How Long Does It Take, What Degree Do You Need, and More.
What degree do you need
One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become Ship and Boat Captains or what courses do I need to take.
We also asked Ship and Boat Captains what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.
|Marine Science or Merchant Marine Officer|
Most Ship and Boat Captains have a bachelor’s degree from a merchant marine academy. The academy programs offer a bachelor’s degree and a Merchant Marine Credential (MMC) with an endorsement as a third mate or third assistant engineer. Graduates of these programs can also choose to receive a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Merchant Marine Reserve, or U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. Non-officers, such as sailors or marine oilers, usually do not need a degree.
Become a Ship and Boat Captain
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How hard is it
You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be a Ship and Boat Captain. For example, an electrician must complete three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Careers in this difficulty category will usually need 1 or 2 years of on-the-job training and informal training with experienced workers. These careers usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Similar careers include hydroelectric production managers, travel agents, electricians, court reporters, and medical assistants.
License and certifications
All mariners working on ships with U.S. flags must have a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) from the Transportation Security Administration. Most mariners must also have a Merchant Marine Credential (MMC). To move up each step of the occupation ladder, from third mate/third assistant engineer to second to first and then to captain or chief engineer, requires 365 days of experience at the previous level. A second mate or second assistant engineer who wants to move to first mate/first assistant engineer also must complete a 12-week training course and pass an exam.
We asked other Ship and Boat Captains if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.
Just like any other job, you will need certain know-hows to excel at your job. Ship and Boat Captains are generally very knowledgeable in these 5 key areas.
operate industrial trucks or tractors equipped to move materials around a warehouse, storage yard, factory, construction site, or similar location.
inspect aircraft, maintenance procedures, air navigational aids, air traffic controls, and communications equipment to ensure conformance with Federal safety regulations.
feed materials into or remove materials from machines or equipment that is automatic or tended by other workers.
control or tend conveyors or conveyor systems that move materials or products to and from stockpiles, processing stations, departments, or vehicles. May control speed and routing of materials or products.
operate small motor-driven boats. May assist in navigational activities.
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