SEATTLE -- In the Puget Sound, more than a quarter million jobs come from the $10 billion maritime industry. As a wave of employees retire, maritime companies are looking for employees.
“Our industry is tight knit and not many people know about it. When they think of maritime jobs they don't know what avenues to go," said Julie Keim, who runs Compass Courses Maritime Training in Edmonds.
Keim suggests starting by checking out maritime schools or contacting a company and tour a boat. From entry level positions all the way up to captain, maritime jobs require special training and certifications.
Job seekers will need basic safety training to get a license to work on commercial vessels that includes CPR, lifeboat skills and firefighting training in case of an emergency on a boat.
"One of the reasons why I got into the tugboat industry a lot of the guys, well they're old so that leaves me room to move on up so that's good,” said Andy Hover, a Compass Courses student who is employed by Crowley Marine Services.
“The best thing about the courses is everything is hands on. So when out in a life raft you have the ability to fail and fix it,” said Britt Ekerm, a Compass Courses student who wants to switch careers into the maritime industry.
Maritime schools around the Puget Sound include Compass Courses in Edmonds, Pacific Maritime Institute in Seattle, and The Seattle Maritime Academy, which is run by Seattle Community College
Classes aren't cheap. The basic safety training course in Edmonds is almost $1,000. However, some maritime companies will help pay for certain courses to advance an employee’s career.