An ordinary seaman (OS) is the lowest rating on a ship. This is an unlicensed position, and it requires no maritime experience. Ordinary seamen handle a variety of basic tasks, working towards becoming an Able Seaman.
The first step you need to take is getting a valid U.S. Merchant Marine Credential (MMC).
You need to take care of these 6 easy steps to get your entry level MMC:
Once you've completed those items, you'll complete and submit a CG-719B form. This is the MMC application form.
Note: Getting your MMC is not a guarantee of finding work. This is a certification that allows you to work in the merchant marine industry.
Ordinary seamen are doing most of the grunt work around the ship. It's not glorious, but it's the path forward to becoming a licensed Able Seaman in the future. OS responsibilities include general maintenance, cleaning and sanitizing the ship, painting, loading and unloading cargo, and more.
As you gain more experience, you can expect more responsibilities.
There are no sea service requirements for entry level endorsements. Employers will typically want you to complete some basic maritime training before you start working.
Ordinary Seaman, Wiper, and Steward’s Department (FH).
We hope this made your life a little easier and if you have other questions the MM-SEAS team is always here to help!
No matter what, when you are ready to submit your application, you can choose to have the MM-SEAS staff create a perfect application, handle the USCG application fees and work with the USCG on your behalf to resolve any issues for a flat fee of $299 or you can choose to submit on your own.
Pro MM-SEAS members get access to unlimited live 1 on 1 calls with one of our USCG Licensing Specialists. We've found that answering questions live with screen sharing in a video call makes both of our lives easier. Pro MM-SEAS members can access these features inside of MM-SEAS under License Guidance.
Nate has over 15 years of professional maritime experience and has hawsepiped his way to a 3rd Mate Unlimited Endorsement with full STCW compliance. He is proud veteran of the NOAA Commissioned Corps.