Post Grad Sailing Obligation

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by KingsPtMom2014, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. KingsPtMom2014

    KingsPtMom2014 Member

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    How many days per year are graduates required to be at sea while fulfilling their obligation?

    How many days does a "normal" merchant mariner generally spend at sea?

    Is the money really as good as they say? What would a newly graduated deckie expect to earn?

    Can a merchant mariner work out of pretty much any port?

    Curiosity is my only motive, btw. I know nothing of the life DS is set to embark on. I've asked him, but I figured some of y'all would know far more.
     
  2. MedB

    MedB Parent

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  3. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    This is from MARAD,"Employment as a merchant marine officer in the U.S. flag fleet consists of 150 days of sailing employment in a calendar year, or as determined by MARAD."

    A new graduate as third mate or third engineer can make anywhere from $45,000 to $110,000 a year depending on a variety of factors.

    The average mariner usually spends between 120-240 days a year at sea.

    Finally catching a ship depends also on a lot of factors. Some unions you can some unions you can't. If you sail non union then usually you can.
     
  4. BuckeyeGuy

    BuckeyeGuy Member

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    Can you elaborate on "union" vs non union? Is this "union" as in AFL/CIO type of union? Where can I find out more information about how the Midshipmen at USMMA go about deciding what to do, or is this done at the school during their 1C/2C/3C year?
     
  5. AMF

    AMF Member

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    Yes, a union as you describe above.

    My understanding, alot of networking begins even during plebe year. You meet alumni (often at alumni games if you play a sport). There are "sea fairs", where companies set up at the school telling 1C's why they should work there. But the big difference between KP and "normal" colleges is the connections and impressions you will make during sea year and internships. Of course there is the very powerful USMMA Alumini Association and Foundation, that support the M/N during their time at school. Their connections and guidance are immeasurable.
     
  6. BuckeyeGuy

    BuckeyeGuy Member

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    Thanks. Are the mids required to join a union or is this determined by the different ships/companies?
     
  7. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    Midshipman are not required to join a union. Graduated are also not required to join a union. The choice to join a union is dependent upon the company you decide to ship with upon graduation. There are three officer unions: (in no particular order)
    1. MM&P
    2. MEBA
    3. AMO.
    When you ship as a cadet during your sea year you will sail on union and non union ships. Your ATR will place you on a ship.
     
  8. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    Some companies have negotiated contracts with all three of the listed unions; Maersk Lines U.S. flag operation is an example..

    Masters, Mate and Pilots [MM&P] represents only deck officers. The Marine Engineers Beneficial Association [MEBA] represents engineering officers, although they do have a few contracts where they provide both deck and engine officers. The American Maritime Officers [AMO] represents both deck and engine officers. Senior Officers (Captain, Chief Mate, Chief Engineer and 1st Assistant Engineer) are union members, but are usually permanent company employees also; although there can be hiring lists like MM&P's company 'select list' or 'preferred list' for Chief Mates. The junior officers (2nd and 3rd Mates/Assistants) are normally 'casual' or 'off the board' employees. Those jobs are rotary in nature and, at least for the MM&P, are for periods of up to 120 days. A member who successfully bids for a job will be aboard for the length of time the job was dispatched for. At the end of that time the job will again be posted on the union hall board and they will be relieved by another union member. All shipping for rotary jobs is based on seniority and time on the beach since your last employment. In other words, how senior your book is (A, B, C, D or applicant in the MM&P or Group 1, 2 or 3 in the MEBA) and how old your shipping card is. The age of your card is basically the time since your last day of employment on your last ship. In the MM&P shipping cards are good for 1 year, then they expire (or 'roll over' as they say) and you have to re-register. I'm not sure how long the MEBA cards are good for, but I think it's 9 months. Advancing your book (at least for the MM&P and MEBA) is a long process that requires accumulating sea time, paying up initiation fees and in some cases providing the union with letters of recommendation from senior officers you have sailed with.
    I'm not real familiar with the AMO, except that I know they don't ship their jobs out of their union halls; but ship jobs using some form of phone dispatching system.

    Shipping out of MM&P or MEBA can be tough. MM&P Applicants and MEBA Group 3 members can sit around the hall for months before getting an offshore job. Sometimes you can scrape by doing night port relief (night mate/night engineer) work until something comes up, but it can be discouraging.. right now it's a little better for the engineers than the mates.

    You can get more information on the unions tankercaptain listed by visiting their websites linked below.
    MM&P - http://bridgedeck.org/
    MEBA - http://mebaunion.org/MEBA/
    AMO - http://www.amo-union.org/
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  9. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    AMO has a dispatching website that members can log in on a daily basis to see available jobs for the sea going position that they registered as and can then call dispatch to bid on the position. AMO has two seniority positions within the union; applicant and member. Book members have priority for jobs over applicants. You can earn your "book" pretty quickly. AMO members can obtain permanent positions as thirds and seconds. Rotations aboard AMO contracted ships can range from 60-120 days depending upon the contract and company. Some AMO companies have preference hiring with the union. This means that if you apply with a company and they want to hire you the company contact the union and ask for you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  10. BuckeyeGuy

    BuckeyeGuy Member

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    Tanker and Deep, Thank you for the info...this is what I was looking for!
     
  11. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    There is also SIU if you want to sail inland. Several tug/barge companies use SIU for Officers even though SIU is an unlicensed union for deep sea.

    i just talked to a '13 grad on Monday who is in training for his new job on a drilling rig as a DPO trainee. He said he is making 85K. I was making over 90K when I last sailed in a job that a new grad would be eligible for.
     
  12. kp13

    kp13 Member

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    The union that you pick / whether you pick to go union or not is really a decision you can make after sea, and get the feel. All the unions have different attitudes/feel/ and pros and cons. You'll figure out what is right for you.

    AMO worked best for me, as I don't see myself retiring from sailing, I can move with my AD wife and not have to travel to a hall, and the companies have right of selectivity for mariners. So once you get a job, and hopefully do a good job, the company can ask for you to come back to the vessel, and the job is more or less yours. This kind of set schedule provides a bit more reliability, a schedule for shipping, and you get to return to the same vessel, one you already know well and are comfortable with. To me these things were worth the slightly less paying contract of AMO Vs MMP/MEBA. I wouldn't want to sit in a hall wondering when my next job would be.

    As for Union affiliation, a lot see it as a necessity for shipping out. I've run into those that are Union to the bone, and those that are part of the union out of necessity, but don't necessarily do the whole Union thing. (if that makes any sense).

    As for the original question the Obligation includes the Reserve duty, sailing as noted before in this thread for at least 5 years, and keeping your license up to date for 6 years.
     

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