Suggestions from experienced engineers

I am looking for advice from the people who have been doing this for a while. I recently separated from the service with about 6 years of sea time and recency. I went to school and got the following certifications. And also requested approval to test for 2nd assistant engineer based on my qualifications from my time in the service as recommended by the school. As of right now I am out of work and waiting for my credential from the MMC.
This is what i have certification in currently just no red book in hand yet…
QMED Unlicensed Junior Engineer/Electrician/FOWT
Vessel Security Officer
Medical Care Provider
Basic Firefighting
Advanced Firefighting
Rating Forming Part of an Engineering Watch
Personal Survival Techniques
Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities

I am aware i am required to test for my license, but i plan to sail as a QMED to gain the experience in your industry as i know it operates much differently than the military. My question is while I have this 2 or 3 month wait on my credential are there some other certifications i should be trying to get right now? Also I am sure this is beating a dead horse but where is the best place to start as QMED? I am willing to work on most any platform, would just like to know what will help my career the most. I am open to all advice and opinions. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

What service and what was your rate? You could’ve went for 3rd A/E with that seatime.

Usual forum question: what is it, exactly, that you want to do? Do you want to work on large ships and work your way up to chief? Smaller vessels where you may be the only engineer?

I’ll say this: always go for as much as the Coast Guard is willing to let you have. You can always sail QMED even if you have a third or second license. But, if that great thirds job comes up, a QMED only isn’t going to help.

He’s either army or navy. like awulfclark says: get the biggest license they’ll give you, keep advancing to the highest rating possible and the rest will take care of itself and if you qualify unlimited, keep it there!

Lifeboatman is a requirement for all engine licenses…or for the STCW side at least.

From what I’ve observed, there are lots of opportunities for credentialed engineers these days…be it on tugs, OSVS or deep sea.

I don’t a lifeboatman I have survival craft and my license is a Chief limited. Have been sailing chief since 2004 on seagoing tugs.

[QUOTE=Left Coast;147977]i
I don’t a lifeboatman I have survival craft and my license is a Chief limited. Have been sailing chief since 2004 on seagoing tugs.[/QUOTE]

My mistake…prior to me getting my license I already had lifeboatman which must have met the PSC requirement. I stand corrected.

I was a coast guard for 10 years, my school told me my sea time did qualify for 2nd engineer, so I applied for it, i am currently waiting on a letter back from them stating i can test. Along with that i also requested my book with the qmed endorsements as i passed all of those exams in school so i can sail while i study and prepare for the exam. The only boats i am trying to avoid are the big boys and steam. id like to stick to osv, tugs and towing. I also did get lifeboatman just forgot to post it up. The wait seems to be 3 months to get things back from NMC (not to mention its been kicked back twice already for corrections) so i was wondering if there was something i should be working towards in the meantime. The civilian side is not as cut and dry as the military…there seem to be quite a few different endorsements…can a 2AE be a chief on a tug? or do you need a DDE endorsement?

Most tugs, probably 90 percent, are not required to have a licensed engineer or a Qmed. You could sail unlicensed chief on a tug, and there are some small tug companies that might throw you right on as chief.

With your credentials, and potential, your problem may be too many jobs to chose from. I suggest that you go see the large OSV companies in person.

Keep in mind even though some companies might not require a licensed engineer on their vessels, they may pay a guy with a license accordingly.

Also, if you can qualify for a 2nd AE ticket, you may be able to apply for a DDE unlimited as well. It would involve additional modules to test for but I would think if you are prepping to sit for the 2nd AE test the DDE unlimited shouldn’t be a big deal.

You might not even need extra modules. But if you didn’t request it on the first application you will need another go round with the NMC wait to get it.

Thanks for all the responses guys, definitely gained some knowledge. I had to check my application again but DDE unlimited was applied for also, I let the school do all of the foot work on my application, wish i had gotten a little more involved with it. I think heading to big OSV companies sounds like a good start. I am pretty excited to be becoming a part of this industry. looking forward to seeing some of you out there. thanks again gents.

Just a question, why would you not want to go with the big boys?