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.
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
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.
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.
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.