Wanting to get started


#1

I’m looking for a change in careers and would like to start working on a tug. I “live” in KY but travel the country for work. If I’m lucky I get to see bluegrass once a month. I know a few people back home that work on boats and it seems like something I would like to do. What is the best way to get started. I have no experience in this field, so I’m expecting to have to start as a deckhand and work my way up. I’m wanting to be able to live in the OH, KY, TN area. With that being said what companies should I look at and what else do I need to do to get started? Thanks for the help.


#2

Search this site, search the web for Tugboat Companies. Inland Rivers are probably your best chance and close to your home.


#3

You can ‘google’ a search for ‘Merchant marine training’, or ‘deckhand training’.

You can rarely just go start in the industry now. You must have some type of training to get hired. A few companies will let you ‘ride’ for a week or so to see if you like it. You will most likely be treated like an ordinary (both a description and a job title) seaman. You can then see if this work style suits you. Not everyone is ‘cut out’ to be gone from land for lengthy times. Often I have seen people do this for six months and walk away.

You will have to decide which type of work you want to do, Coastal tug work, Gulf of Mexico Oil field work, Inland river work, or International shipping. I listed these in order of availability. First listed has the most possibilities for hiring, to the last which is sparse.

Just so you know, just like the whole country, this industry has a glut of entry level employees now, and it will be hard to compete with them since you have NO experience. Not trying to discourage you, but to let you know the reality. There are some local colleges down south that have mariner training facilities. One that comes to mind is in Morgan City La. IIRC it is the Lousiana CC based in Houma. But Im not totally sure. There are several others scattered around the country, and you will have to find one that fits you.

The Coast Guard has raised the physical requirements recently. You must have a BMI below 40, and be in shape, and able to perform several unusual tasks to be able to get a seamans document too. (like carrying 50 pounds up a near vertical ladder, able to wear and fit into survival gear, and be able to pass a random drug and alcohol test, and not have a criminal record.) The last is sort of up for interpretation by the individual examiner who looks at your file. BUT, any past drug or alcohol or assault charges will probably knock you right out the door.


#4

WKYRIDER,
You are right in the “sweet spot” for inland work. When I was starting out, I interviewed with a few companies in Paducah, Memphis, Nashville, etc. Unfortunately, I lived a little too far away for their liking. Try United Barge Lines in Metropolis. I filled out an online app and got a call a week later. They posted a deckhand opening not too long ago.

Shoot31


#5

You can ‘google’ a search for ‘Merchant marine training’, or ‘deckhand training’.

You can rarely just go start in the industry now. You must have some type of training to get hired. A few companies will let you ‘ride’ for a week or so to see if you like it. You will most likely be treated like an ordinary (both a description and a job title) seaman. You can then see if this work style suits you. Not everyone is ‘cut out’ to be gone from land for lengthy times. Often I have seen people do this for six months and walk away.

You will have to decide which type of work you want to do, Coastal tug work, Gulf of Mexico Oil field work, Inland river work, or International shipping. I listed these in order of availability. First listed has the most possibilities for hiring, to the last which is sparse.

Just so you know, just like the whole country, this industry has a glut of entry level employees now, and it will be hard to compete with them since you have NO experience. Not trying to discourage you, but to let you know the reality. There are some local colleges down south that have mariner training facilities. One that comes to mind is in Morgan City La. IIRC it is the Lousiana CC based in Houma. But Im not totally sure. There are several others scattered around the country, and you will have to find one that fits you.

The Coast Guard has raised the physical requirements recently. You must have a BMI below 40, and be in shape, and able to perform several unusual tasks to be able to get a seamans document too. (like carrying 50 pounds up a near vertical ladder, able to wear and fit into survival gear, and be able to pass a random drug and alcohol test, and not have a criminal record.) The last is sort of up for interpretation by the individual examiner who looks at your file. BUT, any past drug or alcohol or assault charges will probably knock you right out the door.


#6

Wkyrider- some more info would help us help you. What do you do now? WHY do you want to work on tugs? You realize it’s a hard/dangerous job- right? Do you have a twic card? TSA.gov/twic. You will need one.

The company that hires the most in your area is american commercial lines www.aclines.com They are advertising for deckhand out of Louisville

If you apply with them online- make sure the address in your application is within 50 miles of the address in the job posting. If you don’t their computer system will automatically drop you.

Give us some info…:slight_smile:


#7

I’m currently in construction management and sick of the everyday fight. I dont want to go back to working in an office and I’ve always enjoyed manual work and being out in the elements and on the water. I do know that working on a barge can be a dangerous job.

I do not have a TWIC card, but i will look into getting one (this is the kind of information i need).

I will look into american commercial lines. thanks for the heads up with them.

If you need any other information that will help you help me let me know.

Once again, thanks for the help.


