If you enjoy working at sea and think you want to get a captain’s degree don’t wait any longer, this is a great idea. Licensing offers a world of options in the merchant marine industry, whether you are a decker looking for a promotion or own a boat and want to start making money.
USCG-approved marine schools can help you earn a degree and teach you skills to make you a better rower. You’ll be on your way to some rich and exciting adventures before you know it.
In short, anyone who wants to sail a boat for a living needs a captain’s license.
Remunerated passenger ship operators must hold a captain’s license, according to the United States Coast Guard. License holders have a huge advantage over those without. The competition would be very strong if all those who were able to steer the boat could make up for doing so. Fortunately, good captains will find plenty of job opportunities.
You have standards concerns if you plan to enroll in a USCG-approved captain’s degree school for your master’s or 6pack. It’s a bit complicated at first, but this guide will walk you through it and answer some frequently asked questions.
To put it more simply, being a captain consists of three things:
Your captain’s license is valid for five years after passing the test and meets other criteria.
Before getting into the specific requirements for obtaining a captain’s license, it is important to understand the many types of permits available.
Your sailing experience will determine what certification you qualify for. You will need to apply for one of the following three permits, depending on where you may operate and the tonnage of vessels you may use.
The title of the uninspected passenger train operator, commonly known as a 6-pack certificate, allows you to carry up to six people on The ship is not inspected. The Coast Guard doesn’t have to inspect your boat before you can use it, and the boat’s design and safety standards aren’t as strict.
Coast Guard provides 6pack captain’s licenses for a certain beach depending on your marine service, like Inland, Inland, and Great Lakes, or Near Coastal, which allows you to go up to 100 miles offshore. The criteria for a 6-pack permit (OUPV) is 360 days of sea travel, 90 of which must be in the area you are applying for. For example, OUPV near the coast requires at least 90 days of exposure to coastal or oceanic waters.
Within approved limits for inland waters – primarily lakes and ports – the Inland license allows you to operate both inspected and uninspected vessels. You can also use this license to serve as a deck officer on ships close to the sea if you can prove that you have spent 180 days at sea. If you want to operate a boat in the Great Lakes, you will need 360 Days of navigation on all waterways, plus 90 days on the Great Lakes.
You can operate inspected and uninspected vessels in inland waters and up to 200 miles off the coast of the United States with a Near Coastal license. Yes, 200 miles is close to the shore. You will need 720 days at sea, including 360 at sea.
Some vessels will require approval with your license. Here are some examples:
We will review the specific requirements you will need to obtain your certification now that you have read the licenses and certifications. Here’s what you have to fill out on your Coast Guard application:
To get a captain’s license you must be 19 years old.
Time at sea: A master’s license requires at least 360 days of experience within the previous three years.
Complete your seaworthiness documents and have your time verified by the ship’s owner or manager. Eight hours of work on a ship is equivalent to one day of maritime work – this does not include overtime.
Attending a USCG-approved marine training school is the fastest way to pass your licensing exam. Upon completion of the course, you will be awarded a one-year certificate of course completion.
The TWIC Card is issued by the TSA and is required for all commercial seafarer certifications. To get your card, you’ll need to pay a fee and pass a federal background check.
Use the USCG’s medical examination guidelines before making a doctor’s appointment to avoid common mistakes that the Coast Guard will fire.
You must participate in a randomized drug trial for each Merchant Crew Certificate. Some companies in the marine industry offer them, but you’ll need proof of registration to get your license.
Carefully complete your captain’s license application form. Unless you are looking for an OUPV license, be sure to indicate the scope and payload of the license you are requesting.
Once you have obtained your TWIC card, you will meet this requirement. This will also be the photo on your driver’s license.
Make sure you pay the correct fee using pay.gov. To find out how much you will need to pay for your license evaluation, visit the USCG billing website. After payment, you need to print a confirmation page.
A verified USCG Oath is required for all initial Merchant Seaman qualifications. This can be done at a Coast Guard-approved facility, such as a regional examination center or marine training school.
You must be certified in first aid and CPR for your initial license. There are regular classes, no matter where you live, and most are inexpensive. The course time usually in the afternoon.
If you are applying for an OUPV permit, you will need to provide proof of permanent resident status in the form of a valid green card or state ID.
We strongly recommend that you do not let your captain’s license expire after receiving it. Even if you don’t plan to use it anytime soon, you should keep renewing it just like you only need to do it every 5 years. If you let it expire and then wish to continue sailing, you will need to meet all Coast Guard standards in order to get a captain’s license from scratch. It’s easy to renew your license.
You just need to: