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Maritime Careers: Opportunities at Sea!

Do you have a child that loves the ocean? Loves to travel? Loves an active lifestyle? But doesn’t necessarily LOVE formal education? An industry few consider is the maritime field and it has endless opportunities. One major reason maritime has more opportunities is maritime professionals are aging out. In addition, more people than ever are chartering boats, making it accessible to everyone. The maritime career field requires a high level of Visual Comparison Speed, Hand-Eye Coordination and Spatial Visualization to captain boats. We can test for your abilities to determine if this is a good career fit. In addition, this is just the tip of the iceberg for career pathways in the maritime field.

Because of my passion to expand my knowledge base, I did what I always do when I’m curious. I reached out to one of the biggest champions of the maritime industry, Captain Sandy Yawn from Below Deck Mediterranean, the hit reality TV show. I was expecting to reach Caption Sandy’s team. But to my surprise, she personally emailed me back! In addition, she provided me resources, connected me with people who could answer my in-depth questions and gave me her personal phone number. Who does that? Someone who is passionate about their field and committed to doing their part to help young adults consider the career. A reminder to my young adults, never underestimate the power of the “informational interview”!

What I personally loved about the maritime training is the breaking up of sections to be completed when you want. They train individuals in a multitude of areas such as merchant careers, yachting careers, captain’s licenses, regulatory updates, consulting & analysis, safety training and industrial. Captain Sandy was trained and recommended the Maritime Professional Training program in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. When I help young adults consider ideal careers, I encourage them to look at the courses they will be taking. Reviewing course descriptions allows you to “feel” if the information you will be learning interests you. It’s a simple concept but incredibly powerful. Reading class content can help you determine if you want to learn more. Remember, interest doesn’t stabilize until a person is 25 and if you don’t know what a “Marine Propulsion Plant” is, you can’t express an interest. Here are the course descriptions at the MPT school. As a thank you to Captain Sandy, I’m including her non-profit charity where donations can be made to help raise funds for curriculum development to be used in high schools as exposure to this field. These types of careers and technical education courses are critical to the future of the maritime industry. HS is the ideal time for young adults to learn. Donate to Captain Sandy’s Charity Here and thank YOU Captain Sandy for your time and insight.

Another program, MITAGS (Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies) provides programs in Baltimore, Maryland and Seattle, Washington. This program includes simulation technology as well as provides maritime apprenticeship opportunities, giving hands-on learning as you begin your career. This video gives insight into helping determine if this lifestyle is right for you.

The movement of supplies through our shipping channels are critical to the sustainability of our economy. At no greater time than during COVID, did we experience this firsthand and truly understand the power of supply chain management and logistics. The maritime industry is an opportunity to consider a field with a larger than national growth of 6.5% (over 10% projected) and salaries higher than some individuals with degrees. Salaries are listed below and better images may be found here in the Dockwalk magazine.

Lastly, as mentioned at the beginning, more people are taking to the sea. If you know me, you know I’m passionate about traveling. We have been blessed to travel to over 40 countries. On our 20th wedding anniversary, my husband and I chartered, with 3 random couples, a catamaran in the British Virgin Islands that included a Captain and Chef for a week. It was much cheaper than I ever expected. Sure cheaper than some of our other vacations. And guess what…it was our absolute favorite trip we ever took. EVER! It opened my eyes to the industry all those years ago and put it in a completely different light. It’s a cross between transportation, hospitality, engineering, mechanics, GIS, environmental sciences…and I could go on and on. But for many, it’s an industry few consider because of exposure or simply, it’s not a career on land.


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