How to start your marine career

I won’t describe here how to start your command duty at sea, for instance, how to become a captain or a seamaster! This article is for those, who do not have a specific, dedicated education, but still wants to become a seaman (a sailorman, an engineman or, how they call him, a motorist) with just the basic, minimum time and financial costs. Unfortunately, «the minimum costs» often explode to a significantly big amount of money for many people: lately we can see that it takes more time and money to become a sailor, and the conditions to start your education also became more demanding recently! The cost will depend on the region of Russia. So, let’s go:

1. First of all you need to start your medical card and have a medical screening for fleet personnel. This will cost you around 3000-5000 RUR and 3 days. 

2. At the same time you have to file the package of documents to get an international passport (please, see details on the Directorate of the Federal Migration Service website). I strongly encourage you to choose the older version of the passport, though it is valid for just 5 years (unlike it’s new version, which is valid for the whole bunch of 10 years). The reason for that is that this older version is easier and faster to file to, no strings attached here. The cost is 2000 RUR and 1 month.

3. Let’s go do Maritime Training Center. You’ll have to study there and get your certificates:

a) Basic introduction safety and instruction briefing: 3500-8000 RUR.

b) Coxswain, a professional, who is responsible for lifeboats and rafts, which are not Fast Resque Daughter Crafts. The cost of this course is 2000-3500 RUR. But many Centers won’t allow you to apply for this course unless you have at least 6 months of natatorial qualification.

c) ISPS Code training course 6-6/2. 3200-3900 RUR.

d) Able bodied seaman or an engineman / motorist. 12000-28000 RUR. But the fact is that recently the rules changed and now, in order to be admitted to the course, you have to provide the training center with a 2 months sailing certificate or an official letter from a company, which takes the obligation to hire you after you get this course or the training center should provide you with a practice course (but there is a rare chance they do, so most probably you’ll have to find it yourself).

Course time: 3-6 months! 

So, let's underline all this! 3-6 months left, we spent 26000 – 50000 RUR and got the introductory document package. Then you will have to bring these documents to the company, which, as we have already mentioned, you must have found in advance. This company will issue us a Seafarer Identity Card and a sailor’s book.

4. Apply to the Marine Administration of a Port in order to get the Seafarer Identity Card and sailor's book. Please, see here everything you would need to know in this connection.

5. In case you don't currently have these 2 months of actual practice, you'll have to take a practice course in this very company.

6. Submit the documents to the Marine Administration of a Port to get the certificate of an able bodied seaman, an engineman/motorist. Look it up here.

As a result, the most difficult here is to find a suitable company and having no previous work experience this becomes almost impossible. So it is a close loop. We wish you all the success in starting your career!