Advice or guidance please

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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Advice or guidance please

Postby Newbie » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:09 am

Firstly, what an amazing site! I will definitely update and report as my career progresses.

1) I'm a Canadian abroad looking at entering the Marine Mechanics field. I think this site is Canadian?

I have zero months at sea but am enrolling at L'Institut Maritime du Quebec to take a 200 hour ERA/Matelot course. I'm hoping this course includes STCW as well. Upon completion of the course, I hope get my medical check and report to TC for my logbook, followed by reporting to the nearest union, SIU I think, and wait patiently for work.

2) Is this the correct way to get in the field?

3) Has anyone on this site studied at IMQ before and if so what are your thoughts?

4) I believe that I than need 36 months at sea prior to being able to apply for my 4th class, is this right?

Nice touch on the registering questions for this site.

Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated and looking forward to anyone's replies.

Cory

"If you can't repair it, maybe it shouldn't be on board." - Lin and Larry Pardey

“Marge! Look at all this great stuff I found at the Marina. It was just sitting in some guy's boat!” - Homer Simpson

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JK
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Re: Advice or guidance please

Postby JK » Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:17 am

Yes, this site is Canadian, out of BC

Is this the correct way to get in the field?

Depends on what you want. What exactly does that facility give you at the end of the course?
Do you want to be an oiler or an engineering officer at the end of the day.
( I hate the term mechanic applied to the marine field, because it is a whole lot more then that.)

I always point the young people towards the CG College, mainly because you get a lot of the book training required, right up to the Chiefs level and have the opportunity to go to sea in the process. Plus they have a free tuition and pay you as well.

https://psjobs-emploisfp.psc-cfp.gc.ca/psrs-srfp/applicant/page1800?toggleLanguage=en&psrsMode=1&poster=41358&noBackBtn=true

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Re: Advice or guidance please

Postby Newbie » Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:09 pm

Thanks for the reply JK.

You've piqued my interest.

I always point the young people towards the CG College, mainly because you get a lot of the book training required, right up to the Chiefs level and have the opportunity to go to sea in the process. Plus they have a free tuition and pay you as well.


What do you consider young? I'm 30 years old but still full of P&V.

As with most GC websites, they end up going around in circles and can get fustrating with little or no answers.

I've searched the CGC website extensively and there is nothing with regards to age.

Does anyone know if 30 is too old for this course?

Looks like upon completion of my cadet training, I'm also committed to 4 years service with the CGC where as if I take the course at IMQ, I'm hoping to be able to land a job after completion of the 200 hour course which includes ERA certification. I don't want to remain an oiler, I want to be an engineering officer!

Would this not be a quicker route than going with CGC?

I realize that the fastest solution isn't always the best solution but I wish to achieve 2nd class engineer certification before the ripe old age of 60.

Once again, anyone's advice or personal experiences would be greatly appreciated as I'm currently abroad looking to return to Canada and get into training ASAP.

Thanks again.

Cory

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JK
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Re: Advice or guidance please

Postby JK » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:28 am

They will accept you at 30, there has been older people there.
If you go through the program at the CCGC there are a couple of benefits.
First, if you elect to do it, you can write and pass your "A" part of your certificate up to the 1st class level. As anyone can tell you, studying for the A part is really tough after you have been in the field for 5 or 6 years.
You get a degree. This is a benefit if you decide to work ashore.
You graduate as an officer. It is up to you how far you want to take it. Depending where you end up, you could have your 2nds within 4 years. Now I will qualify that and say, you could have your 2nds, but CG has a lot of very good tickets sailing as watchkeepers, you may not be sailing as a 2nd or CE but you can decide after the 4 years if you wish to move FG, move to one of the ferry companies or stay within the fold.
If you are interested, I can find you a number and a name up there that you can talk to them.

And the government websites are horrid to find what you need, aren't they?

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Re: Advice or guidance please

Postby Newbie » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:35 pm

Thanks again JK.

I like what I hear.

Paid lodging and housing with only a 4 year commitment followed by a 4 year tour of duty. I'll register upon my return to Canada.

Can you explain the following abbreviation for me please:

but you can decide after the 4 years if you wish to move FG,


FG?

Could also explain to me watchkeeping tickets, in brief of course?

One last question, seeing as to you are quite knowledgeable about CG, do you know of the recruitment dates? When do the courses generally start?

With regards to GC (government canada) websites that's a whole other can of worms hence the reason I'm asking you so many questions.

Thanks again

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Re: Advice or guidance please

Postby JK » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:22 pm

FG?
foreign going

Could also explain to me watchkeeping tickets, in brief of course?
It's Friday night and my typing is being impacted by outside forces, so check in here:
http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/SOR-2007-115/

When do the courses generally start?
They have probably recruited for this year, but the poster is open year round


With regards to GC (government canada) websites that's a whole other can of worms hence the reason I'm asking you so many questions.

