maritime jobs

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by Seven7, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. Seven7

    Seven7 New Member

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    As a 2011 KP graduate with a 3rd mates license I had hopes of finding a job sailing so I joined AMO. During my sea time, many of the officers I sailed with belonged to the Union and suggested this is the way to go. I have been calling the dispatcher every week for an opening. This week I was informed that there are some 2010 graduates still waiting for their first jobs. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions for me?
     
  2. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    Have you tried MSC..? My younger son has quite a few of his 2011 CMA classmates working there. One of them told him recently that MSC was going to be hiring more 3rd Mates in October.. I don't know how true that is but it might be worth a call. Also do you have a tankerman PIC? If you do you might want to try Standard Oil (Chevron Shipping) or OSG.

    I know it's a tough job market out there. My son got lucky and got out with AMO recently. Sometimes it's just being in the right place at the right time.. Good luck..
     
  3. KP2010

    KP2010 Member

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    As a 2010 graduate it took me almost a year to get a job and I was in MMP AND AMO. I finally have a sailing job now but it took forever to find one. Best piece of advice is to start making connections with that alumni network. Go to the alumni meetings and make contacts. Thats the only way to get a job when you have little to no experience (besides cadet shipping). Also I hate to say it but many of my classmates are sailing AB...
     
  4. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Lololololol! Maybe I didn't get the reference but my joke might be funnier if I am wrong. I didn't want to immediately reply " what is sailing AB .". So I googled it. :shake: Is this just an unfortunate acronym coincidence or did I get lucky by NOT asking?
    DS just declared deck ( not the major yet ) and A split.
     
  5. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    "AB" is short for Able Bodied Seaman. It is an unlicensed rating above Ordinary Seaman. It is a tough job market out there on US flag vessels. There are jobs in the "oil patch", but even those can be hard to get. Most deep water supply, construction and drilling vessels are "Dynamically Positioned" (DP) and there is further training above Third Mate to get a DP Operator's job.

    This turn was happening back when I got out of school. I spent a year shipping out of the MEBA hall in San Francisco and got VERY lucky to land 90 days on a container ship, transit to the East Coast and then a northern Europe run. Nothing else came up the next year, so in August, I took a job with Crowley running tugs from Louisiana to the Caribbean. I moved to ITB/ATBs from there.

    I do know that there are a lot of ITB/ATBs being built (Integrated Tug Barge/Articulated Tug Barge) to meet Jones Act intercoastal trade and double hull requirements. I would imagine that the jobs are pretty competitive, though. As much as I liked going to sea, I am happy in my mostly shoreside work.

    My last sailing gig was not what I wanted, but I took it since the good Chief Engineer's berth that I had was sold out from under me after four years. Without warning. It made coming ashore some 20 years ago somewhat easier. In an unusual turn, my new shore side job actually paid more that what my last sailing job did. Of course, that is largely a reflection on how poor my last sailing job was; but you take what you can.

    There is work out there. Just be open to work that may not be just exactly what you may want and work from there. I know that when I went to work for Crowley, I just figured that working on tugs was temporary, since it was below me. I mean, I am a deep sea mariner, after all. I got both an attitude adjustment AND an education that I will never forget or regret. My time on ocean tugs will always be fondly remembered. Yeah, even the tough times of 24 hour + days keeping the machinery together until the next port, only to spend even more time getting the permanent repairs done. But I was a kid and full of energy.
     
  6. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    [FONT=&quot]
    this is probably more information than you will need, but here goes..[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]AB stands for Able Bodied Seaman.. There are two types commonly referred to as ‘blue ticket’ AB (limited) and ‘green ticket’ AB (unlimited). A ‘blue ticket’ AB has served at least 18 months in the deck department and passed the Coast Guard AB’s exam. A ‘blue ticket’ AB can become a ‘green ticket’ AB by accumulating three years sea time. All Maritime school students are ‘green ticket’ AB’s by virtue of their graduation and one year cadet sea time. Back in the day we used to have to pass the AB written and practical exam too; I'm not sure if cadets still have to do that. Also all unlimited deck licensed mariners have their documents ‘endorsed’ for ‘any unlicensed rating in the deck department’.[/FONT]
     
  7. deepsea

    deepsea Member

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    My first shipping job (I went sailboat racing for the summer and fall after graduation) was as Ordinary Seaman cleaning heads on a tugboat, and not too happy about it. I worked hard, made an impression with the company, and within a month I was sailing 3rd mate, and sailed as Chief Mate on ship going around the world before I was 24...... I wouldn't trade the time sailing as OS for anything- many time later as Chief Mate I would have deckhands tell me they wouldn't respect me because I came from an Academy and had never "done their job." Never had an issue after I showed them my OS discharges. Sometimes "taking what you can get" really works out for the best.
     
  8. sprog

    sprog Member

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    How common of an experience is this? Both now and in years past?
     
  9. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    Not as uncommon as you might think. I sailed AB on a Standard Oil tanker right out of school. As a matter of fact, Standard Oil had a policy at the time that you had to start in the 'focsle' before they would move you up 'topside'.. I know a couple of guys that waited over a year before they were promoted. I didn't hang around there that long before I quit and went to the MM&P where I finally got out on my license.
     
