Would you recommend this career to your children?

I once read the ultimate litmus for a profession is whether or not those currently employed in the field would recommend their offspring pursue the same career path (80% of attorneys responded “no”, if I recall correctly). So, would you recommend this career to your children? Why or why not?

[QUOTE=JaredFromSubway;157297]I once read the ultimate litmus for a profession is whether or not those currently employed in the field would recommend their offspring pursue the same career path (80% of attorneys responded “no”, if I recall correctly). So, would you recommend this career to your children? Why or why not?[/QUOTE]

I didn’t recommend to my son…he asked me about getting in to it, to which I couldn’t object! His interest was in comparison to the work he was doing after he graduated high school. Thought he loved cars SOOO much that he wanted to Wrench on them for a living. Only took him two years to see reality. He also had a friend who worked on tugs and my son was envious of the money and schedule he worked! With him seeing myself, and his friend, living this lifestyle, HE is the one that wanted to do it. I was more than happy to help him get in the industry!!!

He’s recently completed a QMED course and transitioning through the ladder just fine. He’s still in-love with the work environment, schedule, and pay! I’m proud of him for wanting to pursue this line of work!!!

If my kids were so inclined I would encourage them to go towards the engineering side rather than in the wheelhouse. I don’t think the deck side of things is going completely away but a 30+ career as a US Merchant Mariner doesn’t seem as feasible as it used to. With engineering there are quite a few more job opportunities on shore.

Yes…tons of hot chicks.

I did to one of my kids and he pursued it. The others were not interested. This is an industry where you can go as far as your ambition carries you. At the same time it is best to go into it understanding this “normal” is not for everyone. Marriages and relationships are prone to suffer if you are not careful.

I would absolutely recommend this career path to a kid. I feel that a maritime academy education combined with sailing for a good number of years while upgrading a license can provide great shoreside opportunities. The leadership opportunites that are afforded to a mariner are second to none, and many shoreside employers acknowledge this. The networking opportunities that come with graduating from a maritime academy help out tremendously as well. I am a mate, but I would strongly encourage my kid to get a marine engineering degree. There are so many more engineering jobs than there are mate jobs, and the opportunity to get a PE license is huge.

As a parent of a few young kids, this is something my wife and I talk about frequently. It all depends on what you want in life. My opinion if that if you do it right it can be a great way to set yourself up for a great life. If you do it wrong it totally sucks, spending half your life away from your family blows. What I will tell my kids when they get older if they want to get into this will be to go to a maritime college, come out and sail for a few years before you get married and start a family. Make a shit ton of money and most importantly, save your money. Then after a few years when you have a car payed for and no debt and enough saved to buy a house or at least put a good down payment down then try and get a job on a day boat or as a pilot or some other shore side job.
Having a family and having to leave them half the year sucks. It can be done and I know plenty of guys who have a great home life living 2-3 weeks/months away at a time. But in my opinion something always suffers. As many guys I know who have great home lives probably double that end in divorce or have fucked up kids.
It’s a great industry if you’re smart about it. The world isn’t like it was 20-30 yrs ago when our parents and grandparents did this job. If you wanna have a family it’s a great way to set yourself up but there are better ways to spend your years then half gone at sea. If you don’t want a family then it’s the best job in the world… Seriously.

Some great comments in this thread.

I have been thinking about this stuff a lot lately … I want all three of my boys to have options … having entered this industry after 20 years of doing other things, I sure wish I had done it when I was a young(er) man. My kids think what I do is really “cool,” but they’re young. If they still think it’s cool in 10 years I’ll do whatever I can to help them get started.

Maybe I’ve been paying too much attention to Mike Rowe, but I’m really keen on the trades – which I consider this to be (a skilled trade, of course).

When I graduated from high school, I thought I was a big guy because I went off to a private, liberal arts college. I thought it was really important that I read Plato and Aristotle and de Tocqueville only to find out that while my mind was broadened and my soul enriched and maybe I learned a thing or two about critical thinking, none of that does much to keep body and soul together in the real world.

