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Where

Our Graduates Are Licensed to Sail the Great Lakes and Oceans

T/S State of Michigan with Detroit's Ambassador Bridge in the backgroundHOW WOULD THIS DO FOR AN “OFFICE” VIEW?

Great Lakes Maritime Academy cadets possess a sense of adventure, an independent spirit, desire to travel and passion for the outdoors. Sound like you? Learn more »

IMAGINE A CAREER ON THE WATER

Whether your interest lies in ship navigation and piloting or management of a ship’s engine and mechanical operations, our graduates enter the commercial shipping industry with a Bachelor of Science Degree and the largest U.S. Coast Guard license for Deck and Engineering Officers on the oceans or Great Lakes. We have excellent job placement in this well paying career. Learn more »

Q What are some of the maritime careers?

Maritime Careers
The Great Lakes/oceans maritime industry offers challenging and rewarding opportunities for ship officers. Based on annual employment reports filed by the largest Great Lakes and oceans operators, there is a demand for new officers each year to fill positions aboard their vessels. Industry demand is based on vacancies resulting from officer retirements, shoreside opportunities, fleet expansion and the increasing demand for unlimited tonnage U.S. Flag Officers internationally. Shoreside opportunities such as transportation management, port management, ship surveying, import/export industries, federal government and ship brokerage positions are just a few of the shoreside opportunities that ship officers transition to. The Great Lakes Maritime Academy helps feed the the maritime industry by graduating highly qualified, highly credentialed and experienced cadets each year. One need not have experience to attend as we teach everything from the ground up. The Academy focuses on those interested in working as officers aboard commercial vessels and seeks prospective students year round. To find out more, contact the Admissions Office or schedule an official visit.

Ship officers typically work eight hours a day, usually following a schedule of hours on duty and off. A deck officer is responsible for the management of the deck department. This includes the navigation/piloting of the ship, loading and unloading of cargo, ship's business, discipline and well being of crew, vessel safety and security. An engineering officer's duties include the management of the engineering department aboard ship. This involves engine room business, operation and preventative maintenance of machinery and equipment aboard ship, discipline and well being of crew, vessel safety and security.

The Great Lakes Maritime Academy was formed to prepare deck and engineering officers for highly skilled positions aboard ship in addition to teaching the essential business skills needed to be successful in the world of commercial shipping. Graduation from our maritime college requires determination and dedication, yet the rewards are well worth the effort.

Q IS THE GREAT LAKES MARITIME ACADEMY A MILITARY ACADEMY?

No. The Academy is a public college.

Q HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE THE PROGRAM?

Cadets entering the Academy with a previously completed Bachelor’s degree are eligible for the accelerated three-year program, unique to the Great Lakes Maritime Academy. All cadets will earn a Bachelor of Science in Maritime Technology.

Q DO WOMEN ATTEND THE ACADEMY?

Yes. The Academy established the Women on the Water organization which has received recognition by the Maritime Administration and now has organizations at each of the other state maritime academies.

Q IS FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE?

Yes. Financial aid is available for both the three-year and four-year programs. We encourage students to complete the FAFSA form as soon as possible after January 1 of the year they intend to attend in order to be eligible for the maximum financial aid award. Financial aid is granted based on financial need and is not guaranteed to pay full tuition.

Q WHAT IS THE MARITIME INDUSTRY?

The maritime industry refers to all forms of waterborne transportation. The Great Lakes Maritime Academy prepares future Merchant Marine officers with the education, training and credentials to sail the world’s largest ships. The maritime industry is quite diverse including tug/barge trade, container ships, passenger ships, tankers, research vessels, ferry systems, bulk carriers and specialized vessels of many types. It represents international business connected with intermodal transportation and the global economy. Skills in management, logistics and finance are essential to understanding the impact of shipping on the economies of nations. Our graduates serve as professional mariners/business professionals around the globe.

Q WHAT IS THE UNITED STATES MERCHANT MARINE?

The United States Merchant Marine refers to those individuals (licensed or unlicensed) that make their living in the maritime industry. Merchant Marine officers have extensive training and managerial skills — essential in operating vessels that move goods within the United States and international waters. Merchant Marine officers are not in the military. Officers have a tremendous amount of responsibility and professional skill. While some areas of the industry require uniforms, others do not. On many vessels (such as cruise ships and ferries) it is essential to readily identify the officers for the safety of the passengers.

Q WHY DOES MY LICENSE COME FROM THE U.S. COAST GUARD?

Similar to the way commercial airline pilots are licensed by the FAA, commercial shipping officers must be licensed by the United States Coast Guard (USCG). After passing the written examination administered by the USCG, deck department graduates will be licensed as a Third Mate Great Lakes and Oceans Unlimited Tonnage and First Class Great Lakes Pilot. Engineering department graduates will be licensed as a Third Assistant Engineer Steam and Motor Vessels of any Horsepower. Academy graduates have both a Federal License and International Credentials issued by the United Nations International Maritime Organization (STCW’10).

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