  10. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    Us old 'school ship' guys never had that problem.. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  11. Dave'sMom

    Dave'sMom Member

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    Our DS got lucky and landed a 45 day relief on a RoRo ship which is turning into many more than 45 days. He joined MMP in July and his shipping card was about 2 months old. While waiting on a sailing job he was going into the union hall and getting Night Mate jobs, about 1 to 2 a week which is ok money.
    Best advice: be patient. If you decide to go the union path, with MMP you must show up at the halls and be persistent. When you are an Applicant you must take what you can get, remember Plebe year? Well here you are again!:shake: The jobs are there, it's a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
    My husband joined MMP in 1978 after graduation and is now sailing as Captain on a Maersk ship.
     
  12. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    Sound advice.. also once you have your 2nd Mates license or higher things get a whole lot easier.. I've seen quite a few 'open' 2nd Mate and relief Chief Mates jobs in the SF/Oakland MM&P hall in the last few months. Night mating is okay.. My son was doing 1 to 2 night jobs a week. Although it's been getting tougher because a bunch of 'A' cards recently showed up at the Oakland hall to look for work.:frown:
     
  13. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Would MSC be a good place to go as a 3rd? Then, if you get your 2nd while sailing for them, try the unions? Is that a possibility?

    I ask purely out of academic interest, as I'm not a candidate or anything.
     
  14. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    That's the advice I gave my son. The advantage to sailing MSC is that you'll get a lot of seatime with them. My son knows a kid who's a year ahead of him that just got through doing over 430 straight days of seatime on one of their fast combat support ships.. Hopefully besides getting his 2nd Mates 'ticket' he still has his sanity..:eek:
    My son was unable to act on my advice because he didn't get hired by MSC. He has since gotten out with the AMO and is on his way.. It took 5 months but he was persistent and just a little lucky...
     
  15. ssdmmf

    ssdmmf Member

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    been there

    My advice is to go to the union office in person as soon as you can- husband was a district 1 amo member after graduation- sailed with multiple companies as 3rd and second while there. MEBA had closed books for many years, which is why he went amo. When he heard MEBA had opened their books to new/applicant members he jumped on board ( nearest offices are jersey and baltimore) Take any open board job you can as an applicant member- you want to get as many days as you can on the books. Jobs are given out in the hall based on your book and time since last sailing. (A group 1 guy that sailed out 3 months ago beats out a group 3 guy that has not sailed for a year.Jobs are called into the hall closest to where the engineer is getting off.If no one is in the local hall with the experience/license needed, the job goes open board which means it goes out to the other halls.The beginning is rough and luck has a lot to do with getting the first few jobs. DS still has 2 years left at KP (finishing his first sea year assignment as we speak) I would give him the same advice. Good luck.
     
  16. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    A new 3/M out of the academy isn't able to sail as mate on a towing vessel. They need an additional endorsement for that. When the economy was good companies would hire people to train for the endorsement and carry them as an extra man. These days, they will hire you as an AB and make you do the training in your free time which can easily take up to a year depending on what the workload for your boat is.

    There is a lot of animosity towards academy grads in the towing industry. I have heard the same things as deepsea. I don't know what it's like to do their job, you can't learn seamanship "from a book", all academy grads lack common sense and my particular favorite that I bought my license and didn't earn it.
     
  17. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    I don't know if there is a lot of animosity, but there is some and I think that there always has been. Remember "Action on the North Atlantic"?

    I remember back when I started with Crowley and was still sailing as a "Trainee Engineer". They put me with one Engineer that supposedly hated anyone from any of the academies. He was from Ohio and had never sailed on anything but tugs. I was warned that I wouldn't last a trip. Well, it ended up that we had a competition down in the engine room to see who could get it cleaned up and painted the best, while we both also made sure that the equipment was in the best shape. We ended up sailing together for several trips and became pretty good friends. Once he saw that I was willing to get into the bilges and go head to head doing the crappy jobs, he saw me in a whole different light.

    Flash forward several years and I had been sailing Chief on an ITB/ATB for a bit. The office sent down a new deck hand. After a few weeks, he came up to me and asked my how I got to sail as Chief at such a young age (I was 25 at the time). I told him that I went to KP. His remark was, "No you didn't". I just left it at that.

    There can certainly be a bias against KPers and other acacemy grads onboard vessels, especially in the oil patch in the Gulf of Mexico. This bias lies mostly with the crew, since most of them are hawsepipers and on deck, the mates and captains have limited licenses. I know of some captains that can't read or write, yet have limited tonnage licenses and sail.
     
  18. Sea Faring Moose Mom

    Sea Faring Moose Mom Member

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    WOW

    After all this time of being on the Forum, this is the most interesting thread EVER!!!!

    There are 'politics' in every known job on this planet. I have found that the people that 'rise above' are the people that are genuine and trained well.

    Thank you for all of the insight that you 'seasoned vet's' of the Sea have offered. I have shared this thread with my DD that graduated in June, 2011. Now at her first duty station in the US Navy she is using and finding this thread interesting and to be true.

    Thank you again......Veteran's of the Sea. :thumb:
     
  19. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    The one piece of advice I can give to deckies is to make sure you get your Tankerman PIC endorsement prior to graduation. I joined AMO the day of graduation and had a job a few weeks later. Now, granted the shipping industry has changed a little bit since Jun of 2001, but if you don't have the Tankerman endorsement you are shutting yourself out of quite a few jobs.
     

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