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Thread: DPO - how to start?

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    DPWannabe is offline gCaptain Greenhorn
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    Hello


    I have been reading this forum and other sites about DP jobs and I'm confused. I am a computer science graduate. I found DP operators to be better paid than software engineers while working much less time. Is that really true? I am thinking now about moving to this profession. Please tell me what is the approximately salary a DPO can earn? Is it difficult for someone like me to get into it?
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    We have a computer science grad come to us from IBM and he seems to be doing an excellent job. Getting hired is all about contacting the recruiters at the right time. Staying on is all about opening your up to learn a new profession. The fatal flaw I see some make is coming into a DP room with a degree like yours and being too vocal about your abilities. You background will serve you well 2+ years down the road but your primary goal upon arrival should be to learn how WE do things.
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    DPWannabe is offline gCaptain Greenhorn
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    I don't mind learning. I know that I am a*total greenhorn*right now and I have to learn a*completely new profession. That's not a problem, I am willing to learn. What I am most interested*in is,*is*this profession really so lucrative that I should resign from my current job and launch myself into seafaring?


    I don't mind long periods*at sea.*In fact I*find it better than evenings and weekends in office when the system I code doesn't work because there is some bug in a component created by someone else and*I have to stay until I find that bug.


    In fact I know a little this profession since some members*of my family work on bulk cargo and container ships. The pay is good, comparable to what a good software developer gets. Before college I considered seafaring but computers seemed better then. Now I see that seafaring can be a really cool job and even better paid than what I chose.


    I would like to know the opinion from the IBM guy as well. This is a great company. After IBM you can*get very good jobs in IT. Everyone*would be impressed if I had such an experience. Why did the guy choose*DP?*
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    Hey Wanabe, these links should answer your questions:


    Hawsepiper Jobs and Pay


    Edison Chouest Jobs





    I suspect he joined for the same reasons you're considering moving from IT to a life at sea? He is a member of this forum... so I'll let him answer you directly.*
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    DPWannabe is offline gCaptain Greenhorn
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    Thanks for the links, John.


    I would really like to know the opinion of the IBM guy.


    So, how to start this?*Which*courses should I go? Can I go directly for a DPO assistant, JDPO or*DPO*position or should I get some sea experience first as an ordinary seaman?


    Thanks for your inputs.
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    DPWannabe-What kind of money are you thinking you would get paid?* I do not know much about the rigs or drillships.* I know they have some unlicensed DPO's working, but in my opinion not having a Coast Guard license narrows the number of companies that would hire you.* All DPO's should have a Coast Guard license.* I am not debating whether this makes you a better DPO or not, I am just saying this is the way it should be.* If you can stand possibly breaking out and working as an OS and then AB and then Mate.* That would be my suggestion.* The deal Transocean/Santa Fe with their DPO's seems pretty damn good too.* I am just unsure what their willingness to hire someone to be DPO with no prior MARINE experience at all.* There are only two weeks of classroom training involved in being a DPO.* You complete the basic DP class.* Then return to your vessel for at least 30 days of supervised training during which time you complete seagoing familiarization training. i.e. setting the vessel up on DP, alarm monitoring, reference systems, power failure, etc.* After being signed off on each level you attend the advanced DP class. Then you return to the vessel and complete I believe 180 days then send your book in to the Nautical institue and BAM!!! You are a DPO.* Not much to it.* Ridiculous, but that's it.* If you were to go OS to AB to Mate to Master, depending on type of licensing you are looking at about a 6-10 year road respectively to get to the top of the licensing scheme.* That is being ultra aggressive.* One screw up, and I mean one screw up and you are history.* I know that is being melodramatic, but sometimes there is a lot at stake.* Either way you go, if you are going to want to make this a career you WILL have to get a license of some sort.* If you do this at a minimum you will have to get your MMD (Merchant Mariners Document)* and a TWIC (Transportation Workers Identification Credential).* So you could start there.* Talk to some companies.* This should get you started.* You will find out the more questions you ask, the more questions you will have.
    There are those who can and there are those who will, which one will you be today?
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    guest is offline Old Salt Greenhorn
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    <strong>Guest:</strong>

