How to Become a Seaman in the Philippines – Requirements, Training, Salary and Jobs Hiring

I know there are many Filipinos who want to be seaman or seafarer or mariner because of great benefits and high salaries. In this page, I discuss how to become a seaman in the Philippines. How much is the salary of seaman, how is the training and where to apply for jobs at companies hiring seamen, seafarers, maritime jobs and sea-based jobs for qualified crew.

Seaman Basic Training Course in the Philippines

In order to become a seaman, the first step is to have the basic seaman training (also known as BST). As a beginner, you need to take the STCW 95. This is the basic training and term used worldwide for seamen and seafarers entry level to work on boats, yacht or ships over 24m here and abroad. When you completed this training, they will give you a certificate and this will serve as a license to go forth in your seaman and maritime career.

Before you get the STCW95 certification, in the Philippines, you need to complete and pass a 7-day training and course which covers the following:

  • Sea Survival Techniques
  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibility
  • First Aid
  • Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention

You must enroll at schools and colleges offering these maritime training and courses. Make sure you enroll only at trusted training centers and schools approved and accredited by Maritime Training Council of the Philippines.

How much is the Basic Seaman Training in the Philippines?

Usually it costs around P4000 to P4500 (price may vary after the date of this post)

Seaman Requirements to Work Abroad and Overseas

After you have gotten a BST certificate, there are still requirements for you to work and be employed by a shipping company, yacht or go on cruise and overseas. A seaman needs the following:

  • BST or STCW 95 Certificate
  • Seaman Book
  • Passport

If you don’t have a seaman’s book yet, you really need to get one as this is very important just like your passport. The seaman book is stamped every time you go on board or employed in a ship or marine vessel. This is also required when you apply for a visa to work abroad.

If you want, you can read ‘how to get a seaman’s book in the Philippines’ for your reference.

Once hired, you need to register at POEA to become an official and registered Filipino Seaman. You may need your employment contract and the documents mentioned previously. They will issue you an SRC (Seafarers Registration Certificate). Another document required before you start working on board are transit visas. Your employer will assist you in getting one.

become seaman philippines

CC BY ND Royal New Zealand Navy

Seaman Salary in the Philippines

For starters, salaries ranges from P20,000 – P25,000 depending if the company allows salary deductions. That is just the starting salary. Once your seaman level is upgraded or you have gone another training or you are promoted it goes higher. Some seamen receive as much as P60,000 or P150,000 depending if the company is huge like a big European shipping line or a famous cruise ship for luxury travels. Salary and benefits differ depending on the positions like chief officer, chief mate, second mate, third mate etc. Some positions also pay triple the basic salary like wheelhouse, master, able seaman, harbor pilot and the like. Majority of companies offer paid vacation leave.

Agencies hiring seaman in the Philippines include Magsaysay Maritime, Career Shipping Co. and Maritime. Some POEA accredited seaman schools also offer seaman jobs.

BSMT and BSMarE in the Philippines

The meaning of BSMT is Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation while BSMarE means Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering. In order for you to have a full degree in your maritime career, you may take any of these courses especially if you are aspiring for officer positions and higher ranks.

Related article:

How to become a Philippine Navy: Requirements for Enlisted Personnel and Officers

List of Seaman and Maritime Schools in the Philippines Accredited by Marina and CHED

Comments

  1. ronald noveno says

    i am undergraduate of bs marine engr.can i apply to any company?at present i am working as a fire and safety technician here in saudi arabia.

    • says

      Hi there! Two of the requirements are BST or STCW 95 Certificate and a Seaman’s Book. Read the article to know more how to get them and how to apply.

      • Lezlie says

        Hi there.. i got a friend who graduated in BSMT but he’s 30 yrs of age now.. Is he still eligible to become a seaman..? thanks

      • cedie maglente says

        Hi im cedie,,im just graduated of bsmt last april 2013..i had all training but i have incomplete subject is it possible for me to have a job..pls reply

  2. Edfer says

    good day sir!

