The Grand Finale

I would like some help with my career path strategery. I’m mid 50’s. I plan on working another 11 years. I’m no longer satisfied with my current gig in the oil patch, but it’s the only real maritime experience I have. I hawsepiped my way to unlimited master w/oceans. I’m reading a lot here about openings with various unions. I also read about a lot of infighting among the unions. Given that I would need to start as 3rd mate to get a grip on the blue water way of work/life. Could I make a better run in 10 years going bluewater than staying where I am at on a mud boat? I’m a quick study, but the oil patch has drained most of the knowledge and training from me. Really feel like I would be starting over and the time needed to reestablish my skills would reduce my potential earnings for the time I have left. I know nothing about the unions or benefits there. I’m not sure that I would even get a handshake when I signoff from the oil patch, so anything more than that could be a factor worth considering.

How about tugs or ATBs?

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I don’t know jack about tugs. Small crews? Guessing that would be even more of a learning curve. :thinking: Not sure about the stability and earning potential for that line of work. I didn’t think that the tugs paid on the level of the oil patch.

ATB’s might be cool. Guessing that I could roll into that easier than straight up tugs.

What I did was go into the union hall and ask. Always got a straight answer.

I wouldn’t give anyone here specific career advice but if you were to work one night mate job you’d be 90% the way there. Takes about 3 days to get the routine aboard ship if you’re paying attention.

I’ve no idea if it’s a good move or not. Was for me.

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I guess my biggest concern is how much training can I get. I have no problem putting in the time and effort if there are resources available.

If I start at 3rd mate, is is possible to get training for the 2nd mate position? I will work half their watch if it’s possible. Then same for learning the Chief mate while running as second?

Are they all 8 hour shifts? I’m pulling 14 ish now as master, depending on vessel schedule, so 12 hours would be a nice break.

Is there any benefits for a 10 year work history? Pension or other?

Thanks for the input.

With a u/l master’s it might be smarter as 3rd to learn the C/M and skip 2nd if possible. 2nd now is mostly ECDIS / computer work.

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