Washington State Ferries Apprenticeship Program

Campus Location: MITAGS-West (Seattle, Washington)

Partner Company Providing Onboard Training: Washington State Ferries

Program Start Date: February 3, 2025

Application Deadline:

    • Application Submission: June 1 – June 30, 2024
    • Notification of Application Acceptance/Decline: July 5, 2024
    • Notification of Scholarship Award: Mid – Late August 2024

License Pathway: Unlimited Tonnage Mate – Inland

Tuition Cost: N/A – This is a scholarship funded program


Candidate Requirements

Requirements for full admission to all of the MITAGS MAP training programs are:

    • Minimum age of 18.5
    • Proof of high school diploma, GED or HiSET
    • Basic Math Entrance Exam (completed online, following your initial program interview)
    • Proof of U.S. citizenship (US Coast Guard requirement for licensed credentials)
    • Eligibility to obtain TWIC, Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC), and USCG Medical Certificate (WSF will assist selected applicants with this process)


Application Process

Thank you for your interest in the 2025 MITAGS and WSF Maritime Apprenticeship Program. To apply for the scholarship opportunity, you must submit the following:

    • Professional Resume
    • 2 Letters of Reference
    • A completed and passed Math Exam
    • Answers to essay questions

Please review the following requirements to make sure you submit a completed application as requested by MITAGS and WSF:

    • For your references, it is preferable to submit (2) professional, but (1) professional and (1) personal will be accepted. A professional reference can be from any of the following, but is not limited to, a recent employer, coworkers, community leaders, volunteer supervisors, school advisors, teachers/professors. A personal reference would be from a friend or family member. Letters of reference will be assessed for the following to help determine if an application is complete: typed, written within last five years, be written about this scholarship opportunity (ideally, not mandatory), submitted in the appropriate format.


    • Access to the math exam is open now. You will need to create a user account on this website and enter the access code below to take the exam. An explanation of why MITAGS and WSF requires this step can be viewed here. You will have a total of two chances to complete and pass the math exam. There is a workbook available on the site that covers the types of questions you will experience on the exam. Attempts to pass the math exam can be spread out to allow applicants to seek help before attempting again, if necessary.
      Math Test (themaritimeacademy.com)
      Math Exam Access Code: MarinerMath

    • Essays will be assessed initially for the following to help determine if an application is complete: typed, maximum of 500 words per question, each question on a separate page, in a single document, submitted in the appropriate format. The criteria that will be used to assess the answers you’ve provided can be viewed here. The questions to answer are as follows:
      1. Why are you interested in pursuing a career in the Maritime Industry as a Licensed Deck Officer with the Washington State Ferries?
      2. What strengths or skills will you bring to WSF?
      3. WSF is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. How can you contribute to maintaining or advancing that commitment?


Applications must be submitted through this page of the MITAGS website (application upload portal will be available starting June 1st). All documents must be submitted in .doc, .docx or .pdf format. Your application will only be reviewed if it is 100% complete and meets all criteria as described.

Due to the expected number of applicants for this scholarship program, we will not be able to address individual questions via email or phone. Please plan to attend a Q & A session (4 options available and linked below) to ask your questions and learn more about the program and working for WSF.

Thank you for undertaking this process and we look forward to your submission!


Q & A Sessions

Suggested Free Resources

About Washington State Ferries

The Washington State Ferry system is the largest in the U.S. and the second largest in the world, with a fleet of 21 auto-passenger vessels operating out of 20 terminals on 10 different routes in the Puget Sound. We are the third largest transit system in Washington, moving an average of 23 million commuters, casual riders and tourists per year.

WSF’s core values are to serve, respect, grow, trust, and navigate. We provide safe, reliable service for our customers, we embrace differences and treat all people with dignity, we celebrate each other’s successes and learn from our mistakes, we create a space where everyone feels safe and valued, and we adapt and correct course to constantly improve. Come join WSF as it embraces a positive culture change for all!

Benefits of Being a Deck Officer with Washington State Ferries

    • Competitive wages: WSF licensed deck officers starting pay range $97,000 – 104,000
    • Full Benefits
    • Retirement
    • Continued Training
    • Learn more at the WSF website