    I am not a graduate of any seaman courses, and my course is not related. As of now i am working as a Secretary here in Saudi Arabia. I am planning to train to become a part of it but i havent any idea on how to, and where to start. Could you please give me some advise/steps on how to be a part of that training.

    what if, if i got my Seamans Book?

    Which Training Should i get?

    Thanks and more power1

    • says

      Please read the article. The requirements and training to have in the Philippines to become a seaman are discussed above. The seaman’s book can be processed after the candidate was hired officially. Good luck and take care :)

  3. janice says

    hi! I am a graduate of Bachelor of science in criminology, we had also a training with the basis training course, water survival, personal safety and rescue training, first aid and fire fighting as well…is it possible for me to apply as seawoman, or not? and if ever do i still need to undergo training?

  4. Ei says

    Good day! I want to be a seawoman and i wanted to ask the following questions:
    (1) Are the same procedures apply for women?
    (2) I was wondering if there is a difference between the work that is given to a man and a woman? even the position that they may have in the ship.

    Thank you!

    • says

      I think so. There’s no specific requirement for women and I think the requirements are for all applicants and for seaman job description.

  5. vrix says

    hi! i graduate in bachelor of science in marine transportation and i have complete certificate base on seaman but i dont have experience,,,,im already 35,, there is an age limit for the seaman,,now im working in riyadh ksa

  6. John fitz says

    hi there. I am a graduate of de associate school in aclc. my course is computer system network technology. I have a lot of work experience as Computer Hardware software and network technician.. Do you think i am able to become seaman even if im not a gradute of bachelor degree? I have already work experience in other country… What should i do to become a seaman?

  7. Perla Hunt says

    My brother is a graduate in bachelor of science in marine transportation, he is currenlty applying for a job as a seaman but he was told that he needs to pay a fee of 60,000 pesos prior to boarding the ship. The 60,000 pesos is what they call as “lagay”. Is that common pracitce?

  8. janmart says

    Hi!
    Im a mechanical engineer with experience in heavy equipment and building maintenance.and im planning to work as a seaman this coming year.is there and advantage become an engineer and what post will available for me?

    • Ronald Pante says

      Good day! This is Rustan and I’m from an HR Solutions firm. My client is a high-end condominium under a very reputable real estate company and they’re looking for Registered Mechanical Engineers for a Technical Assistant postition. This is an urgent position for project base and will be assigned in Makati. Kindly send me a message through email if interested. Thank you!

  9. Del Sy says

    Good morning. I would like to request your kind help in behalf of my grandson, JEFF LESTER C. ROSALES, 21 years old, who completed the 3 years Academic requirements of the Degree of Science in Maritime Transportation at the University of Cagayan Valley, Tuguegarao City. He also completed the practicum requirements in Basic Safety Taining you mentioned above and the Cadet Shipboard Familiarization. In order to be considered as seaman he has to finished apprenticeship to any Shipping Company. In this connection, may I earnestly request your goodself to help him undergo the required on-the-job training to an international shipping lines so that his long time dream to become a seaman will come true with your kindest accommodation.
    Thank you and warmest regards.
    Mrs. Delia R. Sy

  10. says

    hi good day!
    I want to be a seaman. But my course is far and not related to the seaman course. And i am working for 10 years. is there an age limit going in maritime school? i want to served my dream when i was young to become a seaman.hoping for a kind and transparency reply. I am 30 years old dreaming to adrift off shore.godbless

  11. adamson says

    good morning, im a high school grad,. im working first at manila’s company,my position welder at 12 years working part of welding like fabrication and construction site structural. and 2 years at shipyard welder in subic. now im her at saudi arabia working at stainless steel factory. how about if i come going back manila, i want to apply at seaman basic course, can you handle me?

  12. nathaniel says

    Hi ! I’m electrical engineering graduate and i have the basic occupational safety and health training course (BOSH) that was taken in saudi but it is accredited by the DOLE and Safety Practitioners of the Philippines. Is this BOSH that i’ve taken is considered as a BST or STCW95?

