Everything You Need to Know About Merchant Seaman Jobs

So you’re looking for a change in career and want to learn more about merchant seaman jobs. Well, you’ve come to the right place! Complete Logistical Services places hundreds of qualified professionals in merchant seamen positions every year. If you are looking for new adventures and think a job that enables you to travel on the ocean is your next career step, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about merchant seaman jobs!

What is a Merchant Seaman?

A merchant seaman is a seafaring professional who is a member of the merchant marine. These seaman work on a ship typically involved in trading goods. This diverse industry encompasses positions everywhere from engineering to navigation to sanitation. Because this industry is so diverse, each position requires different levels of experience and certifications. Some can be learned on-site, and others require years of education and training.

How to Become A Merchant Seaman

There are a few steps you can take if you’ve decided to become a merchant mariner. While each position requires different levels of experience and education, the following are typically all required for a merchant seaman position:

  • Apply for a TWIC. A Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) is an important credential issued by the United States Transportation Security Administration. It is required by many professionals whose positions afford them access to secure maritime facilities. Click to learn more.
  • Drug Screening and Physical. Many maritime jobs require physical labor and the ability to stand, kneel, and bend for prolonged periods. They also require the applicant to be drug-free.
  • Apply for an MMC. A Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) is a credential issued by the United States Coast Guard. It is a certification that allows you to work in the shipboard merchant marine industry.
  • Once you determine the type of job you are interested in pursuing, you can join an apprentice program to develop your skills.

Types of Mariners – Find Your Perfect Job

There are various job types that fall under the umbrella of “mariner.” The following are a few of the jobs you can find on the Complete Logistical Services “Find Jobs” page.

  • Ordinary Seamen, Able Bodied Seamen, or Deckhands. All three of these options perform vessel operation and maintenance duties. Ordinary seaman are new deckhands who assist with painting, cleaning, loading, and more. Able Bodied Seamen are more experienced and perform more complicated tasks. The only areas in which these professionals do not work are in the engine room or with the motor.
  • Ship Engineers. Engineers are responsible for working on a vessel’s propulsion & electrical systems. They are required to maintain the ship’s engine, pumps, generators, and other equipment. Responsibilities include maintenance checks, inventory, maintaining supplies, and refueling.
  • Captains or Masters. The captain is in command of a vessel and is in charge of its operations. These professionals operate and steer the ship, direct crew members, maintain safety protocols, supervise loading, and maintain official logs and records.
  • Mates and Officers of the watch. When the captain is off duty, the mates and officers are responsible for the operations of the vessel. There are different levels of mates. The chief mate is responsible for passengers and cargo, while the second and third mates take care of navigation and safety.
  • Marine QMEDs & Oilers. These important workers take care of the engine room. Their responsibilities include lubricating shafts and bearings, gears, reading temperatures, performing maintenance, and repairing machinery.

What is a Merchant Seaman Salary?

Merchant seaman salaries vary based upon the industry. According to the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies, the median salary of a merchant marine is approximately $55,000 annually. However, salaries can range anywhere from $27,000 and up to $120,000.

Find a Merchant Seaman Job Near Me

With multiple locations and over 5,000 staff members consistently assigned to jobs across all industries, CLS is the preferred staffing solution throughout the Gulf Coast Region and the world. The phrase “We Can Do It” represents both a team mantra and a promise to our customers. Whatever you need, whenever you need it, Complete Logistical Services will make it happen. That’s why we say we’re “On the Hook” 24/7 for clients, employees, and contractors. Ready to get started with CLS? Call 504-266-2994 or visit our available Job Openings!