Deck jobs after graduation

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by Sportsmom4, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. Sportsmom4

    Sportsmom4 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    2
    My son has received an appointment and is trying to come to a final decision. If there are any deck majors employed in the industry who graduated within the last 3 years or so, would you kindly share what you are doing and where? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    160
    The majority of my non-seagoing-deck-fellow-graduates-that-are-still-in-the-maritime-industry are harbor pilots. After that it is logistics, chartering, oil trading, vessel/fleet operations, maritime education/training and marine insurance.

    Emphasis on still-in-the-maritime-industry
     
  3. Sportsmom4

    Sportsmom4 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yes, he is interested in sea-going positions as well.
     
  4. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15'

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    84
    I sent you a PM. I'm graduated in 2015 and I'm sailing deep sea.
     
  5. Mman5247

    Mman5247 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    34
    I doubt if there are many young grads following these message boards. I think it's mostly parents and older alumni. Deck majors are working on all different kinds of vessels, if they didn't go active duty. I don't know anyone who is unemployed, unless by choice. Is that your concern? The alumni association might have survey information.
     
  6. cmakin

    cmakin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    74
    Whatever the current situation is now, I can pretty much guarantee that it will be different 4 years from now. . . I CAN say that he will probably have little problem finding a berth on a vessel. That said, as noted above, there are lots of other options available. Is he committed to being a deckie? As an engineer, I like to feel that there are more options, but really, they are about the same for both disciplines, it all depends on the resourcefulness of the person. Some of the deckies in my class are pilots, some are still sailing as Master or Chief Mate, some are marine surveyors. . . vetting inspectors. . . not sure that there are many living under an overpass. . . .
     
    KP Eng likes this.
  7. golfindad

    golfindad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    13
    I will piggy back on cmakin. I am not a grad of USMMA, but (I did sleep in a holiday inn express last night. lol.) I do run into graduates a lot, both on shore and out at sea, and have been on the outside looking in, at their golf tournaments, and such, for the 12-13 years or so they have been having them. From the outside looking in, it just seems that if you are going to sea, either blue or brown water, there are spots for deck and engine. On shore, it seems that there would be more portability for the engine rather than the deck. The engine guys I have seen are in a lot of different areas, from power plants, new energy, to propulsion methods, etc, as well as design, manufacture, shipyard, construction. The deck guys I have seen are kind of situated to surveyors (some types), insurance, brokers, lawyers.

    Again, just my uneducated two cents. cmakin, I will send a pm whenever I get to the point I am allowed to.
     
  8. cmakin

    cmakin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    74

    While I am an engineer, I am in the insurance adjusting biz, primarily energy. Have been doing this for over 18 years. . .
     
  9. Sportsmom4

    Sportsmom4 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thanks to all for the responses. My son has been following them. For someone not familiar with the industry, it isn't clear where exactly the deck major leads other than deep water (which is a perfectly fine option). Would anyone care to guess the percentage of grads that end up on cargo ships to distant ports vs those that end up on smaller ships on one of the US coasts (including the Gulf of Mexico) or the Great Lakes? Thanks again for sharing your knowledge with us!
     
  10. Mman5247

    Mman5247 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    34
    I don't think it's "end up" as much as their choice given many factors.
     
  11. cmakin

    cmakin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    74
    Again, it all depends. . . .percentages aside, what is going on with the US Flag fleet is a factor. . . MSC (Military Sealift Command, the other is a European container shipping company) is almost always hiring officers, but hitches are long. . . doesn't really matter to a young, unattached person. Coastwise tugs, especially ATBs are a growing part of the US fleet these days, and there are also hawser boats. I sailed for quite a few years as engineer on both types. There is also the oil patch. It is depressed right now because of the low crude prices and there will have to be a pretty good increase before deep water projects start spooling up. Four years? Yeah, that might be good timing. Not quite the adventurous work of hauling cargo to foreign ports, but good paying work. Those deep sea, exotic port jobs are few, but a persistent young man can make things happen by being a pest at the union hall.. . . . or sail foreign flag, too. . .I have enjoyed my career since graduation immensely. My career is very different from anyone that is NOT in this industry and hard for them to understand. Even now, I don't bat an eye if I get a call and have to head out somewhere far away for an inexact amount of time. . . offshore or on. Part of the gig. What most people think of as trips of a lifetime are just another working day for me. . . . how anyone can spend a lifetime in an office is beyond me. . .
     
