Is a maritime academy worth it?

Currently in the Coast Guard as a Machinery Technician, and working towards getting a QMED (qualified member of engineering department) license with the sea time and experience I’m getting now. Is getting my 3rd Assistant Engineer License worth going to a maritime academy when I separate, or can I realistically gain the necessary experience working as a QMED to obtain a 3rd Assistant Engineer License in roughly the same amount of time.

Basically should I go to school OR try working my way up



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2 thoughts on “Is a maritime academy worth it?

  • April 10, 2020 at 5:31 pm
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    Do you plan on sailing a long time/for the rest of your career? Probably go QMED and make money while you work your way up. This is getting more difficult though. Do you see yourself leaving the industry at some point? Go to a maritime academy, the alum connections and the degree (especially engineering) will come in handy if you ever decide to switch careers. If you can get the GI Bill and go to a maritime academy on the government’s dime that’s the best of both worlds. Finish with no debt and making 3AE pay right out of school, and have a degree to fall back on if you want to do something else.

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  • April 10, 2020 at 5:31 pm
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    As a Deck officer, i can’t offer too much help, but from what i gather, here’s the best i can offer.

    If you start as a QMED when you get out of the USCG, you’ll likely reach 3AE faster than if you went to an academy. However, you’ll get a much better education in one of the Academies. As you have some experience in your field, you’ll likely be one of the most experienced in your class, which can lead to better job opportunities. I’d suggest going to the Academy, myself.

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