Maritime Apprenticeship Programs
Used to develop high-quality mariner, the MITAGS Maritime Apprenticeship Program (MAP) provides all of the maritime training and support necessary to obtain a Mate’s license. More importantly, the program instills the knowledge, skills, and confidence to take on the duties and responsibilities of a Deck Officer.
The 28-month program is divided between approximately 26 weeks of classroom training and 360 calendar days of training at sea. Some Apprentices have been able to finish the program in as little as 24 months. The program provides all of the maritime training and support necessary to obtain a Mate’s license. More importantly, the program instills the knowledge, skills, and confidence to take on the duties and responsibilities of a Deck Officer. The program is organized so that every shore-based training phase is reinforced by simulation and on-board maritime training. This approach allows Apprentices to immediately apply their new knowledge on the job. Each phase builds on the previous phase, allowing skill development to progress gradually and logically.
For the sea service training component, MITAGS facilitates the matching of prospective apprentices with reputable companies who have signed on with the program, using an interview process. Apprentices must be placed with a Partner Company prior to starting the program, and they remain with a selected company throughout the entire program.
Upon program completion, the Apprentice will be eligible to sit for their Mate’s license and will also hold their AB Limited. In addition, all STCW requirements and assessments are met so the mariner will also receive their Able Seafarer-Deck and OICNW credentials to sail internationally. The tonnage of the vessels the apprentice sails on during the program will determine whether they receive their Mate of 500/1600 GRT vessels, or a Third Mate Unlimited tonnage license.
The apprenticeship program originated in 2006 as an answer to the upcoming shortage of qualified Mates and Masters in the towboat industry. With input from the industry the two-year program was created and has since grown into a successful and well-respected apprenticeship training program.
The MITAGS MAP Deck program is approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG), the State of Washington’s “Workforce Training, Education and Coordinating Board” (WTECB), and the State of Maryland’s “Maryland Higher Education Commission” (MHEC). This program is also approved by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and honors the Post 9/11 GI Bill for eligible veterans and their dependents.
MITAGS’ Maritime Apprenticeship Program is the proud recipient of the Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Innovator and Trailblazer Award (2012) and the Lloyd’s List Training Award for North America (2015).
Dr. Allen Glen
After careful review, this Program is based on sound pedagogy and a careful consideration of the standards that must be met by the graduates. It is an intense, demanding program. Good! We want competent people on the bridge.
Click below to view our brochure.
Workboat Mate Program Brochure
What People Are Saying
Which Program to Choose?
How to choose between a Limited Mate’s License and an Unlimited Mate’s License.
Choosing between the two licenses is a matter of personal preference and needs to be decided before you start a program. Once you have been enrolled in either track, it will be hard to move, so it is essential that you do your own research and speak with the MAP Program Manager or our school’s Student Services Manager.
Below is a concise overview of some of the main differences between both licenses:
MAP MATE LIMITED (500-1600 GRT)
- Primarily apprentice on:
- Salvage vessels
- Small cruise ships and vessels up to 3000 GRT
- Supply Vessels
- Crew size between 4-8
- Voyages approximately between one week to two months in length
- Trips remain primarily ‘near coastal’
- Remain with same company
- Traditionally solo watch stander on the bridge
- Involved in cargo operations
MAP MATE UNLIMITED
- Primarily apprentice on:
- Cruise Ships
- Washington State Ferries
- Alaska Marine Highway System
- Research ships and all vessels of ‘unlimited ‘tonnage’ (over 3000 GRT)
- Crew size around 22, with exception of the cruise ships
- Voyages at average a few months in length
- Lengthy international ocean voyages
- May work for various companies each trip
- Work with a steersman/helmsman/quartermaster
- Oversee cargo operations
MAP Frequently Asked Questions
HOW MUCH IS THE TUITION?
Please contact a school advisor for the latest MAP tuition rates. Tuition is paid in pre-scheduled increments over the duration of the program at the start of each academic phase. Tuition includes books and simulation fees.
IS FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE?
MAP is approved to accept VA educational benefits such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill. However, at this time, federal financial aid is not available.
HOW MUCH IS THE STIPEND?
During your time with the MAP, the stipend while on a vessel will depend on several factors, but generally is at the partner company’s discretion. Some companies abide by the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) stipulated stipend of $30 a day, whereas other companies may offer a higher stipend or pay an hourly rate.
