Tankerman assist or wait for PIC?

I’m currently taking a tankerman class and although I already had my required sign-offs, I tossed the sheet away long ago like a dumbass. I meet all other requirements for the PIC. I’m gonna be exploring job options this month and was wondering if I should submit my certificate for the assist so I have it in my MMC before applying, or try to get hired and submit for the PIC ship later. Is there gonna be hang ups if I get my assist first?

Yes. Get the Tankerman Assistant.

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I’m gonna send in for my assist and I guess I’ll have to go back to my current job after looking at some of these companies prerequisites. 3rd mates unlimited & PIC for an AB job? WTF?

That’s how a lot of us started. I decked for years with a 3M license.

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Can you post job links that say 3rd mate for deck hands? I looked but want to see what your talking about

What job requires a 3M license for Ab??

Plenty of places prefer hiring 3Ms as ABs. Or will require that someone be a graduate of an adademy. Only getting harder for the hawesepipers.

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My guess is Kirby and Savage Services offshore. They had tankerman postings awhile ago requiring or preferring third mates.

Any endorsement you can get, absolutely get. If you’relooking for Deep Sea AB jobs on a tanker you’ll need your tankerman assistant. For tug boats get your barge PIC there you should have plenty of opportunities. Don’t bother with those companies that require a 3M license. Go for a company that might not have the best reputation or benifits, if you do well, they will want to hold on to you and pay you accordingly. I have seen AB PICs make more than the mates with supposed “top tier companies.”


Oh the specific job I looked at was a conocophillips one but plenty are like that. I talked to my instructor and he said that was always common practice to get academy grads accustomed to the nature of the work. It does indeed suck for hawsepipers.

I’d like to see some proof of that. I have a hard time believing a barge PIC is making 130k a year for 6 months work.

Polar can do that because the employees are all part of the company. Any company who has unions onboard (most of them) will not require you to start as an AB.

With so many tankers laid up now, there must be plenty of experienced officers and ABs with PIC looking for jobs.

I’ve worked for a tug company where the mates and the tankermen got the same pay.

I should clarify, I am comparing AB PICs on a tugs to some tug mates. I am not comparing lead barge PICs to deep sea mates. And 130k for 6 months of work that is very good even for a deep sea tanker 3rd mate. The only places I can think of 3rd mates maybe getting paid close to 130k for 6months of work is probably Polar Tankers or OSG. Price range for everyone else on the 3rd mate tanker market is on the low end 85k - higher end 100k.
Now can a high skilled Lead AB PIC on a tug and barge unit rack in 100k on 2:1 schedule? Yes. Can a lead AB PIC make 500 a day? Yes.

AB/Tankerman make almost 520 a day on Red stack ATBs. They do not sign DOI either. 20 bucks less a day than 3M.

I have always thought that Tankermen are grossly overpaid in comparison to mates and masters.

If a Tankerman is getting $520, then the mate should be getting $700, and the master $1000, but of course they are not getting that.



I have 540 days of seatime, and was just looking for a company where I can transition into that a 3rd mate role in a couple years. Retirement plans and job security look pretty bleak in the bayou. I’d rather invest my time in a more professional outfit. Is the SUP a job first then union type of deal or are they similar to what SIU has goin on?

I think SIU and SUP deep sea jobs are all posted on the board at the hiring halls. As far as I know, you cannot go find a deep sea job at the company. The company must hire from the hall.

SIU has been advertising for new members, in order to be able to fill job calls.

I think I recall seeing the SUP newsletter a year ago, and my impression was that they were also looking for new members, at least with certain credentials.

I think they are really looking for people that have, or can get, security clearances for government contract jobs.

Others here should know a lot more than I do about this.