  13. Nel Blanco says

    pano po kung 3rd year high school lang ang natapos ko at nakapag work na aq sa saudi for 5 years. kailangan ko ng sea man’s book dahil offshore n ngaun ang mgiging trabaho ko.pano aq makakapagproduce ng Diploma at CAV?pwede bang kumuha ng sea man’s book ang isang under graduate pero skilled person n katulad ko?

  14. Jp Ventura says

    Hi i’m 22yrs old, a nursing graduate but im not committed to it. i’ve think about it over and over again and i like to start a career as a seaman. After STCW95 what is my next step to go on? Please give me some advice. I really need this one. I have done lots of troubles and i wanna make it up by becoming a seaman. thank you.

  15. ed says

    may age limit ba ang sumakay ng barko? im alredy 40 , im planning to enroll a bridging course from mechanical engg to mar engg…. plz reply

  16. Annie says

    Can a foreigner enroll to some of the accredited maritime school here in the Philippines for a BST/STCW95?
    A friend of mine is seeking help if he could gain some sea experience here in the Philippines. I would appreciate it much if you can give me an idea about it.

  17. mudaser says

    hi there.. i have the BST, Passport and SIRB. but im an undergraduate of marine engineering. do the companies are accepting undergraduates in ph?
    thank you

  18. daisy says

    hi i am a call center agent and no other work experience and i want to switch career as seawoman.. do i have a chance? anyone who has an idea pls text me 09239922284

    • says

      If you meet the requirements why not? :) You may also want to check out our latest post about how to become a Philippine Navy in case you wanna join the Navy in addition to applying for a seaman.

      • daze says

        your response is not that helpful, as i was expecting a little more tips and advise as a blogger who is knowledgeable about the maritime industry..but thank you for your time to write your response. have a great day.

        • says

          I try to response the best way I can but I apologize if I missed any query or I may not have satisfied anyone. Cheers and thank you for the kind words still. God bless!

          • leonelle T. lambo says

            hillo mam theres havent time for me now .even along time i graduated as a bsmt .now i am 35 year old physiclyfet .iam planing to inroll bst and stcw95 .there is a chance for me to go on board. please rply ur cadet yunelll thanks

          • Neth says

            Very helpful information,.. I am a group fitness instructor and trying to consider on enrolling myself into one of these maritime schools to get employed. Do you happen to know if there is an available position for me? Would appreciate your reply… Thanks!

  19. jr says

    hi good day i really want to know where to apply as a seaman (any position would do) i have my seamans book way back 2011 and havent been used since then.. i really want to.. but i dont know how to start.. im a nurse.. do i have any oppurtunity there? during my bst training and marina processing(getting my seamans book)i saw some people at kalaw they said they are offering jobs there.. pls could you tell some places where i could start… online or in manila. and give a word of advice for dreamers like me.. thanks again and God bless u

  20. des says

    Hi!
    will there be any sanctions for a seaman in terms of his employment/deployment if he has a pending case whether at a barangay level or at the court?

  21. Juan carlos Madrigal says

    Hi…i was hired as a cabin steward in a cruise ship..i passed all the interviews now i am working all the necessary documents as a seaman..but i was worried to my school records dahil po nag illegal closure sila ako po ay high school graduate lamang wala po ako makuhang record sinabi po ng former registrar namin ay nasalanta ng undoy at na demolish ang aming school kasama ang aming dokumento hindi ko po ito naasikaso nuon pa man dahil maaga po ako namulat sa trabaho…sana po ay mabigyan niyo ako ng advice kung anu ang aking maaring gawin..maraming salamat po…..

  22. aiza says

    Hi im deck cadet aiza gallego and I already completed my 3yrs academic requirements degree in bachelor of science in marine transportation at technological institute of the philippines (T.I.P) and I also completed the practicum requirements for basic safety trainings…i just wanna ask about what are the steps to have an APPRENTICE SHIP so that I could have my sea service certificate to complete my 4yrs degree in maritme industry…please answer this…thanks and godbless!

