I’m currently a truck dispatcher. I graduated from Mass. Maritime in 2001 with a BS in marine transportation. I sailed as a third mate for two years in the Alaskan trade aboard tankers. Long story short - I wasn’t ready to ‘stomach’ the responsibility to sail as a 3rd mate and a decision was made for me by the company (if you know what I mean). I just renewed my license, but then realized I needed to get the VSO (Vessel Security Officer) endorsement in order to actually sail. So, the only thing holding me back right now is the VSO endorsement that I need. I’ve worked a bunch of different jobs over the years - worked ashore in the maritime industry, worked in customer service for a major financial services company, tractor trailer truck dispatching and now I’m thinking about going to sea again. I know the best route would be to sail as an AB. I would be a train wreck on the bridge if I were to sail as a 3rd mate. I haven’t done cel nav or any chart plotting in years. So, I’ve got my 3rd mate ticket w/TPIC endorsement in a desk drawer collecting dust.
Again, the only thing I need right now is my VSO endorsement. Just need to figure out when to take the course.
I decided to stay away from ships for a little while after having a bad experience with the company and some captains. In hindsight, I’d probably have a bank account chock full of money like the rest of you guys and my skillset wouldn’t be so lacking.
Any suggestions on where I might want to seek employment? Anybody know anything about working as an AB aboard OSG tankers? What about Chevron tankers? Pay? Do have to be part of a union?