New to this

Hey guys, Iam new to this industry and just wanted some info from guys who been through it. My background is in the oilfield. From the research that I have done it seems like the 2 industries are similar, as far as time away from home, pay scale and just the overall toughness of the job. Now the question I have is, is this industry a boom and bust industry as well? Like right now the oilfield is down and since I have been in the process of getting my mmc, it seems like the merchant mariner industry is down as well. Is it just in a lull right now, or is the industry in trouble? Thanks guys and be safe out there.

Offshore wind support vessels and harbor tugs seem to be two areas of the industry that probably have a good long term future.

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Offshore wind support is a segment everyone hopes will be a future growth segment. There certainly isn’t any opportunity there currently.


I like to think of it as Feast or Famine.

Lol. So yes. Thats fine, Iam definitely use to it. In the oilfield Its usually famine time about every 4-5 years, at least since I been in it.

Crew change during a pandemic sure hasn’t helped the industry. Even aside from that, it is subject to many external and internal factors. If your lifestyle can roll with the punches, it can be a good career.

Yep, just like the oilfield. I think it would be an easy transition for me.

Industry very much rolls with the economic times. Money isn’t what you’d expect, at least not initially. Probably way more credentialing than the oilfield but I could be wrong. You’ll need to pick a sector and stick with it in order to see some real returns, but a good career for sure. Get a job on deck and start building seatime. It will take longer than you think. Also, get your twic card. Getting hired as a green deckhand isn’t easy now but it can be done. This forum has all the info you’ll need. Good luck and welcome!

Absolutely more credentials required. Lol. In the oilfield, u get hired and get after it. No school required for anything, besides being an engineer,if u got the goods u can go all the way to the top. As far as money goes, depending if its booming or not, a green hat can easily make 70 grand. Just depends. I got my twic, got my passport, just waiting for mmc, its currently in the waiting to be assigned for professional qualification evaluation stage.

Nice! Seems like a lot of EC tug companies are hiring and inland stuff too. Not sure where you’re located but there are opportunities! There was a list of maritime companies somewhere on this thread at some point. Also LinkedIn has an active maritime group with postings and there’s some apps out there 10ure that has postings. Good luck! 70k probably won’t be happening for a bit but don’t get discouraged! Plenty of opportunity for people who are hungry.

I’m curious if you are thinking about working supply boats, drill ships or something else oil field related or if you’re thinking of tugs, deep sea, research, etc? Because some of the schedules can be similar to the rigs, but some are vastly longer.

One of the funny things that happened when we were delivering our new drill ship was all the new roustabouts & some roughnecks complaining about the length of the 45 day trip, while the mariners weren’t even hitting their stride yet.

Really? 45 days? I can do that standing on my head. Lol. My schedule now is 28 -14. But I have worked at times where there is no schedule. So u work until the job is done and if another comes up, u go to the next one. The most days I’ve worked in a row is 2 months. But thats how you you get ur money, which is why Iam in the oilfield in the first place. Definitely can be hard but it beats working at Walmart, at least for me. As far as oilfield related ships, I never really knew that those existed. So new to all this. My plan was to get my foot in the door and go from there. Thats what I did in the oilfield. Got in doing coil tubing, then went to frac, then went to snubbing units. Drilling ships sounds interesting. Is that related to offshore drilling somehow?

If you go deep sea you will be working 90-120 days.

MSC needs mariners bad right now but good luck getting off once you get on.

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Yep try MSC, you’ll get a lot of seatime. This will help you significantly in your rating. I worked for MSC 1.5 years straight only got 30 days off. I quit because they wouldn’t promote me from AB while holding a 3/M UNL Oceans license. Lots of people quit MSC during the pandemic so you’ll have no problem getting in. Just came back to the oilfield with HOS.

I didnt think msc was taking entry level mariners. But once I get my mmc I will be sure to check the site. I appreciate all the info guys.

Definitely are. Long process to get hired but good place to start

Does anyone have a feel for what percentage of Mariner applicants that MSC is willing to hire? 50%? 90%?

What percentage of MSC new hires get through the security clearance process? 50%? 20%?

45 days is nothing. who complains about that? Make your money and go home for awhile.


These days there are a lot of oil patch, and Gulf or East coast tugboat, mariners that have never actually “gone to sea.” All they know is working a 7/7, 14/14, 21/21, or 28/28 “hitch.” For many of them, being a day or two late for crew change, or having to work over for a week or two is a major crisis. They just have a completely different mindset and expectations than guys who “go to sea.”