  23. VIVEK MILAN DHOLAKIA says

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  24. katrina hechanova says

    hi ma”am..\sir..good day po..if i wil study a housekeeping course po ba sa tesda ..kahit months lang p un may chance po ba aq mag work sa cruise shipping lines..anu po ba ang mga procedures para mataggap ka sa pag apply at anu po ba mga requirements dito…thank u po..mag aantai po aq sa reply nyo..salamat po uli..

    • marco polo santiago says

      ano po ba yung mga requirements o mga documents kapg sa housekeeping utility sa cruise ship sa jebsen po ako nagapply at di ko po alam yung mga docs na kelangan nila…meron na ko seamns book, passport, src, kelangan pa ba ng coc sa housekeeping,

  25. DOMINGO A. TUTOR JR. says

    hi po, I already completed my 3yrs academic requirements degree in bachelor of science in marine transportation at mindanao polytechnic college gen.santos city. and 1year & 4days apprenticeship on board domestic. balak ko po sanang mag apply overseas kaso ang higpit ng competation..need po sila ng backer..

    merun po ba kayong alam na pwde kong ma applayan na tulad ko..nA wlang backer..

    thank you..

  26. king says

    Hi Fehl,

    I just want to eludicate if I understand it correctly, my course is not related to any seaman course, all I need to do is to take stcw 95 training for 7 days, get a passport and seamans book. ” to become a seaman ” ( no ranking ). Thanks! Have a great one.

  27. rayjay says

    Good Day!

    Hi mam just want to ask, I’m an IT graduate and I’m already 27 years old. I want to become a seaman but idont have any experience in the field.. after i got a seaman’s book can i apply to the manning agencies even though i dont have experience??please reply..thank you very much and godbless..

  28. Pmax says

    Good day all and to you Fehl,

    As I was going through with this post I’ve noticed lots of people want to become seafarers. Despite some of them had already a good job, while others were planning to change their career. I want to be honest with you guys regarding this profession of being a seafarer. With so many amendments in maritime industry at present it’s not easy anymore to get a job as seaman/sea woman. Changes like standardization of trainings and certificates under STCW, MLC, MARINA and even Shipping Company specific trainings. Point is yet now plenty of BSMT and BSMARE graduates were not lucky to even get at sea for this job. How much more for some of us here who is already 20 years near of retiring age and are planning to change our career path? Be satisfied of what we have now then we are happy :D Seafaring is a very tough and dangerous profession one cannot imagine. I am a Marine Engineer Officer of foreign LNG vessel for 10 years already. I started my career life at sea when I was 22 years old. If most of you think because seafarer earned lots of money and you would like to become one of them. Then we are all wrong, because being a successful seafarer/OFW is not on how big his salaries is, or what rank he/she has abroad, but on how at early age one has stop and retire at sea/abroad. Meaning he/she was financially stable already.

    As Philpad said to one of their article in this site invest our money wisely.
    Rules still apply INCOME – SAVINGS -EXPENSES not INCOME -EXPENSES- SAVINGS.

    For those who want this profession good luck and GOD bless everyone…:D

    • Marifel Dungo says

      Very well said. I salute your honest sharing here. I agree with you. I’m deeply moved that I want to include you as one of the people I want to interview here at Philpad. Will you take that honor? :) If you read our interviews here, they are all inspiring people. I hope you contact me personally so I can chat to you about it. God bless!

  29. ricardo says

    I am a graduate of Associate Degree of Marine Trasnportation (which is 3 year course) and 2 months left to end my apprenticeship here in the philippines. As of now, I am gathering information about working overseas as of my course . As my apprenticeship ends, I will enroll bachelor’s degree from my school (Concord Technical Institute Cebu City, popular but not university) for 2 months duration, After that, I will enroll maritime review center and to take PRC licensure exam for deck cadet OIC – Nav Watch (or 3rdmate)

    According to the shipping website, there are agencies that they will accept over age, because normally, they will hired ages 21-28 years old .. But for me, I don’t think that over age does matter for these courses as long as you have an excellent seamanship skills applied with an excellent character traits.

