Hey everyone -
I’m David and had some questions. I did try looking around the forum looking for the answers to my question but just had a hard time trying to find them, so if you can re-direct me to the thread that’d be great.
A little background: I’m eighteen, recently finished high school, and finally finished my Fire I&II at the local fire academy and currently a volunteer firefighter. I’ve been wanting to become a firefighter/emt for a little bit of time and just need to start EMT training in December to get close to achieving the step. But I have been wanting something else, another challenge. So I started looking around and been finding these ‘deckhand’ positions on barges around the country. The companies I have been looking at are really just looking for people that are 18 (some want 20), high school diploma, some maritime experience (which I have very little - just my boaters safety course and fishing off a bass boat), and also have their TWIC card. I’ve been researching the industry a bit and find it pretty interesting, so I thought i’d give it a go and if I really do like it, try and advance in it.
So starts my questions. What chance does an 18 year old outta high school have working on a barge with very little boating experience? As I said I do have my boaters safety course and there’s a office 30min from where I live so I can register and pay for the TWIC card. So if I get my TWIC will it be hard to find work? There seems to be quite a bit of openings online, just don’t know how competitive they are.
From what I have been reading online and some barge employment pages they are talking like 12 days on/5 off and so on. I am guessing you get assigned to which schedules they need you for, which is fine but what happens to you on your days off? Do you get kicked off the barge and when you gotta work again travel to where-ever it is to board it again?
Thanks guys and any other feedback would be nice.