its not terribly complicated.
step one, get a twic.(link already given). cost: 132.50IIRC
step two, get a mmc.(link already given) cost: capt lee says 145. i dont remember what my initial was, but my renewal was 95 last month. plus of course the physical and whiz quiz. make sure you get all three endorsements(ordinary seaman, wiper, steward).
step three: get in line. there arent many entry level jobs out there. they do exist, but they are somewhat scarce. i spent 10 months and 1500 bucks to get my job and the only reason i got it is because im a medic also. sign on with a head hunter( i HIGHLY reccomend kelly sweeny) and they will eventually find you a job. kelly had my file for like 6 months before he found me something and like i said, being a medic got me the job. so it wont be an overnight process.
now thats all if you want to start at the very very bottom and claw your way up to the daylight. if you want to go the other way, apply to every maritime academy in the country. spend four years there, have a degree and graduate with a license.
all in all its not a bad life. i started five years ago, but didnt do much work and then got sucked into the black hole that is the emergency medical industry. im just getting back into it and am pretty happy. in a few months i’ll be sitting for my first upgrade and once thats all done, i’ll actually be able to start making things happen.