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State of Alaska > DOLWD > Alaska Job Center Network > Apprenticeship Opportunities in Alaska

Merchant Marine Apprenticeship/Employment
Apprenticeship School and Program Outline
The Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship in Piney Point, Maryland, offers an excellent opportunity for vocational training, employment, and a career for drug-free Alaskans. It is the largest training facility for deep-sea merchant seafarers and inland waterways boatmen in the United States. The school teaches specialized skills for jobs in the Deck, Engine and Steward Departments.
The curriculums are constantly updated to keep abreast of changing maritime technology. The school provides men and women who have no maritime experience with the basic skills they will need to serve aboard U.S. flagships or tugs. The school also provides professional advancement for experienced men and women through career upgrading programs. Students who successfully complete their training are enrolled as members of the Seafarers International Union (SIU), and placed in their first shipboard job. Participating companies in Alaska are Sealand, Totem, Ocean Trailer Express, and Maritime Overseas.
Seafarers International Union, Atlantic, Gulf, Lakes and Inland Waters District/NMU, AFL-CIO
The initial training program is eight months long, with the student receiving an initial rating and a job with the SIU upon graduation. The basic training program covers the tasks of seamen in all three shipboard departments: deck, engine, and steward through a combination of classroom learning and hands-on experience aboard a vessel. Two months prior to graduation the apprentice must choose one of the three departments for their career choice. Once employed, the work rotation will be four months on board a vessel with two months off, for a total of eight months on and four months off per year. The $30,000 per year entry-level salary applies to this work rotation.

The first three months at the Harry Lundeberg School includes:

  • Orientation
  • Seamanship Basics
  • Nautical History, Math and Terms
  • Lifeboat Operations
  • First Aid and CPR
  • Galley Operation
  • Deck Operations

The next three months are at sea with students receiving four weeks of on-the-job training in each of the three departments.

Upon completion of the shipboard training the student will select the deck, engine, or steward department for their career choice and return to the Harry Lundeberg School for an additional two months training in that particular field.

Upon graduation students are placed with an SIU carrier for a four-month period.

After four months on the job, SIU members are eligible to return to the school for a one-month course and upgrade their rating to Able Bodied Seaman. Continued experience in the maritime shipping industry and continued returns to the Harry Lundeberg School for rating upgrades could lead to advanced ratings such as Bosun, Chef, Chief Steward, etc.

The unlicensed apprentice program and all upgrade training at the Harry Lundeberg School are free for SIU members. All fees, books, tuition, room and board are provided at no charge. Students are responsible for the following expenses:

Transportation to/from Washington D.C.
Cab fare to SIU headquarters at Camp Springs, MD
Uniform purchase
USCG documents fee
Misc. expenses at the Ship Store (personal items)
Physical, drug test, Benzene test

Students may qualify for training assistance under the Job Training Partnership Act or other sources to help offset these cost.

Enrollment Period

Enrollment is currently open. Please call the office for more details.

To Apply

Tracey Mayhew
Seafarers International Union
721 Sesame Street, Suite 1C
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
Phone: (907) 561-4988
Fax: (907) 563-0122

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* The information presented on these pages may not contain every apprenticeship opportunity available in Alaska.  If you currently sponsor an apprenticeship program that meets U.S. Dept. of Labor standards and would like your information posted here please contact the AJCN web coordinator.

The Alaska Job Center Network is an equal opportunity employer/program.
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Page Updated October 14, 2008