Winter is generally a slow time for maritime employment; it is a time when mariners are upgrading their credentials and positioning themselves for the spring employment opportunities. Here are some things that you can do to increase your employability.
Count your sea service experience and upgrade your credentials to the highest level of authority you are qualified for. The following upgrades are based on sea service experience alone, no exams or training are required.
- Increasing a tonnage limitation from 25 to 50, or 50 to 100 tons.
- Increasing a tonnage limitation from 150 to 200 tons.
- Increasing the authority of Mate 25, 50, 100, 150, or 200 tons to Master with the same tonnage limitation.
If you hold a license as OUPV, Mate, or Master less than 200 tons than you already have the qualifying experience for an Able Seaman rating. Getting an AB rating is one of the best options for employment that any mariner can do.
If the cost of getting an AB is out of your reach, or you do not have the qualifying experience than get an Ordinary Seaman rating. The OS does not require any qualifying experience, training course, or exams and will allow the mariner to work on seagoing vessels greater than 100 tons.
I will be happy to consult with you if you have questions on what you may be qualified for.