    Im 21 years old . Good luck to me .. if anyone shipping agency owner or referrer read my comment and have urge to hire me, then pls contact me with my email :aceboyexcalibur@yahoo.com and/or via cellular phone 09224326606.

    Bon Voyage everyone!

  30. ricardo says

    for those people wants to be seaman/seawoman but no experience or academic school earned, I suggest you to apply Steward/stewardes, Cook/Assistant Cook or Messman. Because you have a big chances to get hired by the shipping companies expecially cruise ship.

  31. ricardo says

    Steps to become apprenticeship overseas:

    1. BST(Bacis Safety Training Course) or Solas (old name) 1 week duration 8 hours a day.
    2. Semansbook
    3. Passport
    4. Travel abroad NBI
    5. SRC (Seaman Registration Certificate issued by POEA)
    6. TRB (Training Record Book from your school)
    7. COC (Certificate of Competency)
    8, Expenses

    forget the other certificate or trainings first.. the company will require you a certain training/seminars abide from the vessel/ship taking up too . To lessen the expenses.

  32. Joel Ryan De Guzman says

    Hi Ma’am,

    I am a Registered ECE and has no requirement for Seaman.
    But I am planning to enroll or attend trainings to complete all basic requirements to become a Seaman.
    I had already 3yrs of experience on my field as an electonics engineer in Semiconductor Industry but then sad to say hasn’t any earned money and can’t help my family financially.
    That’s why I am thinking for a new career in other field– to become a seaman.

    My Question are;
    []what position can be suit on my profession if i will be a seaman?
    []is it easy to apply?

    Thanks in advance. :D

    Best Regards,
    Joel Dg.

  33. Reppy says

    I am a Malaysian seaman and completed 36 month as engine rating,i wanted to get CoC in Malaysia WKE 750 and above unlimited. Unfortunately in malaysia only have WKE 750 NC only. So I am looking forward to get Unlimited CoC class 3 or 4 engineering in Philippines. Can you help and guide me how to do it? Is there any academy doing unlimited WKE courses and what is the requirements for foreign student to get it. Thanks in advance buddy

  34. Arvin Prila says

    to Miss Marifel Dungo and PMax
    i am a graduate of B.S. Marine engineering course and i earn my Top 5 of academic exellence at Asian Institute of Maritime Studies, a fresh graduate, I want to a apply job for my engine cadet position i completed the training of BT, SDSD, Engine Watch Keeping and PSCRB course, i have a seamans book, Passport, as well as the SRC can you please lend me a helping hand for finding a job appropriate for my certificates and travel documents

  35. armando aquino says

    hi gud day,i am a mechanical eng’g graduate and working as hvac technician locally employed.i also have experience working abroad in the same field,.is there also hvac and refrigeration job on ships.hoping for your response.thank you

  36. Eph Termulo says

    I graduated as BS Computer Engineer (2013) and has no requirements for seamen but I’m willing to complete those requirements given. my question, “Is there an opportunity for me to be an IT in a commercial ship? what is the other requirements that I need to have?” thanks a lot :)

  37. romel balmores says

    im graduate in high school,,,,and i want to be a BSMT,but wala aqng sapat na pera para makapag enrol ng gamitong korso ,,,ano po va ang pwedeng course na mas mababa ,para makapag apply aq blang isang seaman someday

    • Fehl says

      Nowadays, companies prefer candidates with Bachelors Degree like Marine Engineering although you can opt to have BSMT and just have enough experience and training which will cost you some money too.

  38. jen says

    Hello, I am a fresh graduate of BSHRM. What I am going to do to work as a seawomen? I had a shipboard certificate. Pls help me. Tnx

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