New student

I’m a woman entering into the License/Msc. at SUNY. I was researching that a 3rd mate makes 50,000-70,000 a year, is that correct? From others I hear 120,000. I just want to be sure that if I am investing money/time/physical energy that the longterm employment benefits are equal to the time spent getting it? I already have a master’s degree and I hope that this will be a smart investment for my future. I love traveling and wouldn’t mind working with cruise ships/yachts in the future.

I am slightly anxious about the cruises, how are they? Is it better to just get the Msc. or the Msc/License? I would like to hear about it. I also obtained statistics that only 3,900 americans have this License, so it must be in great demand.

if you are interested in yachting, going to one of the acadamies is not the answer. Basic BST’s will get you started and as you acrue sea time you can work on increasing your credentials.

Cruise boats on the other hand are commercial vessel and are crewed as such making an acadamy experience more appropriate.

I am a (female) Maine '08 alumni, but I agree with rigdvr, if you are interested in yachting, the academies are not for you. I am a 2nd SGT/1600 from Maine working on a mud boat in the Gulf of Mexico, making +/-120k/year (before taxes, of course)- if working on a mud boat in Louisiana for 8 months out of a year sounds right to you- you can make some jack. If working on a cruise ship sounds better- prepare to be disappointed in regards to pay. If you want to yacht- you are wasting you time and money.

If you are worried about job security, there is reason to be a little on edge here. There is talk about repealing the Jones Act (thank you McCain) and US shipping is, depending on who you talk to, steady or falling. My company has not raised pay in about 5 years, many in my industry (domestic oil and gas) have laid off/cut salaries in the past 2 years. With this ‘moritorium’, there is a growing industry that has, in effect, totally stalled and is in the process of relocating. I work 4 weeks straight, 12 hours a day, and go home for 2.

I would say from the sound of your post not to burn your bridges on shore- but give SUNY your best shot. . .I mean 110%. Or, consontrate on engineering- where your skills are more reasonably transferable back to shore.

PS, as a woman- you have to be fearless in this field, imho.