Everything You Need to Know about How to Become a Seaman

The average salary for seaman vary on the position, employer, and salary guidelines set by the Maritime Board , but one thing is for sure: you can earn minimum of $1,000 or at least P20,000 every month. This is the reason why many Filipinos are aspiring to become a seaman because aside from the salary, you get to travel the world as part of your job.

Riding the ship is not as easy as it seems. There are requirements you need to fulfill, which includes training and submission of certain documents. If you are planning to become a seaman, here’s what you need to do to be able to fulfill that dream:

1) Take the Basic Seaman Training (BST) Course

This is the first thing you need to do if you want to become a seaman. The BST course is a seven-day training course that includes the following:

  • Personal Survival Training
  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibility
  • First Aid
  • Fire fighting and fire prevention

Make sure to get a certification of completion because BST is used and recognized worldwide to allow aspiring seamen to work on boats or ships. Once you have a certification, you can now start your maritime career.

You can enroll in training centers and schools recognized and accredited by Maritime Training Council of the Philippines, OWWA, and TESDA.

The training course also costs P4,500 or higher, depending on the training center you are applying for.

2) Apply for the Seaman’s requirements.

This includes the following:

  • BST Certificate, which you will get once you completed the training.
  • Seaman’s Book, or a document that serves as your passport in the maritime industry. You can apply for a Seaman’s Book through the MARINA website.
  • Passport, which can get from the DFA.
  • Transit visa, although your employer will assist you in getting one as soon as you are hired.

3) Apply for a job in manning and shipping agencies. 

When applying for a job, make sure to check the POEA website for a list of legitimate and accredited agencies to avoid falling for scam. This may take some time, so be patient.

4) Legitimize your status as seaman. 

Once hired, don’t forget to register at POEA to legitimize your status as an official and registered Filipino seaman. You will also be issued a Seafarer’s Registration Certificate (SRC) as soon as your status is legitimized.

OWWA is another agency you need to check and apply for. OWWA offers various benefits to its registered members, which could be beneficial for you, especially when you want to retire from being an OFW.

5) Constantly look for learning opportunities. 

Don’t settle with riding a ship and being able to send remittance to your family back home. If time permits, make sure to look for learning opportunities, which you can use to boost your credentials as a seaman. There are many maritime programs you can apply for to boost your knowledge.

If you are an active OWWA member, which means you pay your dues regularly, you can apply for the Seafarer’s Upgrading Program or SUP for additional learning.

20 Replies to “Everything You Need to Know about How to Become a Seaman”

  1. Hi , just an inquiry. I am an accounting graduate for almost 3 yrs, just took the board exam in my first year then work in private companies as an accountant. How would I possibly become a seaman? Or seafarer? Without taking another course (maritime) which actually takes another 3 to 4 years of study in shools. I want to become an MT. What training shall I engage? Requirements needed? Also i am turning 27 this year. I really appreciate any reaponse as a great help. Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Paul! You need to start getting a Basic Seaman Training course since this will be required. There are many maritime schools that offer this, but make sure you enroll in is accredited. We’re just not sure what schools since we haven’t researched on this yet.

  2. I am an engineer I have undergone the basic BST training program and I have the certificate But I want to work on deck. What other certificates do I need to aquire as I aspire to become a captain someday. Besides I don’t have any experience as a seaman at all.

    1. Gusto ko pong makapag work sa barko . Security guard po ako ngayon . High school grad. Lang po ako . Ano po ba yung pinakamabilis na paraan pra makapag trabaho ako sa barko . Ano po ung mga vocational course na pwdeng iapply ..?? Ano po ba ung work na pwde sakin yung kht hndi na ako mag aral ng matagal ? May experience ako sa restaurant . Pwde nyo po ba akong matulungan .. Im 23 years old 6’0 height , married with 2 kids

      1. Hi Mark! Maaari niyo po icheck ang mga courses sa TESDA kung ano pong seaman’s course kayo mas interesado. Dapat din po ay may Basic Seaman Training din po since this is mandatory. Salamat.

    1. Hi Hazel! That would depend on the job you are applying for. Agencies list the minimum requirements so you can check which ones you will be qualified for 🙂 If you want to work in the hotel industry, experience is a big plus 🙂

    1. Hi Michelle. No need na po since SOLAS is also Basic Training Course. Nonetheless, please check with the agency first para po sigurado. Thanks!

  3. Hi. I just want to ask. If nasa ibang bansa ka po possible bang makakuha ng seaman’s book sa bansa na kinaruruonan presently? Thank you.

    1. Hi Jennifer! You can check sa Philippine Embassy po kung maaari kayo makakuha ng Seaman’s book sa kanila. From what we know, nakukuha po kasi ito sa MARINA. Salamat.

  4. hello .ask ko lang po i am undergrad.of college and i want to become a seaman
    gusto ko po sana maging steward or messmen po. i had many experience of retail comp/food industry. i take BST training baka sakali lang po na matanggap. may posible pa po kaya na matanggap ako. kasi undergrad college lang po ako and im already age31 now..

    1. Hi Ron. As long as makumpleto ang training at may experience naman po kayo, maaari parin naman po kayo makuha 🙂 Just make sure po na ma-back up ninyo ang work experiences ninyo 🙂

  5. hello everyone, im inquiry. Im garduated BSIT but i dont have work experience in that field. i have experience in sales industry. you think i will apply for the cruise ship.

    1. Hi Jomar! You need to have a Basic Training Course po muna. Then check with TESDA or OWWA and apply for a course na fit po sa skills ninyo. Salamat.

  6. Hi im mark a marine engineering but undergrad . .pwde parin ba akung mg.apply ng wifer .?anu ung mga training ang requirents ??

  7. I have 4 years experience in dubai as a waitress. I woukd like to ask if I am qualified for cruiseline .also do ineed to have seafarers book or i need only bst . Any good agency po . Tnx.

    1. Hi Lhei! Required po ang Basic Training Course if you want to work in a ship. Please check also with OWWA or TESDA for courses related sa work na gusto po ninyo. Salamat.

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