Going through the licensing process ? Have queries, comments, or do you need an answer to that obscure exam question ? This is the place to post.
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Postby chickenknight » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:32 am

Hi, I'm a 23 year old from Quebec and I recently have gotten curious about jobs on cargo/container ships.

I am curious what sorta training I'd need for entry level positions and where I generally would be able to find it.
Also which provinces are generally the best for picking up work in this field. Also is it worth it to join the Seafarers international union of Canada and or different unions.
I've been looking online but a lot of the stuff just ends up being more confusing then helpful and end up on American pages more often then not.
I know this might not be the best forum to ask this stuff on but I thought I'd give it a shot.
In advanced thank you for your time.


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Fleet Engineer
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Currently located: Eastern Canada

Re: Questions

Postby JollyJack » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:23 pm

au contraire mon ami, this IS the best place to find info. Your first stop should be reading the "Seafaring" page and digest the information on there. Your next stop is the "Training" page, where you will find all the information you need about what you need to qualify as an Engineer. It's not a 3 month course, takes a bit longer than that. It's a career commitment. Have a look around, I'll be happy to answer any questions you have, as will any other Engineer. We're always eager to tell people how it really is as Engineers. :)
Discourage incest, ban country "music".

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The Dieselduck
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Currently located: Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada (West Coast of Canada)

Re: Questions

Postby The Dieselduck » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:51 pm

Yes indeed, I believe you are in exactly the right place to find the information you seek, otherwise, I've totally missed the mark on this project. was born out of the same concerns you have, and I am pretty sure any question you have now, have already been answered on the main site, otherwise, you can send me an email or post it here.

Like Jolly Jack says, the place to start is the Main Website, Never mind the spelling mistakes on the Seafaring Page ( i must have been smoking something, while my spell checker died - but start there, then move onto the Training Page ( for an overview of what needs to be done. On the Ship's Library ( you'll find additional insight; and on the "Work Page" some job resources (

I have an extensive update, with lots of career stuff in it, ready to go, as soon as I can get good internet. One interesting document in that update is the career path cost documents, which list all the costs and steps needed to become Marine Engineer in Canada. The best way is to follow the Cadet Route, available at Rimouski in Quebec, Owen Sound in Ontario, Memorial in Newfoundland or BCIT in Vancouver. This is of course if you are interested in working in the engine room; otherwise the same schools, also offer non engineering specific maritime training courses.

In Canada, jobs prospect are probably most plentiful in central Canada - Quebec and Ontario (St Lawrence and Great Lakes), due to the higher numbers of Canadian ship working in this area - tankers and bulk carriers. However, with the Cadet program you can consider a good step off point to work on any international trading ship, as the Certificate of Competency you get after jumping through all the hoops, making you a Ship's Marine Engineering officer, is internationally recognized.

The Union that represents most ratings in Central Canada - unlicensed mariners working on deck and in the engine room - is the Seafarers International Union (SIU). They have "hiring halls" in St Catherine's, Montreal, Quebec City amongst other places. Depending on what you want to do, deck or engine, rating or license, joining the union is probably not your first career step - try instead finding out about what it means to be a seafarer, and how you think you would fit in. If you want to just try out working on ships, then okay, I would suggest talking to the SIU -, but even there its not just as simple as it sounds.

Forget all the US stuff, as it is irrelevant unless you hold right to work / citizenship there.
Martin Leduc
Certified Marine Engineer and Webmaster
Martin's Marine Engineering Page

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