Photo Credit to a previous student, Michael Lind from one of his first voyages after graduating WMI’s BWR Program

by Connie Leo

By the time our phone rings in the Admissions Office, a student has already decided that they wish to navigate the Marine Industry further. For many, this means following a lifelong passion of theirs, continuing in a friend or family member’s footsteps or possibly looking to ‘climb the ladder’ and move into a more senior role.

Regardless of where the student has set their sights for the future, this dream typically begins with their role as a deckhand.
One of the first questions that one must ask themselves when entering this industry is, “Where do they envision working?”. A ‘deep dive’ into the various specialties that our deckhands work in will allow the student time to contemplate which area of the industry suits their needs, personality and ultimately will be the most beneficial to them and the company they wish to work for.

A common example I use is, a student aiming towards BC Ferries will operate on an entirely different schedule with different duties assigned, than one who is hoping to work for the Coast Guard, a fishing vessel, barge, or tugboat. A student should contemplate their ability or desire to work away from home, to stay away for days to weeks at a time, their level of physical fitness and endurance and to decide if the lifestyle of a mariner is ultimately what they desire.

WMI students work in a variety of challenging, exciting, and essential positions within the Maritime Industry. This is including working for companies such as, the Canadian Coast Guard, Parks Canada, BC Ferries, Seaspan and many other commercial organisations. You may find our students deep sea, on coastal voyages or working with local Port Authorities!

Our students come to WMI from a wide variety of backgrounds and often, from many different parts of Canada; all with the same enthusiasm and goal of working and experiencing a life at sea.

Depending on your role, the vessel you are assigned and the company you work for, will ultimately decide what the next step is. Calling WMI and speaking with our Admissions Reps will begin your first step in getting started as a deckhand!

From all of us at Western Maritime Institute, we wish you fair winds and following seas and look forward to welcoming you to campus.

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