Hi, I’m a high school senior and would like to pursue a career on tugboats. My original plan was to attend Maine Maritime Academy but feel that the workboat academy could be a better option for me. Does the workboat academy get a lot of 18-20 year olds or are most older? How are job opportunities after graduating? I live in Massachusetts and have been on boats all of my life. Thanks Andrew
I always suggest to people that are thing about going to an academy, to stop thinking and just do it. But that wasn’t what your post was about, so take that advice however you want.
You ask an excellent question! Most of the WBA cadets are in their late twenties to mid forties. Most cadets have had a previous career, most have some sea time and most have a degree(although it’s not a requirement). That having been said we have had younger cadets in the past. The job opportunities after graduation are great. A lot cadets stay with their sponsor company after completion of the program.
As one of the WBA instructors(at PMI) and a 4 year “academy” graduate, each program has it’s benefits. WBA is great for folks interested in the license. But IMHO, the 4 year academies are best for folks straight out of high school, plus the degree will be useful if and when you want to move shore side.
Please feel free to DM me if you have any further questions,
Instructor & Curriculum Developer
MITAGS-PMI West Coast
Go to an academy and get a 3rd Mate license and a degree. That’ll open up many more doors than anything else you can do.
Academy all the way, wbm can’t take you anyway they don’t have any sponsor companies
I couldn’t agree more. The 4 year academy is the only way to go. Any one of them will put you in a great position. Maybe if you go to an academy, you’ll be one of the few who actually decides to make it a career and stay on boats for more than 5 years.
For the record, that’s not entirely true.
Yes, the April 2016 WBA class in Baltimore has been cancelled due to a lack of cadet berths with sponsor companies. But we do have a 2016 WBA class in Seattle, starting in just 10 days.
Given the current job market, this would be a good time for the academies to start being more selective, and produce a smaller number of higher quality graduates, especially mates, until job market demand increases.
It would also be a good time for WBA to scale back for awhile.
But that won’t happen because the schools need the tuition dollars, and the staff at the schools want to keep their jobs.