Mobility in the Maritime Industry

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by 2014Parent, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. 2014Parent

    2014Parent New Member

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    DS graduated last summer. He loved the Academy, though it was hard for him for the first 2.5 years. He is currently working for MSC. Theoretically he's four months on, one month off. The assignments are a little longer in reality. He loves the work and the money's good.

    However, he's got a girl at home (FL) and strong ties. He's hoping to transition to something that doesn't keep him away so long. I know nothing of the industry. How would those of you who know the business advise him? He's close to becoming a 2nd mate, if that matters. Deckie, btw. Thanks.
     
  2. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Since nobody has responded yet I'll jump in with the disclaimer that I last sailed several years ago.
    Given the current state of affairs for shoreside job placement waivers (someone please correct me if things have become easier) he will have a tough time getting MARAD to approve a shore job during the first five years of post-graduate work; however, this doesn't mean he can't find a better job scheduling wise. If he can come ashore then obviously that would give him the most time at home. Other options would be to leave MSC and get a job through one of the unions or a company owned vessel. These usually have more regular intervals than what I remember from MSC. When I sailed I had a schedule that was essentially 3-4mos on, 3-4mos off. Other options would be jobs such as Pilots associations when he meets the job requirements for whatever Pilot's association he is interested in (and fulfills whatever political-type games many require).

    He will have a good grasp on what is out there already I bet, so I doubt I'm going to give him any earth shattering advice.
     
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  3. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    If he is still interested in going to sea, I recommend that once he has gotten his 2nd Mates license, quit MSC and go to MM&P [Masters, Mates and Pilots Union].. Shipping out of the hall right now is pretty good for applicants, especially if they have better than a 3rd Mate license. My younger son worked elsewhere [not MSC] before he upgraded. Shortly after he got his 2nds he went to MM&P and he's now been with them for about a year and a half. During that time he has gotten two 120 day 2nd Mates jobs and a 30 day relief 2nd mates job. He loves it, particularly the time off and he almost has enough time to take his Master/Chief Mate test. Most MM&P contracts pay 26~28 per 30 days worked in vacation. Time off at MSC has always been an issue going back to when I got out of school in the mid '70's.. That's why most people end up quitting them..
     
  4. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Keeping a "normal" relationship and going to sea are certainly possible, but much more difficult than most other industries. . . . Combined with the time away at sea, there are also vagaries of the shipping industry in general. Working in the oil patch can offer a bit more of an acceptable time table (some have equal time on and off, generally in two to four week rotations), but the work is far different from MSC or commercial shipping. My time at sea ranged from sailing out of the MEBA hall to working on ocean tugs to ATBs. I was able to stay away from the oil patch, but back then, the pay was really not that good. I eventually came ashore a year after I got married and my son was born. I was also laid off from a job where I had been sailing as Chief Engineer for many years and there were little immediate options available; but this was long after any of my obligations to sail were met.
     
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  5. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    From what I see for my son and his friends he can still finish his sailing commitment with a better, more regular schedule by getting his 2nd Mates and 1600 GT Masters tickets and then transition to something in the offshore oil industry, especially if he gets his DP cert then a 30/45 day on 30/45 day off rotation.
     
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  6. 420sailor

    420sailor Member

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    Use the alumni association as a resource. They helped a grad last year get a ferry job in the port of NY. I was amazed he got the job and even further amazed that the waiver was approved.
     

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