Entry Level Merchant Marine Jobs

How to Join the Merchant Marine

The U.S merchant marine industry is one of the most dynamic as far as pursuing a fulfilling career is concerned. This is due to the fact that there are many perks that come with working as merchant marine sailor. For starters, there is the fascinating experience of traveling throughout world while working on a deep sea shipping vessels. This brings with it the prospect of discovering a fantastic place elsewhere in the world and perhaps the likelihood of relocating there permanently. In addition, since most mariners live virtually at no cost while working and living aboard U.S flagged vessels, this is also one of the most appealing benefits that make it a worthwhile endeavor to pursue a maritime career.

In our book ‘Heave Ho – How to Become a Sailor in the U.S Merchant Marine Fleet’ you can uncover the truth about the many advantages that other merchant marine sailors have been able to get out of a successful career as semen. Acquiring a copy of this book will also help you learn the secret on how to become a marketable seafarer.


In this context, let’s have a look at some of the entry level jobs that you need to know about if you are considering starting out on a career path in the maritime industry.


Apprentice employment opportunities in the engine room:


If you wish to become one of the members of the engine department and fulfill a more technical role as a merchant marine sailor, you can start out as a wiper. As the name suggests, the main duties charged to those that assume this position is to ensure that the engine room is well-kept. Roles include but not limited to maintaining a clean working environment, disposing garbage and dusting off equipment.


Beginner jobs in the deck department:


Also known as a deckhand, an ordinary seaman assigned to exclusively perform duties in the deck department of a commercial U.S liner plays a vital supporting role just like any other basic level merchant marine employee. While performing deck department tasks, light janitor chores like sweeping or mopping the bridge might be included as part of this position, it is also the responsibility of an ordinary seaman to perform duties like tying up the ship, making proper knots and splicing lines as well as supporting maritime procedures that are in accordance with the directives ordered by the ship’s Captain.

It is important to note that while these positions are sort of like a stepping stone into the upper reaches of the deck department, it is possible to start at the bottom and build your credentials to reach to the top. Discover how to do this by purchasing our informative eBook that will enrich your knowledge of how to play your cards right and become an employable merchant mariner.


Novice job opportunities in the steward department:


As an inexperienced ordinary seaman working in the steward section of a deep sea trading ship like a container ship or vessels traveling on inland waterways, food handling jobs are some of the most popular. Those that get employed in this role perform a wide range of accommodation related services such as laundry and basic cleaning in addition to giving the chief steward a helping hand during preparation of meals. Therefore if you can cook, you might want to add this skill set in your portfolio when looking for marine jobs.

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