  12. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    160
    Deep Sea ships and jobs are both very limited. Some are company gigs and some are union gigs. Each has its pros and cons. I personally wouldn’t sail for MSC. Reliefs can be overdue/non-existent/unpredictable and hitches can be waaaaaay longer than you expected. A lot of sea time is great but if you want any kind of stability, stay away. Foreign flag is an option. I have classmates who are Masters on foreign flagged ships. Officer pay is lower than US flagged but isn’t horrible for a new grad.

    Other than deep sea, the sea-going maritime industry is a regional animal (except for Kirby). Sailing inland on the east coast is different than the west coast which is different than the gulf.

    Great Lakes Maritime has a leg up on deck jobs on the lakes since they come out of school with their GL Pilotage.

    Academy grads have historically been sparse on tugs (and not always welcome) but with the proliferation of ATBs (both in size and number), and the greater regulatory/SMS/paperwork requirements, tug companies have reached out to Academy grads more.

    Supply Boats and Drilling Rigs are probably the best money and schedule available for a new grad, but the industry can be a roller coaster. I know a lot guys out of work right now during the down turn. At some point it will come back with a vengeance for a few years and then another down turn, then … you get the picture.

    I think an engineer has an easier time branching out from the maritime industry on shore than a deckie does. Doesn’t mean a deckie can’t do it, it just takes a more concerted effort because non-maritime companies won’t necessarily understand what you did or what you can do for them. Very similar to military transitioning to civilian.
     
    cmakin likes this.
  13. cmakin

    cmakin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    74
    [QUOTE="KPEngineer, post: 486174, member: 4631

    Academy grads have historically been sparse on tugs (and not always welcome) but with the proliferation of ATBs (both in size and number), and the greater regulatory/SMS/paperwork requirements, tug companies have reached out to Academy grads more.

    [/QUOTE]

    Agreed. Crowley was one of the companies that recruited hard at School, but when I started with them a year after graduation, of the 10 to 20 that started, only one was left a year later. A classmate started with my at the same time and was gone after one or two voyages. It is hard work and yes, there is some pushback for any Academy grad on a tug and I found that on string boats and ATBs, but when I was sailing, ATBs were in the infancy and largely outnumbered by string boats. I didn't worry much. I just let my work speak for itself and rarely had any problem with even the worst Academy kid hater after a hitch. . . . Of course my experience is pretty old now. I would say that there are almost as many, if not more ATBs out there now than string boats. And yes, the regulatory requirements are making employers look more to Academy grads. . .but the work is still hard and the hours are long. And this is just part of the dynamic I was referring to. I remember when ITBs were the rage, but they were regulated out of existence and the ATBs, a similar but different animal began to take their place. Who knows what other changes are in store. But in any industry, there are no guarantees. . . .I just go back to say what I have alluded to above. How boring do you want your life to be?
     
    PTY2020mom likes this.
  14. KP Eng

    KP Eng Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    67
    Do tugs have sufficient HP for an Academy guy to upgrade his Unlimited 3rd? I was under the impression that those guys were topped out as DDEs.
     
  15. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    160
    You are supposed to be able to get a DDE 4000HP right out of KP just by asking for it. With six months sea time as QMED and/or equivalent level of responsibility you can upgrade to DDE AHP. Good luck with that though, the NMC don't know how to read/understand their own Marine Safety Manual.

    For hawespipers getting a DDE, HP of vessel served on is irrelevant. The difference between DDE1000/4000/AHP is all based on sea service time.

    Once you get an Unl. A/E license you only need 4000 HP or over to upgrade 3A/E to 2A/E to 1AE without receiving a HP limitation. You can go all the way up to 1A/E on any vessel over 100tons.

    With the number of guys sailing tugs/OSVs these days, KP is doing graduates a disservice if they do not get them the Ltd. licenses in addition to the U/L. My boss didn't care that I upgraded to 2A/E but when I said I had a C/E Ltd his ears perked up. Even a DDE AHP can be more valuable than a 2A/E AHP.

    So to actually answer your question ... the HP of the vessel is irrelevant to just be able to upgrade from 3A/E to 2A/E.
     
  16. cmakin

    cmakin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    74
    Yeah, in some ways, I believe that KP should pay more emphasis on the "smaller" vessels. I know that licensing has changed immeasurably since my days, but way back when, 4,000HP was all I needed to have that valuable sea time for upgrading. Most ocean tugs are that or more.
     

Share This Page