#8

check this site http://towmasters.wordpress.com/home/

and these guys are suppose to be hiring NOW

DECKHANDS! Ingram Barge Co., the leader in the Marine Industry, is accepting applications on-line at www.ingrambarge.com.
Applicants can also apply online at your local Workforce Development Ctr., 201 Government St., Ste. 101, Maysville, KY. Valid Driver’s License and H.S. Diploma or G.E.D required. Three years heavy labor work experience (i.e. farming, logging, constructon, etc.) preferred. Generous daily wage, excellent benefit package (401K & Retirement Plan, Health, Dental, Vision, Life, AD&D, etc.), day-for-day schedule (28 on/28 off, 21 on/21 off, 14 on/14 off), & opportunities for advancement. EOE, M/F/V


#9

[QUOTE=Jeffrox;29118]check this site http://towmasters.wordpress.com/home/

and these guys are suppose to be hiring NOW

DECKHANDS! Ingram Barge Co., the leader in the Marine Industry, is accepting applications on-line at www.ingrambarge.com.
Applicants can also apply online at your local Workforce Development Ctr., 201 Government St., Ste. 101, Maysville, KY. Valid Driver’s License and H.S. Diploma or G.E.D required. Three years heavy labor work experience (i.e. farming, logging, constructon, etc.) preferred. Generous daily wage, excellent benefit package (401K & Retirement Plan, Health, Dental, Vision, Life, AD&D, etc.), day-for-day schedule (28 on/28 off, 21 on/21 off, 14 on/14 off), & opportunities for advancement. EOE, M/F/V[/QUOTE]

thanks. that website had alot of companies i could look at.


#10

Hi-

It’s confusing when you’re new:)

twic info here- www.tsa.gov/twic

MMC info (don’t need it for tugs where you are- but good to have as it’s required for other types of vessels) www.uscg.mil/nmc/original.asp

Learn to tie knots here- www.animated knots.com

Also- dig around the forum here- pm people and ask questions.

Tough job market right now.

If you can travel- some of the easier jobs to get when you’re new- seasonal fishing in Alaska- look on Alaska and Seattle Craigslist- and also and small cruiseships. Check out- cruisewest.com and americancruiselines.com.

Norwegian Cruise Line America is easy to get in the door at- www.ncl.com. These are hotel/restaurant jobs on a cruise ship in Hawaii- and they give you lots of free training.

It’s easier to get a job if you have some ship experience- and you can apply for other jobs until you find something more along the lines of what you’re looking for.

Anthony


#11

[QUOTE=WKYRIDER;29086]

I will look into american commercial lines. thanks for the heads up with them.

If you need any other information that will help you help me let me know.

Once again, thanks for the help.[/QUOTE]

Towing on the Ohio and Miss has been hit HARD in the past year. Since November of 2008 NO ONE has been hiring. In the past month I’ve seen a few jobs open up. Ingram has been steadily hiring and DO like to hire people with no river experience because they don’t have to train the bad habits out of them. AEP is supposed to be hiring within a few months. Campbell Transportation Company is based in Pittsburgh and is hiring deckhands. Florida Marine or Kirby are good places to work. Madison Coal and Supply might be hiring, but god only knows with them. Personally, from the things I’ve heard I wouldn’t want to work for ACL but that’s just me. Good Luck!


#12

[QUOTE=Brian;29176]Towing on the Ohio and Miss has been hit HARD in the past year. Since November of 2008 NO ONE has been hiring. In the past month I’ve seen a few jobs open up. Ingram has been steadily hiring and DO like to hire people with no river experience because they don’t have to train the bad habits out of them. AEP is supposed to be hiring within a few months. Campbell Transportation Company is based in Pittsburgh and is hiring deckhands. Florida Marine or Kirby are good places to work. Madison Coal and Supply might be hiring, but god only knows with them. Personally, from the things I’ve heard I wouldn’t want to work for ACL but that’s just me. Good Luck![/QUOTE]

Who is “DO”?


#13

[QUOTE=WKYRIDER;29184]Who is “DO”?[/QUOTE]

I meant that they rather hire people without experience because they are more trainable.


#14

[QUOTE=Brian;29188]I meant that they rather hire people without experience because they are more trainable.[/QUOTE]

Ok. Makes sense now. I guess i was being an idiot and not reading. :confused:


#15

What bad things have you heard about ACL?


#16

A buddy of mine told me to check out Marathon Oil. He said they have pretty good routes. I cant seem to find anything on them. Anyone have any leads on them?


#17

[QUOTE=WKYRIDER;29362]A buddy of mine told me to check out Marathon Oil. He said they have pretty good routes. I cant seem to find anything on them. Anyone have any leads on them?[/QUOTE]

http://marathon.com/Careers/Apply_for_a_Career/

Haven’t been hiring for a little while and it’s hard to get on with them. However, it’s probably the best brown water company you can work for. They run pretty much everywhere with a huge port in Ashland, Ky at the Big Sandy River and go all the way down to the Intercoastal.


#18

Do companies require you to live close by or does it matter as long as you show up when its time to leave?

How long does it take to move up within most of these companies?


#19

[quote=WKYRIDER;29429]Do companies require you to live close by or does it matter as long as you show up when its time to leave?

[B][I][U]some do, most don’t…[/U][/I][/B]

How long does it take to move up within most of these companies?[/quote]

[B][I][U]it is more about you and the USCG…check out the link below for checklists for the requirements for various positions as a USCG merchant marine [/U][/I][/B]


#20

[QUOTE=seadawg;29430][B][I][U]it is more about you and the USCG…check out the link below for checklists for the requirements for various positions as a USCG merchant marine [/U][/I][/B][/QUOTE]

There isnt a link!