Ship Captain Schools and Training Programs: How to Choose
Ship captains can have careers outside the military such as working in product transport for global corporations or commanding a cruise ship. There are non-military related schools where students can earn the education needed to begin a career.
How to Choose a Ship Captain School or Training Program
Programs that train students to become ship captains can be found at maritime academies and 4-year colleges and universities.
Summary of Important Considerations
- Program options and credentials awarded
- Faculty experience
- Curriculum content
- Graduate success
Program Options and Credentials Awarded
Those wishing to become a ship captain may look for schools with deck officer or marine transportation programs. Students should make sure that the program issues a U.S. Coast Guard-issued Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) upon graduation. An MMC allows a graduate to work on any U.S. ship in any ocean regardless of the ship's size, load or horsepower. This credential also runs concurrently with accreditation by both the Maritime Administration and the United States Coast Guard's National Maritime Center.
The training provided by a MMC-credential program requires that the program faculty have experience on the water. Students may want to review the backgrounds of the faculty members, looking for experience in both freshwater transport and time at sea. A credential that students should look for in a faculty member is Master Mariner, Unlimited, Any Ocean, which signifies that a professor can work on any size U.S. ship over any water.
The curriculum in marine transportation programs is broad and includes topics from basic medicine to ocean science. Some courses, such as navigation, will be offered in sequences and include distinct sections such as terrestrial, celestial and electronic. A curriculum should include time on a ship and real-life simulations.
Students may want to investigate the benefits offered to graduates. All programs that carry an MMC credential offer graduates the opportunity to participate in the U.S. Navy or Coast Guard and earn a reserve officer's commission. Programs might list information such as the companies graduates work for and average starting salaries.
Ship Captain Training Program Overviews
Marine Transportation Programs
These programs combine humanities and science courses with training and instruction in different aspects of the maritime industry, including business and technology. Students will have to take many lab-based courses, such as:
- Marine survival
- Nautical science
Many programs require training cruises in the spring or summer.
Licensed Deck Officer
Licensed deck officer programs are 3- or 4-year programs. Similar to programs in marine transportation, these programs include courses in business and science, and maritime-specific courses include:
- Cargo stowage
- Ship safety
Passing the Merchant Mariner's license examination is the final requirement in order to earn the degree.
Related to Ship Captain Schools and Training Programs: How to Choose
- Recently Updated
Cruise ship captains command the overall operation, crew and safety of a cruise ship. Working in conjunction with mates and...
From cruise ships to freighters, all sea-going vessels sail under the command of a captain. Learn about education and training...
A recent focus on veteran's issues has led to some overhaul in the Department of Veterans Affairs. One new development is the...
Last month, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire signed into effect a law that allows employers to give veterans hiring...
- Military Analyst: Job Description, Duties and Outlook
- GIs: Thinking About a Degree? Get College Credit For Your Military Experience
- 10 Perfect Majors for Students with Military Experience
- Master of Education (M.Ed): Educational Administration Degree Overview
- Financial Accounting Courses and Classes Overview
- Transportation Dispatch Courses and Classes Overview
- Overview of Medical Law Courses and Classes