Looking for some general information

I have used the search function before asking my questions and have gotten some good information I think, however, how do I know if I am asking the right questions since I know diddly?

I am wanting to work in the merchant mariner industry but I live in Oklahoma where there is zero work like this. I have been saving up and NOW have saved enough money to get the following training and documents:

  • TWIC Card
  • USCG CG 719K/E Medical Certificate
  • US Passport
  • SCTW basic training from MITAGS

Question 1) I have zero experience in this industry and just turned 21. I have a Real ID State Drivers License and a high school diploma. I currently work two jobs (BBQ stand and my own lawn mowing and yard care) Am I missing something from the training and documents I listed that a noob like me would need to get hired?

Question 2) How is the job market for Ordinary Seaman right now, anywhere? I’m willing to move anywhere for this work. Are there more job opportunities for someone like me on the east coast, west coast, and Alaska, where should I be looking? I read a post where someone said to not try and find a job online but to instead drive to the area, is that still applicable nowadays when everything is online?

Question 3) I know this one is hard to answer but what is the average annual salary one can expect in this industry. I have checked glassdoor but all I know to lookup are Ordinary and Able Seaman and those show an average of $55,819 for Ordinary and $66,589 for Able, per year. How accurate are those?

Thank you in advance for your time and help.

Get those documents, and your MMC. No further training needed. Start searching for and applying to OSV companies in Louisiana. They are all hiring OS’s right now, you’ll be scooped up right away.

Some want you to apply in person, but see what phone calls and online applications/zoom interviews you can do before having to travel. I know you can apply online with Hornbeck.

If/when you do show up for an interview and if you get hired, be ready to go do a work physical and start new hire process that day. Have your bags packed for your first boat. You’ll be sent to rigger training and HUET (4-5 days of classes). You could yourself on a boat as soon as your done with those.

Not 100% what OS’s are making at the moment. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 300/day. Even time is 183 days a year, split time is 243.

Apply for an MMC endorsed: OS, Wiper, and FH (food handler).

You probably already have applied for the MMC, but it’s confusing from the way you listed it.

I suggest going to one of the Louisiana community colleges for the STCW BasicTraining class. It will be cheaper than MITAGS , and you can combine the trip for the course with job hunting in Louisiana.


Everyone is hiring right now. The gulf coast is the closest to where you live, start looking there. Generally speaking, an OS can make anywhere from 150 to high 200s a day these days depending on where they land, be it on an OSV, crewboat or tug. Of course there are exceptions but that is a safe ballpark.
Friendly reminder, you need to pass a drug test and there are randoms while employed so plan for that accordingly.

There is a huge shortage of engineers in the industry at present. You should check out the Tech Program at AMO STAR Center in Dania FL.

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Thank you everyone for replying.

If you are ok with a 75 or 90 day rotation and 60 days off, ConocoPhillips /Polar Tankers has a Utility job posted. This is on US coastwise oil tanker traveling from Alaska to CA,WA. Your vacation accrues, so if you go back early, you stop burning the vacation and will get to use it eventually. The salary base + 4hrs ot a day when onboard would be higher than 65k. Plus medical, 401k with 6-9% match, an annual bonus and an in house association that negotiates wages and raises. Search ConocoPhillips utility person on the internet. No need to relocate, all travel included to and from vessel. Good luck.

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If you wish to work deep sea, you will also need a one-day STCW Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (VPDSD) and Security Awareness (SA) course.