, especially at a Canadian school, is a big advantage. It also depends where you are going to live and work in Canada. It’s usually easieest to immigrate to Quebec, especially if you speak French.

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Have you tried towing sailboats off of government docks? I hear that is where you can really get a foot in the door to cement your claim to being a top notch tug captain in Canada.


Well no I was not dying anything in particular. I had looked at emigrating to Canada, but as you pointed out, you need to find a job to do that. Maritime officers were in the skill set desirable for Canada, but finding a job seems almost impossible, actually the only thing I saw was in the tug/towing industry. I have no experience with this, but I do and unlimited license.

Canadian Maritime Industry is growing with time. It preserve the marine environment by promoting marine industry.