Are you wondering how to get Able Seaman Jobs? This article will show you the absolute best resources for you to get hired on as an Able Seaman. Through a lot of research we will show you what resources you need to concentrate on in order for you to get hired.
First let’s dive into the different ratings of an Able Seaman.
Able Seaman Ratings
Able Seaman Unlimited
With this rating, Mariners can work on any U.S flagged ship, Tugboat, Towboat, Offshore Supply Vessel, and more.
In order to qualify for this Able Seaman Rating, Mariners will need 1080 days of deck service on oceans or great lakes waters.
Able Seaman Limited
With this rating, Mariners can work on Tugboats, Towboats, Offshore Supply Vessels, and in some cases Ships.
In order to qualify for this Able Seaman Rating, Mariners will need 540 days deck service on vessels of 100 GRT or more, not exclusive to rivers & smaller inland lakes of the U. S.
Able Seaman Special
With this rating, Mariners can work on tugboats, Towboats, Offshore Supply Vessels, Yachts, and some other vessels as well. This rating is usually for non SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Vessels, and can limit your opportunities for jobs. However it is a very good place to start.
In order to qualify for this Able Seaman Rating, Mariners will need 360 days deck service on navigable waters of the U. S.
What this means is, you may use ANY vessel to get your sea time (including pleasure boats).
Able Seaman OSV
With this rating, Mariners are restricted to OSV (Offshore Supply Vessel) work. This Able seaman rating is for mariners who are just starting out on the industry and do not have the sea time to upgrade to the higher ratings.
In order to qualify for this Able Seaman Rating, Mariners will need 180 days deck service on navigable waters of the U. S.
Able Seaman Sail
With this rating, Mariners are restricted to sailing vessels. In order to qualify for this Able Seaman Rating, Mariners will need 180 days of deck service on sailing school vessels, oceanographic research vessels powered primarily by sail or equivalent sail vessels on any navigable waters of the U. S.
Able Seaman Fishing
With this rating, Mariners are restricted to Fishing Vessels. In order to qualify for this Able Seaman Rating, Mariners will need 180 days of deck service, not as a processor, on any navigable waters of the U.S. “Combi” is not deck service.
Able Seaman MODU
With this rating, Mariners are restricted to Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU) or Offshore oil and gas rigs. In order to qualify for this Able Seaman Rating, Mariners will need 360 days of service on vessels 65 feet or over on any navigable waters of the U.S.
To find out if you qualify for an Able Seaman Rating Click Here
If you are interested in taking our 5 day Able Seaman (any rating) course Click Here
If you are studying for your exam and need to take some practice tests Click Here
Able Seaman General Requirements
Must have U.S. Citizenship OR be an alien admitted for permanent residence. As per 46 CFR 10.221
Minimum age 18. As per 46 CFR 12.401
Medical Certificate Requirements:
- Original – Must hold a valid Medical Certificate or be approved for a Medical Certificate.
- Renewal, ROG, New Endorsement – Must hold an unexpired Medical Certificate or submit a Medical Certificate application.
Requirements for all Able Seaman Ratings
Must be qualified as a Lifeboatman, Or Lifeboatman Limited. As per 46 CFR 12.401/12.405.
Able Seaman Job Resources
Now let’s dive into those resources i was talking about. Please keep in mind that these resources are in no particular order, you as a potential employee will need to do some homework on which resource you want to use depending on the type of work you want to do.
Linkedin is my personal favorite resource to find jobs. They not only have personal profiles of people in the industry who are willing to help you, it also has business profiles and job posting for any job you search for. This social media platform is more professional than all the others. You will find many people willing to help you if you need a question answered. The other reason I like linkedin is because they have mentoring programs for any topic out there, including how to get an Able Seaman Job. If you want to get in touch with me via linkedin, click on my profile.
Indeed has a great platform for searching AB Jobs. You can search locally, or all over the United States. I have found Indeed to be a great resource, not only for able seaman jobs, but for any position in the Merchant Marines.
There are many Merchant Mariner Unions out there, Not all are created equal, so really do your homework before joining a particular union. Maritime Unions are getting better and better. The benefits of joining a union are pretty incredible. Just keep in mind that when you first join a union, you will be on the less desirable jobs, and ships. But if you stick with it long enough the possibilities are endless.
Some Maritime Unions to research are:
- Seafarers Union
- Sailors Union of the Pacific
- American Maritime Officers
- International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots
Just to name a few. Again these are in no particular order so please do your homework.
Jobsora is a world wide job search making it ideal for Mariners looking for AB jobs in the States or Foreign Mariners who work and are licensed in other Countries.It is one of the best job seeking platforms for mariners, that no one really knows about.
Knock on Doors
During my Maritime Career, whether I was an Able Seaman or Licensed Captain, people always told me that knocking on doors was the best way to get a job on a boat. Able Seaman jobs are in demand, but if you don’t stick out from the crowd, you will never get ahead. Knocking on doors and sitting face to face with the hiring manager is the absolute best chance you have when looking for Able Seaman Jobs. This tells the manager you are very serious about this job, It also tells them you are ready to work.
Now not all companies will let you just walk through the door and speak to someone, (I learned that the hard way). But do your homework and get a list together of the companies that would let you walk in and talk to someone.
If you actually do some homework, you can get ahead of the competition and get that job you want. Able Seaman jobs are sometimes hard to come by. Make sure you stand out from the crowd.