Wait til you have to look the regulations up in the TC website. I'm in there all the time and I still can't find anything.

I sent you a PM, look under your profile. If you need his email, let me know and I will give it to you.

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The Dieselduck
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Re: Advice or guidance please

Postby The Dieselduck » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:51 am

First off, thanks for joining the community. I take comfort in your statement of "I think this site is Canadian?" Although I administer the site principally from BC when at home, and from the East Coast when at work, the site is hosted at the Los Angeles Airport, believe it or not. But of course its whats inside that I value most, I am happy to say that the content is just about from all over the world, which reflect the broad scope of our profession and the members here.

I see JK has been answering most of your questions, but I just wanted to say that if you haven't, it may be beneficial for you to drop by the main site and check out the "Training" page, which has a bit of resource for a person in your position. Although the information is getting a bit dated and in need of updating, it still has some insight you may appreciate. Point your browser to www.dieselduck.net and look for the "Training" tag at the top of the page.

Regarding IMQ, I have not heard much feedback about the school, positive or negative. Although the french terminology and the related translation may hamper you if planning to work foreign going, other than French ships, since the international language of seafaring is English.

The SIU is probably the right way to go while looking for that type of work in the major east coast Canadian markets, depending on your location. But I have always been a firm believer of dealing directly with companies, then working out the union stuff after. Unfortunately, many companies have cut their ratings on board, so the chance of getting engine room seatime is getting slimmer and slimmer. The dangers of going through the SIU for engineering rating work is that you'll end up as a multipurpose rating, but probably mostly on deck, maybe even permanently, which is fine if that's what your into, but not very good to your career in the engine room.

The 36 months of seatime is a firm number, but what qualifies as sea time may surprise you. If you have done various engineering related courses or have work experience in mechanical incline positions, heavy duty mechanic, electronics repairs, etc, these can be interpreted by an examiner and some of the time credited as sea time. Thinking about this could get you to your goals faster.

With the 8 hour work day on the regulatory horizon, getting a job in an outfit that has 12 hour days can also significantly add to your sea time bank without much effort. Generally most outfits in Canada run crews on 12 hrs rotation, but the occasional one only ask you to work 8 hrs. At a day for day contract, commonly found in Canada, getting 36 months of seatime at 8 hrs a day, turns out to be over 6 years of actual employment in the engine room, so using this workarounds you may be able to speed thing up a bit.

These are some of my two cents...
Martin Leduc
Certified Marine Engineer and Webmaster
Martin's Marine Engineering Page
http://www.dieselduck.net

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Re: Advice or guidance please

Postby Newbie » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:39 pm

WOW! Thank you very much for the link.

I've been busy going through it's entirety.

I'm currently in the process of sending off my application and will source my other documents once I'm landed back in the motherland.

I'll keep you guys in the loop and should I be accepted, I will assist you with updating your website about CCGC.

Thanks again.

Cory

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Re: Advice or guidance please

Postby martin_woodcock » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:29 pm

At a day for day contract, commonly found in Canada, getting 36 months of seatime at 8 hrs a day, turns out to be over 6 years of actual employment in the engine room, so using this workarounds you may be able to speed thing up a bit.


Wow that made me raise my eyebrows muttering an expletive. My qualification under AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority) includes 36 weeks seatime. The difference being the time spent on board is inclusive of outside working hours. Total of approx 9 months seatime for Class 3 Watchkeeper certificate. It is quite extrodinary the differences present in varying countries. 9months I feel isn't enough to gain a decent amount of experience but I'm happy to be qualified quickly so I can earn some decent dosh :wink:

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Re: Advice or guidance please

Postby electrotech » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:15 am

I also wondered how to really get started in the marine industry.

Fortunately for me, the ferry service here in BC had hit rock-bottom as far as filling on-ship positions. I got hired with only my Electricians ticket to work as an ERA. They put me through the MED courses and other training to meet the regulatory requirements. I understand the marine industry in general is suffering from a lack of crew, so there's bound to be other opportunities like this as well.

I'm 32 years young. I'm shooting for a 2nd class ticket by age 40 :mrgreen:

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JK
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Re: Advice or guidance please

Postby JK » Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:31 pm

Newbie, I posted the new job poster for the college on here.
The link is there for the website to apply. I have heard that they are ramping up the amount of cadets they will be taking in, makes sense due to the amount of people due to retire and the new ships that are going to be built over the next 10-15 years.

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Canadian Coast Guard College overview from cadet

Postby Steamboat Al » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:24 am

From a CG Cadet undergoing sea phase training:

Everything on here about the Canadian Coast Guard College(CCGC) is about right, let me just throw in some facts to replace some of the speculations.