And funny thing … a quarter-century later, some of those guys from high school who were in shop class but couldn’t write their way out of AP English, well, they’re the guys with their own, thriving businesses, big houses and ample vacation time.

I will encourage my kids to get a college education because I think it will enrich their lives; I will encourage them also to have a trade because I believe it will help them make a living. A maritime academy, I imagine, would satisfy both counts.

This just made me depressed.

My uncle lived out here, worked his ass off, basically lost everything to the 2nd wife. I drove him down to Staten Island in Nov of 04, his car had been stolen from Mays shipyard the week prior. Poor bastard died in his sleep the night he got home from crew change @ 54yrs old. Im not hanging around the boats long enough to join that club. It takes a different breed to work out here, i wouldnt push the industry on my children but there are 100’s of worse ways to make a living. A maritime college is the way to go, its hard coming up from the bottom anymore, and as an engineer its easier to go shoreside with a degree.

[QUOTE=Zep;157309]As a parent of a few young kids, this is something my wife and I talk about frequently. It all depends on what you want in life. My opinion if that if you do it right it can be a great way to set yourself up for a great life. If you do it wrong it totally sucks, spending half your life away from your family blows. What I will tell my kids when they get older if they want to get into this will be to go to a maritime college, come out and sail for a few years before you get married and start a family. Make a shit ton of money and most importantly, save your money. Then after a few years when you have a car payed for and no debt and enough saved to buy a house or at least put a good down payment down then try and get a job on a day boat or as a pilot or some other shore side job.
Having a family and having to leave them half the year sucks. It can be done and I know plenty of guys who have a great home life living 2-3 weeks/months away at a time. But in my opinion something always suffers. As many guys I know who have great home lives probably double that end in divorce or have fucked up kids.
It’s a great industry if you’re smart about it. The world isn’t like it was 20-30 yrs ago when our parents and grandparents did this job. If you wanna have a family it’s a great way to set yourself up but there are better ways to spend your years then half gone at sea. If you don’t want a family then it’s the best job in the world… Seriously.[/QUOTE]

Families get stressed and mariages get strained for lots of reasons. I"ve seen the mad rush of some of my friends in the morning getting the kids to day care and the parents off to work. The job losses, the income insecurity. The stress of a long comute, car problems. I’ve see huge arguments because a weekend was “ruined” etc.

The wife and kids adjusted to me beong gone. When I’m home I spent big non-stressed time with the kids. My wife always managed to have a network of friends and/or neighbors to help her. I"d lend a hand to my neighbors when I was home.

Mostly I’ve had work that rewards and promotions. The hawespipe road is definitely not the way to go however.

I personally would recommend this industry to my children, with two provisos: first, that said child be VERY selective in choosing a prospective mate; and second, that they are already in the industry before meeting prospective mate.

K.C. makes a very good point–most “normal” families out there have become two-income families, thus the mad rush he speaks of. Many places in the maritime industry pay enough to allow a single-income family, which is almost required given the stretches of time we’re away.

Don’t sleep on the commute thing either–sure, a fair few of us have to fly back-and-forth to our various jobs, but (maybe other than the drive to/from the airport), someone else is handling the transportation responsibility. And that transportation is at worst every two weeks. So you sit in a plane for ten hours every two weeks–if you have to commute an hour each way to work, you’re already coming out ahead. If you’re like me and work a ten week schedule, then you’re WAAAAYYYY ahead of the game commute-wise.

K.C. makes another good point. This industry tends to reward performers. Office politics tend to not be a huge thing, at least on the vessel.

At the absolute worst, go to a maritime academy, work for a few years (MSC is a good option here), put a nut away, then come ashore and worry about the family thing. This of course requires the discipline to NOT buy that hot-shit truck that’s going to be driven for three months a year.

[QUOTE=Chief Seadog;157304]I did to one of my kids and he pursued it. The others were not interested. This is an industry where you can go as far as your ambition carries you. At the same time it is best to go into it understanding this “normal” is not for everyone. Marriages and relationships are prone to suffer if you are not careful.[/QUOTE]
I am 50 thinking about getting into this field also I am married that what I am scared can this cost my marriage.