I’m considering maritime school eventually to become a deck officer and am looking for some feedback on a couple things.
I have shoplifting convictions from when I was 16 & 17 years old. Record has been clean since. I wouldn’t graduate until my mid to late 30’s. Is this going to be a major issue for me seeking work in the industry? I certainly don’t want to spend a fortune on school to find out afterwards I’m barred from entry.
I’m bad at math and I hear the schooling is math heavy. This makes me extremely nervous as I will be the student who will have to seek full time tutoring for any math requirements. Was anyone else in this situation and did they prevail? How much math is actually used on the job?
I appreciate any feedback, thanks in advance. I have been enjoying reading the forum lately, cheers!
- Your juvenile shoplifting convictions are unlikely to be a major problem. However, this is IMPORTANT, you will need excellent legal advice from a good lawyer who understands the USCG’s legal definition of the term “conviction”. I do not know whether you will need to disclose juvenile convictions to the USCG or not. Nor am I going to look it up and offer any unqualified legal advice. Your typical lawyer won’t know either. I do not know whether juvenile convictions will show up in your FBI background check, or not. Get good legal advice about whether you are required to disclose. If in any doubt, disclose to the USCG. I doubt that it will be a problem.
I do not know, but I do not think potential employers can access juvenile records. Personally, I would not disclose to potential employers. Even if you did disclose, It would not matter to most.
- Get good at math. There is no excuse for being “bad at math,” or being “bad at computers.” All it takes to get good is a lot of effort and practice. There is a lot of good free online math instruction, like Khan Academy. However, you probably need the discipline and in person interaction of a tutor. At a minimum, you need to be ready for Pre-Calc when you get to the academy.
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It shouldn’t be a problem unless you fail to disclose it. See the table in 46 CFR 10.211, shoplifting is not listed, but other crimes against property have “assessment periods” of 5 to 10 years. So it is unlikely there will be a problem with convictions over 10 years old. Also note that the “assessment period” does not mean you are barred from obtaining a merchant mariner credential. It means that during this period you would need to provide additional evidence of suitability to hold an MMC.
Note that the Coast Guard’s definition of “conviction” is much broader than being found guilty. See the definition of “conviction” in 46 CFR 10.107.