Rejected from USCGA

I just got rejected from USCGA, but accepted to both SUNY Maritime and Texas A&M Maritime for engineering. I have read lots of various things regarding life in the Maritime fleet but not what to be sure of. Pay description can be misleading as well as the life style, I read you only work a few months out of the year. What are the intervals like? What is the possibility of getting fairly short intervals (I would prefer not to be at sea for 6 months at a time) What is the ratio/percentage of the year worked/not on shore? And what is the traditional pay scale for that time worked? Is the job market growing on shore and a-sail and a safe one to get into? These may sound like rookie questions but the article I have read are fairly old and I am new to all this. Thanks everyone!



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9 thoughts on “Rejected from USCGA

  • April 24, 2020 at 7:04 am
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    Rejection from USCGA May have been a blessing in disguise. The military commitment can put a serious damper on your freedom of movement, both lifestyle and choice of workplace (trust me, been there done that). Did you apply to the US Merchant Marine Academy? It’s also a federal military academy and free. You have a military commitment but only as a reservist. Might be too late in the season to apply but it might be worth it to take a year off or go to community college in order to save money on schooling. Otherwise, go to one of the schools you got accepted to (SUNY is more militarized, Texas more relaxed) and aim for one of their more advanced engineering degrees. If they offer mechanical engineering, take that over “marine” engineering. You’ll have a better shot of landing an engineering job ashore if sea life isn’t for you. The usual schedule is 6 on/6 off as you mentioned, but these are usually split up. You’ll do between two and four months at sea and then get an equal time of vacation. You can also take jobs out of the union hall and only work a 30-45 day Relief job. The nice aspect of a shipping schedule is you can essentially work three months straight and make as much as most people make in a year working a regular job. A third assistant working through a union can expect to make anywhere from 40-60k in three months, then you can fly to Thailand or the Philippines and live like a king the rest of the year.

    As far as job security, you’re better off as an engineer than a deckie. The American merchant marine is cyclical with jobs, and there is always the threat of outsourcing. I wouldn’t let that discourage you from the maritime industry. Go get experience at sea, if you don’t like it get a shoreside job as an engineer. There will always be jobs for engineers, and they typically make bank.

    No matter what you choose to do, your priorities should be choosing a field of study where you are hireable out of school, and avoiding student debt like the FUCKING plague. I can’t emphasize that last one enough.

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  • April 24, 2020 at 7:04 am
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    >What is the possibility of getting fairly short intervals

    Cruise ships

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  • April 24, 2020 at 7:04 am
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    Depends on who you sail for. 80kish drill ships 28/28.

    Same for AMO tankers 75/75 as a third.

    Always shore side work.

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  • April 24, 2020 at 7:04 am
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    If you really want to join the coast guard, go to California maritime academy. They have a license track mechanical engineering program and you can join CMAPP, it’s an officer candidate program for the coast guard. You’ll get a commission and I believe they pay for school and you get E5 pay while you’re at the academy. CMA is my Alma mater and I believe the best education and best school environment out of all the academies.

    As far as not being sure what you want to do, I’ll tell you this. The common response to that problem from people I was in school with was to find a “general” degree like business or political science. I highly advise against that. It is so much easier to be an engineer by trade and get hired outside of your field than it is to be a business major and get hired doing anything but sales at some paper company. If at the end of your search you’re not sure what your next move should be, I would recommend you either go to a trade school/community college and get your QMED endorsement, or enlist in the coast guard. Take the ASVAB if you haven’t already and choose the rating that is either most sought after, or requires the highest ASVAB score. You can apply for USCGA as a prior enlisted, or you can get out with the GI Bill when you’re older and have a better idea of what you’re interested in.

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  • April 24, 2020 at 7:04 am
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    Also, don’t worry about burning a year or two before getting to the school you want. It doesn’t make a difference as long as you’re growing as a person and gaining knowledge. What you need to worry about is racking up debt by going to school for too long. Another option is to join the coast guard reserve instead of a second year at Marion. You’ll go through basic and A school, re-apply for the academy, and go from reserves to school if you get in. If not, you have a partial GI bill to pay for the school of your choice.

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  • April 24, 2020 at 7:04 am
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    Look into sailing on the Great lakes the time you are on the water will be a shorter period compared to sea. I know at Great Lakes Maritime Academy you will be licensed for fresh water and the sea for deck I don’t know if the same applies for engine but I know if you graduate from one or the other academies you cannot sail freshwater for deck. Great Lakes also doesn’t charge for out of state tuition

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  • April 24, 2020 at 7:04 am
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    The degree at Great Lakes is Maritime Technology with a licensing in engineering. I know you are searching for Mechanical Engineering.

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  • April 24, 2020 at 7:04 am
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    Not sure if you still want to become a USCG officer, but you should look into MARGRAD.

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