Soup to Nuts - Where to start?

I am a Lieutenant in the Navy, Officer of the Deck qualified, qualified as a Naval Nuclear Engineer, and a Naval Academy graduate (I don’t know if any of that counts for much, but I figured anyone responding would want to know my starting point!). I have some years left in the Navy (how many? who knows…), but I am relatively confident that I would like to continue in the maritime industry after my time in the Navy.

I have very little (read ‘no’) knowledge of the licensing process, other than there is one and that the contributors to these forums seem to have a wealth of information about it. So I’m basically asking for help in going from where I am now to a licensed position.

Specific questions are always the easiest to answer, so here are a few (though don’t feel as though you need to limit your responses…):

I love driving ships and I love running an engineroom. Which direction should I go?
What qualifications do I need?
What can I start working on while still in the Navy?
Are there websites (or threads on this forum!) with specific guidance to take me from no qualifications to a Mates or Engineering license?

Thanks for the help!

As a naval academy graduate you qualify to sit for a 3rd mate license minimum. Your ood qualification will help too.

C’mon El-Tee,
you gotta do SOME of the heavy lifting yerself:

BMC(SW) retired

There is a NUC Submarine CO on this forum and an SWO, they are in to the process already, search the forum comments the answeres are already there. (FYI, merchant mariner licensed engineers are wrench turners)

As a Navy SWO that got out many years before starting this civilian career my situation (re-started as an AB and now workin on my license) won’t parallel yours very much. That said, with your qualifications and the fact they are current you have plenty of very good civilian options.

I am pretty sure NMC will give you a 2nd Mates license right out of the box with no exam. Same for engineering, you’ll get a license possibly 2nd Engineer, without an exam. Worse case, you’d have to test and maybe take a class or two (GMDSS, Celestial…) but nothing much. The test will require minimal prep on your part and be fairly easy to you.

My summary advice is to go engineering (they always seem so much happier and have less drama…) unless you just plain prefer topside work. Secondly,start gathering up every single navy credential, training cert, sea time documentation, everything. Finally, contact someone to assist you in putting your application package together. I used Norleen Schummer and was very happy but there are a couple of others that are mentioned on this site (you’ll have to ferret them out or put out a post asking about them) that get high marks. One more thing, check into posts and/or pm “Azimuth” he was a SWO and has more/better info on licensing than I do.

Good luck, you’ll do great I’m sure, whichever path you choose.