Working on US ships for US citizen

Hi to everyone
I’m after maritime college with ordinary seaman certificate ( 7 months of sea practice left to became deck officer) I have a US citizenship and valid passport as I was born in Chicago but now I’m living in Poland from many yaers as my parents decided to came back when I was a kid. My martine school, ordinary seaman and STW certificates are made in Poland. Currently I’m working as a deckhand on a ERRV vessel in North Sea. I was thinking about work on American vessel’s as a deckhand, deck cadet, or ordinary seaman but I’m not sure if my European certificates will be valid in US? I have experience on a tanker ship ( basic oil/chemical tanker certificate), ferry, cruise ship and now errv. I would be very grateful for any information about do I have any chances to apply for a job on US ships and if yes where I can search? like companies, crewing agencies that hire American citizens.


You easily could. Just go to any SIU union hall and they’ll set you up. Your certs won’t Cary over but they can get you in a fresh class, and working as an OS in no time.

They won’t be but your sea time will count towards upgrades.

You’d be better off getting your license where you are and sailing as OICNW for at least a year then apply to the USCG for a 2nd mate license.

1 Like


My ordinary seaman certificate has a sign “Rating Forming Part of Navigational Watch Certificate”

“Issued under the provisions of the STCW Convention 1978 as anended and Regulation of Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation concerning seafarers training and qualification”

So My thought was that it would be valid also in US

I don’t believe it will be.

That’s too old

I suggest that you stay the course and complete your educational program in Poland, and get your OICNW certificate in Poland.

@Capt_Phoenix gave good advice to sail foreign flag on your Polish certificate for a year, and then try to transition to a US certificate as OICNW.

If you do not want to sail foreign flag, then after you get your Polish OICNW, apply for whatever US certificates that you have the seatime for, and retake the required US STCW courses.

1 Like

It’s not. Under STCW you need documents issued by the flag of the vessel you are serving on. It can be either original certificate, or an “endorsement” attesting to recognition of a certificate issued by another flag. The US currently does not issue documents recognizing certificates from other administrations.

1 Like