Oilfield to ships

This is a question for those who have done it or just those on ships in general. I am a hawsepiper who has worked my way up to 3rd mate. Also have the 1600/3000 master. Working on finishing tankerman/pic now. That’s just a little background

What is it like working on actual ships? What company would be interested in someone from the OSV sector? If you don’t mind what type of ships/rotations are you working? Is there anywhere to get a rough idea of pay scales for shipping?

Any information you have would be greatly appreciated

Bluewater boys aren’t going to be happy with you!

Do you have a tonnage limitation on your 3/M or do you have sufficient sea time on vessels over 1600/3000?

I’ve been on ships and boats. I had some enjoyable time on my supply boat but definitely ships for me. As I lay in my fairly large stateroom watching a movie, off the coast of a tropical island.

No tonnage limitation. What type of schedule do you work? What type of ship? What position?

Deep sea officers typically work between 50 and 120 days on/off.

Deep sea unlicensed probably average 120 on/60-90 off.

Container and MSC (union contracted). 2M or 3M.
Container relief trips are 35 - 42 days. Rotary jobs are 120. I’ve only been doing one rotary a year and still make pretty good money. I don’t go back to work to quickly if there’s snow on the mountain (snowboarder) but eventually I’ll get a 6 month year.

Ain’t easy to get these jobs, not at all. There is a big contract out for bid. If AMO gets it they’ll need Mates.
You’ll need to pay for a bunch of MSC classes (hopefully getting re-imbursed after you complete your job).

See if MSC needs mates. That would be a good way to transition. Good Luck.


What did the poor OP ever do to you??? @Gofast, MSC is likely to need all positions here soon if they continue screwing over their CIVMARs with not granting leave and the “Gangway Up” order in place. If you’re single, and don’t mind not being home much for the foreseeable future, it’s not a bad way to break in to deep sea. If you have a family though and don’t live in SD or Norfolk, I can’t say I could recommend that path at this time.

At least I gave him a viable option, actually two. You did not. Tell us what is the best path to a deep sea Mate job?

I happen to be making good money on a gangway up ship right now. No we are not happy about it but after waiting in a hotel for over 2 months I’m glad to finally have the work. When I get home I’ll be moving into a brand new house thanx to this job.

So…what’s your advice to the young man?

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Thanks guys. All good info. Keep it coming with anything else ya got.

Decent advise Hawsepiper5. No one is happy about gangway up, but the reason for it is a good one. How it is applied is opinionated on another thread. My son, WHILE he was able to sail (Medical issue) MSC got decent ships and a nice check, not including benefits, which were quite good. The trips were long, but the jog to the mailbox were rewarding his effort. Domer is gonna hate this post, and perhaps jbtam99 too. They already have jobs.

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Care to explain the “good” reason for holding only part of a crew hostage to some bizarro world concept of quarantine while the rest of the crew and shoreside people come and go as they please to wherever they please whenever they please?

No. As I said, that is on another thread. Feel free to visit, as both you and I have expressed our opinions on that thread. Fellow is asking about path’s that may be possible for him. Are you that miserable that you can’t help out a bit?

If you don’t mind being aboard for long periods of time you’ll do ok. you gotta up your tonnage !!, me? I don’t think i could get use to anything else after so much time deep sea. Coming up top side week after week and seeing nothing but pure blue and the end of the earth right THERE … i guess that is sailing and won’t change for me.

You posted it in this thread. It is up to you to explain to the OP and all readers of this thread why that is a “good reason” and shouldn’t be considered in selecting a potential employer.

Since you asked … I am a very happy camper in the marine industry and don’ t have to live vicariously in the life of my spawn.

Thanks for my first chuckle of the day. Have you any meaningful advice to OP?

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Anyone here go through MMP?


Any advice on unions would be great. I know there’s several threads on them in general but if you were a 3M looking to transition from OSVs to ships. What would you choose and why? Also any non union companies you’d look into?

Back when I was considering deep sea shipping I visited a couple of union hauls and talked with some of the members I got a lot of great information I highly recommend you’ll get a good feel for what’s up. It’s never easy getting started over good luck.

Thanks for the info. Plan on stopping by the MMP hall in Tampa when I go home.