    Lee, you should be a preacher!!!! Hallelujah, praise jesus!! Lee has spoken. A guy with a four year degree, and your suggestion is to start out as an OS...LOL. DPwannabe,just be lucky that you're not a astronaut 'cause Lee would have you in the galley roll'n up napkins.
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    guest is offline Old Salt Greenhorn
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    <strong>Guest:</strong>

    " I am just unsure what their willingness to hire someone to be DPO with no prior MARINE experience at all."* for better or for worse the answer is Pretty High
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    DPWannabe is offline gCaptain Greenhorn
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    Thanks for the inputs guys.


    So being a DPO is not as easy as it seems. Ok, I have to think about it again.


    I am just curious how the IBM guy mentioned earlier by John got into the DP world. Was he an OS too for a couple of years?


    We can write some sort of FAQ for people who want to start seafaring. I thnik*Capt. Lee's information about licensing and career levels*can be very valuable for newbies (N.U.Bs?).
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    guest is offline Old Salt Greenhorn
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    <strong>Guest:</strong>


    N.U.B. synopsis,


    From start to finish if one really applies oneself it can be done in 10 years from bottom to top [Unlimited Master or Unlimited Chief]. You can spend 4 years in a maritime school and come out as 3rd engineer/3rd mate or you can go the hawsepipe route and start at the bottom, studying on your own and passing the exams as you qualify for them. The USA is the only country I know of with a "limited" license which will allow you to progress quickly to a good paying job in a few years with relatively little formal training; this can be a good way to go and you can move up from there. So the bottom line is; if you want to make a career at sea you should be prepared to make a long term commitment and be willing to put forth quite a bit of effort. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it!* No one is going to feed you everything you need to know with a spoon but most are willing to help you along the way. We need committed professionals badly and the demand is going to go up as global trade increases.


    Guest Engineer*
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    In Capt. Lee's post: "Not much to it.* Ridiculous, but that's it."* Well the part he left out is getting a company to agree to hire you as an "OJT DPO" and pay for that schooling and pay you while you are not filling your own slot on the watchbill but rather under instruction on a qualified DPO's watch.* Am I correct??


    I've got a Master 1600grt/3000itc, Second Mate AGT, both Upon Oceans.* I'm willing to pay for the training, but that still doesn't make me a qualified DPO and that is what the job announcements are ALWAYS asking for.* As I search and search for jobs more and more I see companies wanting their Masters/Mates to be DPOs.* I read something about future cargo ships*and tankers having DP capability so as to do position moves up to and away from the pier and on Discovery Channel I see that the new Virginia Class Fast Attack Submarine has DP - in 3 dimensions!* Probably why the Navy converted all the Submarine Quartermasters to Electronic Techs - sort of like having an unlicensed DPO in the civilian world.


    Anyone who knows a drillship company willing to throw me a bone, please share.
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    Jeffrox-* I was referring to the classroom training to become a DPO.* The real training is on the vessel.* I totally agree with you and have no idea why a company would want to hire someone not only with no DP experience, but no experience being a mariner.*





    Guest-Yes I do suggest that he start as an OS even with a degree.* I think he may have the potential to be a great DPO, but I think (Which my opinion counts for crap.* I know that) he would have a better career path if he were to have or be willing to get a USCG license.* That's all.* If he wants to be a DPO cool.* I feel like being a DPO without licensing is like being a cook.* No where else to go.* OK I am a DPO and welcome to the next 30-40 years of my life as a DPO, until he gets outsourced to a professional*indian DPO who has a PHD in electronics and works for 50 bucks a days.
    There are those who can and there are those who will, which one will you be today?
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