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Apply for the Apprenticeship Program!

Our Maritime Apprentice Program is the largest training program for new mariners in the United States. The program prepares students to start their seafaring career with entry-level positions in any department on board. No maritime experience is required to attend the program. Register to get started.

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Apply to the Opportunity of a Lifetime

To apply to our maritime Apprentice Program, all applicants must fill out the forms, including a written essay, and provide two letters of recommendation.

You will be notified via letter or email if your application has made it to the next step of the application process. During this phase, you will be required to fill out or provide:

Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC)

Merchant Mariners Credential (MMC)

Copy of a valid passport

A United States Coast Guard (USCG) physical, dental examination and drug test.

After your application is accepted, you will receive information on class start dates.

Additional Details:

There is NO fee to submit an application.

Your own personal costs during the application process ( i.e. medical exam fees) are non-refundable.

You are required to purchase your own uniforms.

We do not accept letters of recommendation from family members.

Drug testing is required upon acceptance, and at regular intervals for all maritime careers.

Application Process: Detailed Overview

Step #1

YOU HAVE 30 DAYS TO COMPLETE STEP #1, FROM THE DATE YOU SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION

Please read all information about the Unlicensed Apprentice Program in its entirety prior to starting the electronic application. In order to complete the application, you will need the following documents:

  • A 400-word essay on “Why I want to be a Merchant Mariner.”
  • Two letters of recommendation from non-family members (one from a previous employer if applicable).
  • One ‘head shot’ photo of yourself.
  • A copy of your DD-214 long form if applicable.

Once your application is received, you will be contacted via email within three to five business days (make sure you give a correct, active email address) with instructions to schedule a reading and math test at one of the SIU Halls. (If you have not heard from the school within seven days after you submit your application, it is your responsibility to follow up by calling 301-994-0010, Ext. 2)

Upon completion of Step #1, including testing and port interview, your application will be submitted to the selection committee. You will be contacted by email after completing Step #1 if you have been selected to move onto Step #2.

Due to the economy and other conditions, the need for apprentices fluctuates throughout the year, so your class size will vary depending on the number of mariners needed. At any time, the school reserves the right to not hold a selection committee.  As an applicant, any out of pocket expenses incurred as part of the application process are your sole responsibility and are non-refundable.

Step #2

You will be notified by email whether you are selected to continue with Step #2 of the application process. At this time, you must provide copies of the following documents within 90 days or your application will be voided. If you are unable to obtain the following documentation within the allotted time frame it is your responsibility to contact the Admissions Office and advise them of any issues.

  1. Obtain UA physical, drug test, and MSC shots through your SIU hall. It is recommended that you use this physical to apply for your MMC as identified below.
  2. Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) from the USCG. Your MMC must state OS, WI, SD(FH), and also make sure it states food handler (FH). You must apply for your TWIC before you can apply for a MMC. Contact your local USCG Regional Exam Center for information and an application for a MMC, or go online to uscg.mil/nmc/ for more information.
  3. When applying for your MMC you must also apply for a two-year STCW medical certificate. Please indicate this request on your USCG form CG-719 under Section #2 in the “applying for” box.
  4. A valid U.S. Passport.
  5. Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). A list TWIC centers and appointment scheduling can be found online at tsa.gov/twic or by calling 1-855-347-8371.

All applicants must have a complete dental examination administered by your own private dentist. A dental letter must be sent to the Admissions Office, on your dentist’s letterhead and must specifically state that you do not have any cavities, pyorrhea, or periodontal disease that require immediate work. This letter must contain a current date.

After you have completed each of the steps above, all official government documents (TWIC, MMC, medical certificate and passport) should then be taken to your SIU Hall for scanning. Please do not send originals. You may also fax 301-994-2189 or email these documents to Admissions @ seafarers . org.

Please be sure to include all of the pages from your MMC, including the page that contains your picture and any endorsements issued by the USCG (pages 4 & 5). 

Once you have completed your application file, you will be advised approximately three months prior to your scheduled reporting date that you have been selected for a class.

At this point, you will need to contact your local SIU Hall to ensure that no you do not need any additional medical tests or certifications prior to arriving at the school. Please note this is a conditional acceptance letter, and all medical exams must be completed and passed at least two weeks prior to the date you have been scheduled to report to the School. As a new student, you will be scheduled for classes on as needed basis, relative to industry demand.

Following this, you will need to purchase your uniforms. The uniform fee is non-refundable.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the Admissions Office at 301-994-0010, prompt 2 or contact us here.

Questions? We’re here to help! Please use our contact form or reach out directly via phone: 301-994-0010 (Prompt 2)

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