Seeking Advice: Transitioning to a Maritime Career on the West Coast

Hi everyone,

I accept that I will need training, but I am not interested in going back to college.

I’m considering a career change to the maritime industry and could really use some guidance. I currently reside near Long Beach and will be celebrating my 50th birthday this October. While I’m excited about the prospect of joining this field, I’m also mindful of wanting a role that doesn’t require being away from home for extended periods. A few weeks at a time would be manageable for me.

I’m reaching out to the maritime community for insights on potential entry-level positions that would align with my preferences. What roles should I be considering for someone new to the industry, particularly on the West Coast? Are there specific positions that offer a good balance between time at sea and time at home?

I would greatly appreciate any advice or recommendations on how to get started in the maritime sector, particularly in the Long Beach area. Thank you in advance for your help!

Go see Curtin Maritime.

They are either having or just had a local job fair. As I understand it, they have a new hire training program.

Curtin has dredging and shipyard jobs that don’t require a MMC. Maybe some crewboat and other small workboat jobs that might not require a MMC. You might be able to start working Nd training while you wait for your MMC and TWIC

You should definitely get your Twic card and MMC applications in asap. The Twic typically takes about two weeks. The MMC can take months.

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Thank you for the recommendation. Appreciate it!

Do you have a MMC and TWIC card? You’ll need to get going on those for most outfits. Visit the NMC website to get started on that. Pretty sure Foss is looking for a deckhand in SoCal. You probably don’t have enough experience but worth a shot. Pacific Maritime is another outfit. Can always venture to the Gulf too. I think Hornbeck will do a 2/2 or 3/3. Maybe try Vane Brothers too, although not too many boats operating on the West Cost. Centerline too… Good luck.

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Southern california doesn’t exactly have a vibrant workboat environment, but there are a few places you can get started with entry level. Getting your twic and MMC will open more doors.

US water taxi in san pedro has launches (small crewboats that run out to ships in the harbor), there is also ship services on terminal island that has crewboats/utility boats and launches that run to the oil platforms and ships. American Marine on terminal island has crewboats launches and tugs. Marine express in long beach has some crewboats/launches. Pacific tugboat aka pacific marine group in long beach has crewboat/launches and tugs.

On the recreational side there’s also harbor cruise boats out of rainbow harbor/shoreline village and the main channel in LA.

As someone else mentioned there’s curtin maritime in long beach. They’ve grown super fast, have a bit of turn over. I hear mixed things about them hiring folks without a twic, mmc or AB for that matter. Its a bit harder for entry level people to find work it seems. Any of the places i named above would be good places to get your feet wet. Don’t expect a schedule. Expect to work odd hours and on call.

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You could try the maritime career fair at Orange Coast College on May 10th: Maritime Career Fair and Industry Panel | OCC Waterfront Campus. Several local companies with entry level positions will be there. They are about 25 miles from Long Beach.