USCG Mariner Endorsements:
All mariners employed aboard U.S. merchant vessels greater than 100 Gross Register Tons (Domestic Tonnage), except operators of uninspected passenger vessels, are required to have a valid U.S. Merchant Mariner’s Credential (MMC). Other mariners operating small craft or entry level mariners may acquire an MMC as they apply for certain licenses and endorsements, but an MMC is not always required. Each endorsement or rating requires different amounts of sea service and/or education, and evidence of these must be provided at the time of the application. Also, different levels have different minimum age requirements.
Over the years a complex system of licenses and endorsements have emerged to properly credential the vast number of occupations in the maritime industries. Additionally, waterways and vessel types have been segmented to properly account for the different levels of experience necessary for each area of expertise. In additon to the general requirements for applying for a merchant mariner credential, there are additonal sea service and educational requirements that are typically required for each license orendorsement, as well as specialized experience requirement on a case-by-case basis. The rest of the document explores common divisions in the licensing environment, and the requirements for each license or endorsement within them. It is important to keep one point in mind – moving up through the ranks of the merchant marine can take many different routes.
- Radar Observer (Inland or Unlimited)
- Radar Observer Recertification
- Automatic Radar Plotting Aids (ARPA)
- Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS)
- Bridge Resource Management (BRM)
- National Lifeboatman
- Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GDMDSS)