Research Vessels


I am a recent CMA graduate and I just got a job as a third mate aboard a research ship. Anyone who worked on research ships I am looking for any advice. I am very happy with this opportunity and am looking for any advice I can get. This is a great opportunity (especially in this economy) and I am looking for any advantage.



Hey that’s great, good for you. Research vessels take many shapes and forms but the generic advice for any new job is to be seen but not heard, ask people to teach you everything they know, and try to avoid boat politics,

Thanks for the advice skycowboy. Words of wisdom for sure. One of my professors from school, Capt. Hensley put it best; “All the license means is you are allowed to begin learning”

It depends on what ship and what kind of work it does. If it has thrusters be prepared to forget pretty much everything you learned in school about shiphandling (they’re crazy manueverable and tons of fun). You have to learn how to serve two masters - the ships and the head of the scientists that are onboard. Don’t be afraid to tell the scientists no if you feel that what they’re asking you to do is unsafe. Remember who your boss is.

Other than that it’s pretty interesting work and can be fun. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Best job I ever had was Second Mate on a research ship. Pay stank, but the quality of life was excellent. You usually know your schedule months in advance, and the scientists rarely spend more than two weeks at sea between port calls. Enjoy yourself, and if you someday choose to move on to a higher paying job, hopefully you will remember your research vessel experience fondly.