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Merchant Marine Jobs – 101 (or so) Tips To Find A Dream Job At Sea

John Konrad
Total Views: 208
August 7, 2009

Inbound Ship - OneEighteen
Inbound Ship - OneEighteen

Over the past few months the gCaptain team has been working hard to put together the internet’s best Merchant Marine Jobs Board and, after finally launching it to the public in June, we have received great feedback from both job seekers and employers looking to hire.  We are not maritime recruiters, therefore, the launch of the job board was no easy task or spur of the moment idea.  Countless hours of brainstorming, research, programming and networking was involved prior to its launch and I thought I would share some of the things we’ve discovered along the way.

Here are 101 ways to advance your nautical career and find the next job in the Merchant Marine:

The single best way to climb the ladder is to gain experience and invest in education. To this end… Get a degree from a maritime academy, even the average joe on a tight budget has options.

Or assure you have the prerequisites for the next job and learn the skills you need by advancing your level of knowledge at a maritime training institute.

Advance from a limited to unlimited license.

Speed-up your license advancement from day-for-day to time-and-a-half.

Let someone else find you the perfect job. Get a maritime headhunter to find you the perfect shoreside or international job or  US domestic sailing gig.

Find out how the current economic crisis is effecting the domestic or global maritime employment conditions.

Stay connected with your fellow merchant mariners, they always have the first scoop on top jobs, by joining the conversation on a maritime forum or social media group.

Read the job posting sections of marine engineeringmaritime forums.

Learn about social media for maritime professionals then post a profile on LinkedIn, the site deemed Facebook for professionals.

Join a LinkedIn group aimed at shoreside professionals, mariners or even industry niches like Dynamic Positioning Operators.

Find maritime job groups and discussions on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Sound smart at your interview by staying up to date on the latest maritime news. Start my subscribing to a daily news clippings & weekly editorial newsletter, listen to a maritime podcast or two (or watch one!) and a wide variety of maritime blogs.

Feel like you  are Missing The Drillship Goldrush? Learn how to get a Dynamic Positioning Certificate then visit RigZone’s career center to find your first offshore job.

Get the real training you need by ignoring the new build projects and go sail a rust bucket.

Find out if the grass is really greener…. ask your buddy at a competing company for a copy of their payscale or find it online.

Find out if joining a maritime union, government sailing job or local government service job is right for you.

Read a book and find out… Is the hawsepipe is still a career option?

Secured an interview get tips on how to convert it to a job offer (or not) and be sure to keep your sense of humor.

Keep an eye out for the latest postings on the internets’ various maritime job boards:



Job Boards






Research Vessels

Job Boards



All Of The Above

gCaptain Job Board

Request more face-to-face meetings, step-up job search activity, be flexible, consider relocating, scour the hidden job market, stay away from the internet (how did that get in here?) and use social networking. Here’s how.

Create a resume that will really stand out! Make sure to edit it like a professional,

Increase your experience while making the planet a better place. Gain experience and sea time aboard a safe or tad more risky volunteer ship.

Find out if any of that US Navy sea-time can be used for your next license advancement or if you can transition from the Navy to the offshore industry.

Get ready for a shore-side job… the good and bad in getting a graduate degree. If your ship has internet access, why not do it online?

Start a blog while still a cadet and interview your future boss’ boss’ boss’…. boss.

Pursue It! Get some life changing experience on a tall ship.

Avoid the worst maritime jobs in history and stay clear of the dirty deck and dirtier engine jobs.

Once you get the dream job, be sure your prepared with the right gear…. even if your packing for the Bering Sea. Then be sure to watch out for the obligatory greenhorn pranks.

Well, was that 101 Merchant Marine job tips or did I miss a few links? If so, help fill in the blanks by sharing your tips in the comment section below.

This post was brought to you today by gCaptain’s all new Maritime Job Board.

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