The CCGC takes applications up until January of each hiring year, and there are no age restrictions. A few years before I joined, the college graduated a man in his fifties. In my year, the average age, out of 40 cadets, is 27. After the application deadline passes, the college will send out dates for aptitude tests around late February. Out of everyone that passes the aptitude tests, they select an unspecified number to interview sometime in late April. You will also be asked to take a medical and fill out all the forms for security checks. By early June, you should get a conditional acceptance phone call or a rejection letter. Once your security check clears, they'll call and arrange a date to fly you, at their expense, to the college. You'll receive all the standard information packages etc... that go along with joining any other college from out of province.

The deal is 47 months of training in return for 48 months of work. The divide for the engineering program is: 12 months at the college, 4 months at sea, 16 months at the college, 5 months at sea, 10 months at the college. If you decide to stop working for the CCG before your 4 months have elapsed, you are required to pay a prorated amount of your allowance pay(more about that further down) back to the feds. You are provided with room and board on campus as well as one trip home (at christmas) per year. You get 2 weeks off at christmas and 3 weeks off in the summer, subject to your training requirements (sea phase can push those numbers around, depending on each ship's individual crew change dates). If you so desire, you are permitted to live off-campus provided you get to morning divisions on time and are present for your duty-shifts.

The pay is a fixed rate 'allowance' that you receive every two weeks. The amount gradually increases from first to fourth year. A first year cadet will receive approximately 120$ net every two weeks. During sea phase, you are provided with an extra allowance of about 1000$ per month. Aside from that, the college will pay for all of your training, including books, 100$/year for binders, pens, etc..(you have to buy through their account with corporate express, but they have a massive discount). After the first year, you will have your ROC-M(radio) license, your advanced marine first responder certs, and the top level M.E.D.s.
You will also get the full benefits of a public servant. Medical coverage for you and your family, dental coverage, you start paying into your government pension right away and you become a guild member.

When you graduate, you will have a Bachelor's in Marine Technology(??) and your 4th class motors. The real deal is your exemptions. As you gather your sea time, you won't have to be studying for upcoming technical drawings for 2nd, or your thermal dynamics or anything, that'll all be done.
The big number that keeps getting thrown at us is "50% of the officers will have retired by 2012", or something to that effect. Essentially, you'll get a lot of sea time, fast, so you can well expect to have enough sea time to write your 2nds by the time your 4 years of commitment are done.

With all the facts out of the way, here is my opinion after my first year. It's worth it. Personally, I didn't further my career for 9 years after getting out of high school, so 4 years at the college was a no-brainer, by the numbers. You just have to be prepared to put up with a lot of BS. You are required to be in uniform, properly ironed etc... You are inspected at morning divisions, you have to (try to) march, your rooms are inspected. You have 40 hours of classes per week, and then you have a boat load of assignments and projects and studying to do on your off time (by third term, expect to be drawing at least 10 hours a week).

You have to work a duty shift about once a month, patrolling halls etc.... In order to satisfy the requirements of the useless bachelor's degree, you have to take some pretty ridiculous courses (communications, gym...), all of which sound better on paper than they are. And the food isn't the best.... But, it doesn't matter, because you've got your mates, you're all in it together and the cadet-run campus bar Chez Nous is open and selling as cheap as the law permits(2.50/drink). I don't regret joining, and I've made a lot of what I expect to be life-long friends. Although I haven't tried to get into the marine engineering sector any other way, I'd recommend this method to any of my friends.

Really though, aside from the free education, the benefits, and any other good reason to join, I joined because of the job. I wanted to work for an organization that wasn't in it for the money. We aren't out there for profit, we're out there for Canada. And we're not getting paid as much as the commercial sector, but we do our best to keep our waterways open, protect our EEZ from harmful commercial activity, and keep sailors in Canadian waters safe. I don't imagine there any many feelings better than coming home after being part of a team that rescued people from a hazardous situation.

Hope that's cleared up any questions about the CCGC.
Good luck with your hunt!
Officer Cadet Michael Paynter

*Edit*
The college year starts when most education facilities do, last week of August.
They are currently renovating the college campus in order to accommodate an increase of cadets to meet the demand. In 2011, they expect to take on 64 new cadets. I think that it's still 48 for 2010, but it may be higher.

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The Dieselduck
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Re: Advice or guidance please

Postby The Dieselduck » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:06 am

Excellent post Michail. Thank you for the descriptive and personal insight. I wish you all the best.
Martin Leduc
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http://www.dieselduck.net

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Re: Advice or guidance please

Postby Newbie » Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:42 am

Been a while since I last logged.

Thanks for all the great posts, links and responses.

I have chosen to take my route via Institut Maritime du Quebec and receive the following training, though not as extensive as CCG.

I will add a post with regards to my progress.

Happy holidays and we'll post after February.

Newbie (for now)

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JK
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Re: Advice or guidance please

Postby JK » Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:40 pm

Please keep us updated on how you make out. I would be very interested in hearing about it. Best of luck.


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