Skip to main content

Set Sail on Your Seafaring Journey

Our Apprentice Program offers a unique, world-class maritime training experience unparalleled in North America. We’re here to help you find the right career opportunity based on your interests. During every step of the process, we will support you on your path towards a rewarding maritime career.

Explore Apprenticeships

Our Maritime Apprentice Program is the largest training program for new mariners in the United States. The apprentice 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.

You must be 18 years old to apply. Even if you already have the skills that are required for the deck, engine, and steward departments, the U.S. Coast Guard requires sea time, training, and examination before you can obtain the necessary ratings.

Apply Today

Guaranteed a First Job

The Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship, part of the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education, is a vocational school dedicated to preparing students for successful careers as U.S. Merchant Mariners. The program is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor and offered tuition free, with room and board included. While there are no direct charges for the program, there are other costs associated with attending. Those costs include uniforms, licensing fees, travel, physicals and drug testing to be paid by program participants.

Each apprentice will select a department prior to their arrival. Apprenticeship Phases – the length of the program – will vary slightly depending on your selections.

Phase I – On Site Training

  • 16 weeks (All departments) . Combination training – classroom, simulation, practical assessments.

Phase II – Sea Time 

  • 60 days at sea (Deck & Engine, entry level wage)
  • 200 days at sea (Steward, entry level wage)

Phase III – Entry Employment (Deck & Engine)

  • 120 days at sea (Entry employment, contract wages)

Phase IV – Completion of On Site Training (All departments)

  • Completion of AB (3 weeks)
  • Completion of FOWT (4 weeks)
  • Completion of Chief Cook (5 weeks)

All applicants will have to successfully pass an SIU Physical and Drug test through an Hiring Hall. You will need a valid U.S. Passport. For more information, visit

If you have specific questions, you can refer to the Training and Careers tab on and review the Apprentice Program overview, Or call the Admissions Office at 1-800-732-2739.

Disclaimer: The Harry Lundeberg School may change any information outlined on this website with respect to our Unlicensed Apprentice Program based on industry needs and federal regulations.

Learn About Benefits