In my first post, I wanted to start off with gratitude to all of the contributers to this forum. You have saved me MUCH time and agrivation by helping me to understand the confusing (to me) pathway to become a Merchant Marine. Thank you.
I did my TWIC interview today and got the receipt, I downloaded and filled out the Coast Guard forms to get my MMD, I just need to get the drug test and physical, which I’ve scheduled for next week. I already have a passport. So I should have everything taken care of in short order. I understand how everything works up to this point.
My question is, what’s next? I also got the application for the SIU apprenticeship in Piney Point, but they say the wait is beyond six months… So can I take a safety class and go work? Is it just the STCW -95 BST (the one week class) that I need? Or is it more?
I live in Arlington, VA - does anyone know of a school that’s close (or in Baltimore, Annapolis, or somewhere within 100 miles) so that I don’t have to fly to Cali, Seattle or Ft. Lauderdale? Those were the only places that showed up that were offering to teach just the one week class. I’m SURE I’m missing something, but I plugged it in several search engines and thats what I came up with. Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Once I get everything I need to work, I’ll start knocking on doors until the apprenticeship opportunity comes up I guess… Which ever comes first. Any other suggestions on how to break in to this trade?
Some back ground on me: I’m 36, was a commercial electrician for 12 years and then got into real estate the EXACT time the market crashed! My dumb luck, right? I’ve been fighting an uphill battle for three years and I’m worn out and not making the income I need to justify it. My great uncle was a Merchant Marine and I grew up around boats and I love the water - I think the career will fit me perfectly. I think my background would be more suited to the Engine department, but I’m going to keep an open mind and not rule Deck out just yet. So there you have it.
Any and all advice and guidance would be greatly appreciated.