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Merchant Mariners

Exploring This Job

Assuming you are already accustomed to being on a boat, there are very few opportunities to explore this field before actually enrolling in a maritime program or applying at union halls or shipping companies. Beginners can hire on a vessel as ordinary seamen to see if they like working onboard. Individuals who already have some training or experience (for instance, as a cook, waiter, electrician, or engineer) might hire on for a voyage to try the experience. If near a port, an aspiring merchant mariner could visit a vessel in port by contacting a steamship company. Visiting coastal ports (e.g., in Maine or California) is a good idea.

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