Lack of job opportunities for fresh seafarers

No doubt there is tremendous shock for fresh seafarers whom without experience, the only experience they’ve gained how to just pay too much cash for obtaining certificates, doing medical check duties and applying for seaman’s book. At the end of the journey, they applying dozens of applications to thousands of companies and online open vacancies which leads them after months to become frustrated, depressed and guilty for spending each minute and each penny fulfilling their dream.

You are over-generalizing. Where I work an entry level seaman needs no certificates or STCW basic training, and within a year of hard work will have the opportunity to get an AB or QMED at company expense, and make as much or more than anywhere else. I’m sure we’re not the only company like this.


No I am not over generalized the issue, look at any job vacancy at any website and see their requirements, maybe you’re lucky in your journey but 99% of fresh seafarers suffering from enter their feet onboard because almost all companies asking for at least 1 year experience as ordinary seaman.

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People who work for U.S. tug companies and OSV companies can chime in here, but I know of a few who claim to be hiring entry level people as fast as they can.

My question would be, are you looking for employment on a particular type of ship or operation , or are you willing to get your foot in the door in a variety of places?

I’ve noticed in this industry that sometimes a disservice is done to people trying to enter it by making it seem they absolutely need a raft of certificates and training—and debt—before they can get their first job, when actually they can just get to work, make money instead of spending it, and end up in exactly the same place in a year or two.

(P.S.: part of what I do is hiring mariners, and I know others who do the same, so I have knowledge in the area,)


You are correct. Lots of opportunities for first-time OS/Wipers in the US right now.


From his comments, especially the quote, it sounds as the original poster is not in the USA and is trying to get jobs on foreign ships/companies.

It is an entirely different world out there outside the USA. Ship owners and companies play many more games and it is much more difficult to switch companies. Many seafarers are employed through “agencies” and the fear of being “blacklisted with the agency” is real.


Exactly, you highlight the write answer. Definitely, I am not aware about USA job market in marine fields, I am talking about abroad. For example, I am from Egypt and I spent almost $1200 to do the required bla bla bla to enter the marine field as OS, brokers here and agencies they use us and if they found a job for you they put a condition to pay the one one month of your offered salary in advance. However, in Europe they asking for European nationalities only to work onboard or Ukrainean OS + one year experience even here in Egypt lack of opportunities + 1 or 2 years of experience.

You are talking about USA, I. Considering other parts of the world including where I am from.

Can you help foreign seafarer to get a job offer?.

I understand your problem now and you have my sympathy.

If you have a “green card” ( authorization to work in the USA) finding mariner employment here may not be that hard. We have a Ukrainian refugee working with us, but he had a green card with his refugee status. Without a green card you can’t be employed in the USA.

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I have only SSN valid for work, I was in USA but I only got a SSN.

To get a SSN you must be a US citizen or be qualified to work in the USA to get a SSN. If you are I see no problem for you being hired quickly.

I already have my SSN, can you please tell me if I can work if I have Palau seaman book.

I have Palau seaman book, can I work with it.

No. You need an US MMC.

If you have a SSN, then you’re an American citizen. You should look into getting a jib in USA.

That’s incorrect. You only have to be lawfully admitted to legally obtain a SSN.


At 2009 I was engaged to an American citizen and suppose at the time to get married, I travelled to USA on k1 visa( fiancee visa) the girl applied for and at the time I entered USA I was had the right to apply for SSN upon receiving my I-94 form. Unfortunately, the marriage didn’t accomplished and I left the USA with my SSN. THATS ALL

Unfortunately, without a visa allowing you to live or work in the US, your SS card has no legal validity.

There are jobs available for US entry level mariners.

There are even a few companies that will hire guys without an MMC and put them right to work. Fishing companies. Tugboat companies, launch companies, dredging and construction companies, small passenger vessel companies.

There is a shortage of companies offering top pay for no skills, experience, or certificates.

Although some entry level mariners expect to become captain within a year, few companies provide that opportunity, although HR may promise it in order to fill a vacant berth.