First post, so if this is in the wrong place I do apologize.
Little background about be: 22, been a machinist for ~5 years, currently working in a General Dynamics shipyard, looking to swap careers.
Very good friend of mine has an engineering degree from Maine Maritime and after picking his brain a bit, he suggested I find a place to get my QMED Oiler license to get my foot in the door somewhere rather than going in as an OS and taking a massive pay cut.
Only place I’ve found so far that isn’t a two year program was this Mid-Atlantic school, which I can get my QMED Oiler/fireman license for a month of time and like $3900… which quite frankly sounds too good to be true. My big question: will this place properly prepare me for the duties of my job, or I’m I lighting money on fire?
I’m well aware I’d probably be better off with an associates or bachelors from a legitimate academy like MMA, but I’d rather not put my life on hold (nor can I really afford to at this point) for 2-4 years. 1-3 months however, I could definitely manage.
If anyone had any suggestions on places where I could take a course for that QMED for similar money and that’s closer to Maine, it’d be greatly appreciated.
Does that school offer some sort of “at sea” training? Otherwise I think you still need some entry level sea time to obtain QMED.
For this class at least, I don’t believe so. Their website does state this however:
“Any applicant who successfully completes the QMED-Oiler-Fireman/Watertender (MIDATL-389) course within 1 year of application will satisfy the professional examination requirements of 46 CFR 12.501©(5) for national rating endorsements as QMED-Oiler and Fireman/Watertender; AND receive 60 days of sea service credit towards the sea service requirements of 46 CFR 12.503(a). This course does not satisfy any competencies of the STCW.”
Can read the whole description here: http://mamatrains.com/product/2702-qualified-member-of-the-engineering-department-qmed-oiler-firemanwatertender/
You can’t get QMED without sea time. Courses can only be approved for no more than half of the total required service. See 46 U.S. Code Sec. 7315(c ). QMED requires 6 months of service, so even with the Mid-Atlantic course, you will need 4 months of sea time.
You may find it hard to get work as a QMED if you don’t also have an STCW endorsement as Able Seafarer-Engine (AS-E). To get AS-E, you need to first qualify as a Rating Forming Part of an Engineering Watch, that takes 2 to 6 months of sea time, STCW “Basic Training” and assessment (practical demonstrations on a ship). After you qualify for RFPEW, you need an additional 6 to 12 months of time to get AS-E, plus more assessment.
Look into the engineering program that the union AMO runs. You get your 3AE in ~12 or 18 months. There was just recently a thread on here about that program.
I think it’s 24 months but the point still stands. You get some pay along the way as well so if it’ll pay enough for you to scrape by, this is the best program I’ve heard of by far.
The thread he mentioned is a good read but here’s a link to the program:
Quite the application process but the commitment after you’re done isn’t too terrible, and it’s virtually free which is great. I’ll definitely at least apply.
Any other options to get in somewhere at step one? I see Sealift Command has a wiper advancement program that pays a little better
You can try MSC as you’ve mentioned
You can try NOAA but there’s a lot of pay problems going on there right now. Some people are being demoted- accidentally! It’s a cluster f*ck and I’d avoid them for now
Try the tug and barge companies. If you’re in Hampton Roads, there are quite a few of them. Without sea time, your certificate will not get you a QMED credential. You need to work entry level for a period of time.
Edit to add; MAMA has job fairs. Call them and ask when the next one is. Get them to add you to their email distro list.
Question: got any Navy or USCG time?
I live in Maine myself, not VA. Sorry I wasn’t clear on that.
No USCG nor Navy time though
It’s a dead business. Stay at the shipyard.