DO I HAVE TO FIND A COMPANY TO TAKE ME ON AS AN APPRENTICE?
MITAGS’ MAP has built strong partnerships with various partner companies. Knowing the needs and requirements of each company, we strive to match the right apprentices with the right company.
DO I HAVE ANY SAY IN WHAT COMPANY I MAY APPRENTICE WITH?
As much as is practicable, applicants preferences are taken into consideration.
WHAT WILL MY SALARY BE ONCE I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED THE PROGRAM?
Salaries are determined by many factors, but the median rate for a Deck Officer working on tugs is $400 per day. Other sectors of the industry can vary greatly in their compensation.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET MY TWIC AND MMC?
The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) is administered by the TSA, and the Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) is administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. While the timelines for obtaining these credentials can vary greatly due to agency demands, applicants should plan for at least three months from the time they apply for their TWIC to receive both credentials.
HOW LONG ARE THE SEA PHASES?
The length of each trip depends on what part of the maritime industry you will be working in, as well as the needs of each individual company. A voyage can be anywhere from a week to a few months in duration. Apprentices are given an ample amount of time to complete their required days at sea.
IS HOUSING INCLUDED IN THE TUITION?
No, housing is not included in the tuition.
CAN I WORK ON THE SIDE WHILE IN THE PROGRAM?
Working while enrolled in the Maritime Apprenticeship Program is extremely challenging. Apprentices spend 360 calendar days at sea and approximately 26 weeks in the classroom during the program. Due to the seasonal and unpredictable nature of the maritime industry, it is difficult to forecast days off.
HOW LONG IS THE PROGRAM?
The duration of the program is approximately 28 months; however, some participants have finished in as few as 24 months. Completion of the program includes finishing all the required coursework, completing the training record book, and accumulating 360 days of sea service.
WHAT CLASS HOURS WILL I HAVE?
Classroom hours are 8:00am to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday. Some classes meet on Saturdays. Homework is regularly assigned throughout the week, and for classes longer than one week in duration, homework is assigned over the weekend.
DOES THE SCHOOL ASSIST WITH JOB PLACEMENT ONCE I COMPLETE THE PROGRAM?
Sailing and working 360 days within the program allows the partner company to extensively observe and evaluate apprentices. Over 90% of our alumni stay on with the company with whom they apprenticed.
WHEN DOES THE PROGRAM START?
The program typically starts in the Spring or Fall, but may vary. Please contact the Program Manager for the latest schedule.
CAN I USE COURSES I TOOK PREVIOUSLY FOR THIS PROGRAM?
MITAGS’ Maritime Apprenticeship Programs are United States Coast Guard approved training programs. As such, the USCG accepts the training students receive in the classroom as well as time on board vessels, and apprentices receive credit for a portion of the necessary sea time required for a Mate’s license. This arrangement with the USCG does not allow for courses taken elsewhere, and all courses are required in order to complete the program.
CAN I USE PREVIOUSLY ACQUIRED SEA TIME FOR THIS PROGRAM?
As mentioned above, the program approval requires 360 days of sea service within the program. For questions regarding your specific situation, please call the Program Manager toll-free, at 1-888-893-7829.
ARE ALL THE PROGRAMS THE SAME?
The MAP Deck Program offers a ‘Third Mate Unlimited’ track and a ‘500-1600 GRT’ track, also known as the Workboat Academy.
DO I HAVE TO MOVE TO THE CITY MY CAMPUS IS LOCATED IN?
Students are required to be on campus during the classroom phases of the program but are not required to relocate to the city in which the campus is located. Many apprentices find temporary lodging for the classroom phases.
AM I TOO OLD FOR THIS PROGRAM?
MAP is open to anyone that is qualified for the position. The program is physically demanding with long arduous hours. If you are in good health, and able to meet the job description, you will certainly be given the exact same consideration as anyone else. It should be noted, however, that one of the primary reasons for the establishment of the MAP was due to an aging workforce.
HOW MANY WOMEN ARE ENROLLED IN THE PROGRAM?
While the maritime industry is traditionally male-dominated, more and more women are successfully entering the field. MAP has several female instructors who are accomplished Chief Officers, Captains and Mates. Women interested in a career at sea are strongly encouraged to apply.
HOW DO I GET THE ENROLLMENT PROCESS STARTED?
Complete and submit the inquiry form on the ‘Contact Us’ page of this website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and a MAP representative will be in touch with more information.