Late life career change to maritime - advice needed

Over 40 and regretting I didn’t pursue the maritime career that I wanted when I was younger. What I would like to do now is go to a maritime academy for engineering officer license… but not until my kids are older. would it be realistic to enter the workforce as an engineering officer at the age of, say, 53? I gotta get out this cubicle someday. :slight_smile:

About me: I’m prior navy. I have degrees in physics and math. I once was a summer research fellow at the univ of rhode island’s grad school of oceanography. And I once was a volunteer scientist for NOAA on a merchant vessel, collecting data on the gulf stream. So I have a pretty good idea of life at sea. But I’ve been a computer geek for most of my working life. I am red-green color blind, so that rules out deck officer but I’m ok for engineering, correct?

Also, I’d be happy to hear any suggestions for maritime careers other than ship officers.

If you are red-green color blind you will have problems regardless. Engineers have to be able to discern colors, too.

Have you been tested with the Farnsworth Lantern test? Some people with mild colorblindness can pass with that.


From what I have seen in my limited experience, the maritime industry is fairly age indifferent. The key question is are you physically fit to perform the duties required. If yes, you can be in your 40’s, 50’s or 60’s.

Being color blind may be an issue but there are other avenues which may accomidate your desire for a career on the water. Your background, (Math & physics) and prior research experience makes you well suited for a ship board science position.
No need to go to an academy or even study for a maritime license - just build on the education and prior experience and tie it to your career objectives.

Good Luck!

PS - Any interest in being an instructor at a maritime school? Perhaps that’s a way to Segway into a marine related field.

Thanks for the suggestions, guys.