SIU unlicensed apprentice program

i want to become a marine engineer, i have been working as a deckhand on yachts for a few years so i understand the life at sea. now i want to become an engineer and i want to know if the SIU unlicensed program is good for me im 25 and free as a bird with a strong will to learn.

The short answer is yes, it is one way to start. Use the search function at the top right hand of the page and type “SIU Apprentice Program” and you will see a good number of threads about the program. Some asking the very same question.

That’s funny …


Not trying to discourage you going into SIU but also look into attending an academy

whats the advantage of academy over SIU ?

i know that i have it very easy on a 300 foot yacht, lots of shore time, good pay and hot chicks as crew mates

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Bro the Academy is exactly like a Yacht! All the shore leave you can handle, 5 Star Grub and chicks are 3/1. You don’t have enough arms to put around them.

Also in between all the rippin’ and a tearing with determination you can walk away with a 3/AE in 3-ish years.

You will hear both sides but an academy gets you a degree and is faster to a license. Downside is you pay for it without making money. However I made twice as much my first year than my education cost

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Just stay where you are on large yachts. The SIU would be a total waste of time for you. Unlicensed commercial shipping would also be a big disappointment.

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How do you get into working on yachts, and why do you want to leave? Seems like a nice lifestyle with an opportunity for good pay. I’m looking at the license requirements and it looks like they have different ones than the rest of the industry.

Do you take the necessary training classes then go to a place like Fort Lauderdale and hope to get hired as a deckhand?

In most cases, more than anything else, you need the right personality, appearance, and manors. Or very good personal contacts.

You might give and Bluewater Crew Training a call for advice. They have classes, contacts, and a list of cheap “crew houses” ashore in Fort Lauderdale.

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i like the large yachts but there is no real way for me to get engineer training, and i dont want to stay on the deckhand path, my plan is to go commercial and become a good engineer and after a few years get back on yachts as a engineer

what academies would you recomend looking at who has the best engineering program?

Star Center in Dania, Florida , the AMO Union school, has a two year program leading to 3rd engineer unlimited.

If you’re serious about wanting to be a “Marine Engineer”, not just a Mariner who works on engines, you really should go the an academy and get a Bachelor’s in Engineering along with your 3AE. The license would be extremely hard to get the hawsepipe route, and you’d have to figure it all out yourself as you go along. If you’ve got the academic aptitude to go to school for engineering, go for it. As to which one you should choose, really any of them. I’ve met great engineers from most of the schools, though I’m partial to my own school. I don’t know if you’re in a position in your life to go to college for 4 years or what, but that’s the best option.


Well I’m a CMA grad but to be honest nobody out here cares what academy you attended. All are good and will get you what you want. Where do you live? I would consider an academy that you can pay in state tuition

As others have said you might want to go the Academy route its 3 - 4 years vs the six it’s taken me and once you’re ready to get your license unless you work for a company who is paying for your licensing you’re on your own.

Second thought, make sure you know what you’re getting into, working an engineroom on a yacht is one experience while being face first in an airbox of a Diesel the size of a building in the Persian gulf in August is another, especially if you’re only a GUDE or Oiler

I do wish you the best of luck but seriously make sure you know what you’re getting into.

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thanks everyone for the help it means a lot to me that you guys are willing to give advice

Maine Maritime engineers have a great reputation but if you can go to one for in state tuition then that’s the best one for you. Largely you get out what you put in, if you do the bare minimum you’ll be mediocre but there are opportunities to do things during your free time to get extra hands on experience (at some of the schools anyway).

What’s the difference between going to an Academy for a program that has an engine license attached to it and going to the academy for a Engineering degree with a engine license? I heard that the degree itself doesn’t matter because in the end you both have the engine license, is this correct?