Recent Maritime Graduate looking for work

Greetings everyone,

I’m a recent graduate of SUNY Maritime College with a 3rd Mate unlimited tonnage license. I’m starting to realize that one of the school’s major shortcomings is with the lack of guidance for post-graduate life. With seagoing jobs scarce and the economy in the tank, its tough to find anything. Is it better to join a union and sit at the hall all day until something comes up or should i apply to everything and anything? Maybe look into tugs or ferries until something comes up?

If anyone has some advice I would really appreciate it.


Any idea what segment of the industry interests you?

Tug and barge is always good for the experience. Expect to start on deck and NOT be in the wheelhouse for awhile. Tug and barge industry in NY harbor area tanked last spring, but is starting to show signs of life. Best pay for a deckhand would be at Reinauer or Bouchard. For quality of life, it’d be Reinauer (from what I hear). McAllister is run by SUNY grads, but mat not be hiring at this time.

Deep sea? MM&P or MEBA. Both have deck jobs and in the opinion of many will probably merge in the long run. Don’t expect to be making the big bucks right away. Applicants will generally be scraping for relief jobs or lower paying contracts.

MSC? Again, you might have to start on deck. Once you are working as mate, it is a great place to make some money and raise your license. You also tend to see some interesting ports. The downside is the lack of time off. It’s going back a few years, but I generally was working or at a school for 10-11 months out of the year.

Oil patch? You’d have to ask someone else, but it doesn’t sound good right now.

For a new grad with no work experience (unless you are hiding the summers and vacations you worked on the water), the shotgun approach to sending out your resume would probably be a start. If you get enough applications out, something will come up. Don’t be too proud - at least consider an unlicensed position if it is offered. It’s a good way to get some experience.

Good luck!

Thanks for the advice.

Ideally, I’d like to go deep sea. I’ve already applied to MSC and I’m supposed to get my license tomorrow in the mail. That said, I’ll be walking down to the MMP union hall. Might even consider MEBA. The vibe I got is that they work pretty closely. Can you think of any other companies worth shooting emails and resumes to?

As of late, I’ve been shotgunning my resume out to any tug company i can get an email address for. I’ve got years of small boats handling experience but nothing while licensed or at school. Just the time on the training ship.

At this point, I’ll take what i can get. Pride won’t be an issue if I’m getting paid and working towards hopefully sailing on my 3/m license.

If you can think of any other advice… please don’t be shy. I really do appreciate it.


Check AMO’s website, they need people for the USNS T-AGS vessels.

I don’t know much about AMO, other than the scuttlebutt, but there are people there earning a living. The T-AGS are just coming off an MMP contract and going to AMO. They are fun ships and you get to see some different parts of the world. You’ll get much more shiphandling experience on there as opposed to a container ship or tanker. Not a lot of money, but it’d be a start.

I was just talking to the 3rd Mate this morning, who started out with AMO. Apparently, there is a call-in system for getting jobs with AMO - which may or may not be aboveboard with all getting a fair shake. MMP and MEBA at least have their job calls at the hall. Not the easiest if you live a distance away from a hall, but at least the system is transparent.

I wouldnt be holding your breathe for the MSC job, Im hearing theyre 3rd Mate fat right now, with Licensed AB’s waiting for a shot too.

Get that towing endorsement now while youre still young and have no bills…wish I’d of done that!!!

(granted Im assuming you dont have alot of bills as a recent grad, but everybody has their own situation)

Any thoughts about joining 2 unions just to try for a job?

AMO is free to join and they’ll call if something comes up. Granted, doesn’t give me a good shot for a job since it could be biased. MM&P is a union I think would give me the best shot for a job. I’m thinking, put my name in at AMO and hit the union hall for MM&P until something comes up.


Also, I got word that Crowley might be manning some vessels maybe in December. Any thoughts on how to get into that drawing?

whats the best way to get that touring endorsement?

I liked AMO better than MMP. They had a lot more jobs and none of the hall BS. I tried MMP for a few months and switched to AMO. Personally I didn’t notice that the call in system was rigged. But then I applied directly with the companies and didn’t wait for the union. I heard AMO didn’t like that, but it was permitted. I think I would have spent a lot more time at home if I’d waited for them to call.