Getting Started

I am new to the marine industry and want to work as a deckhand. What courses do I need to take?2020-05-13T18:54:23-07:00

This will depend on where you want to work. You will be required to have your MEDs and possibly first aid. For example, as a deckhand on BC Ferries, the minimum requirement is MED STCW Basic Safety Training and MED STCW Survival Craft. Canadian Coast Guard will want both of these MED courses with the addition of Marine Basic Fist Aid. You may want to work on a tugboat or fishing vessel and depending on your employer and area of operation, you may need MED A1/A2 (DVS) or MED A3 (SDVS).

What does STCW mean?2021-01-05T09:46:45-08:00

STCW is the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), which sets qualification standards for masters, officers and watch personnel on seagoing merchant ships. It allows those who have this certification to legally work on vessels that go close to or in international waters.

What education requirements do I need to get started?2020-05-05T14:38:55-07:00

Grade 12 or mature student status is accepted to begin your basic courses. Some courses will have pre-required courses that you will need to have completed before you can enrol. These courses are not the basic MED, BWR, ROC-MC, First Aid Courses (etc.).

What is the age requirement?2020-05-05T14:38:17-07:00

This will depend on the course you would like to take. To take your basic MEDs, you are required to be 16 years of age with parent/guardian consent.

How hard are the courses when you have been out of school for a while?2020-05-05T14:37:53-07:00

Our courses are designed to prepare students for real-time situations that they may encounter. Whilst our courses are designed to enable our students to succeed, it is important that the student understands the learning objectives, requirements and their own capabilities and level of perseverance. Our instructors are there to help and will often arrive early, stay during breaks or after school to help students who need extra time on certain course or topics.

Do I need to know how to swim?2020-05-05T14:36:56-07:00

If you are going to be taking one of our MED courses, please alert your instructor immediately if you are unable to swim. Although the ability to swim is not a requirement for the course, it is imperative that your instructor be made aware so that he or she is able to provide assistance to you if needed.


How do I enroll in a program or course(s)?2020-05-05T14:36:29-07:00

A non-refundable registration fee of $250 per course to a maximum of $1,000 (or $250 per Certificate of Competency Program if registering for all courses in a program) or proof of approved funding or sponsorship are required in order to reserve a seat in the course(s) or programs. Payment can be made via credit card over the phone or by e-transfer – please call and ask for details.

What happens after I have paid my deposit for my course(s)?2020-05-05T14:34:23-07:00

Once your enrollment is complete, you will receive a registration letter, course outline and a student contract sent to you by email. We ask that you please read the contract and course outline carefully. If you agree to the terms of the contract and fully understand the requirement of the course, then sign the contract by clicking “Accept”. This is your electronic signature. If you do not accept these terms, please call us to discuss and necessary alterations. You will be asked (if you have not already) to sign your contract upon your arrival at the campus.

What is the difference between a program and a course?2020-05-05T14:33:16-07:00

Western Maritime Institute offers programs which are made up of multiple courses. These courses are structured to give the student all components that make up a Certificate of Competency. Students are also able to enroll for a single course or multiple courses if they have already obtained other courses that make up part of a program. You do not need to retake courses that you have previously completed and for which you hold valid certificates.

What happens if I need to withdraw from my course or program?2020-05-05T14:45:35-07:00

In the event of a withdrawal, registration fees are not refundable but can be used towards the same course within the same school year. This change can only be made once. If there are no more offering of the same course within the same school year, then the fee can be used for the same course in the next school year. Registration fee will be forfeited if unused within 12 months. Course tuition is refundable only if student gives notice of withdrawal at least three weeks before the course start date.

What happens when a course is canceled by WMI?2020-05-05T14:32:01-07:00

If a course is canceled (due to weather, insufficient registration etc.), you will be notified and withdrawn. Our Admissions Office will try to place you in the course on a different date. If we are unable, registration fees and other payment will be refunded.

What happens if I have not registered for a course and it fills up?2020-05-05T14:31:20-07:00

Our Admissions Office does have a wait-list that you can request your name be added to. If a seat becomes available, you will be contacted either by phone or email.

Does Western Maritime Institute help with job placement?2020-05-05T14:30:38-07:00

No. However, we have close relationships with multiple employers and as a result, first-hand access to job opportunities in the industry. Thus job postings are provided for students and alumni though our online, and on-campus Student Job boards.

Marine Industry and Jobs

Where will I be able to work as a deckhand or Bridge watchman?2021-11-04T10:37:45-07:00

Major industry employers include BC Ferries, Canadian Coast Guard, Seaspan, Nanaimo Port Authority, RCMP Marine Services (etc).

How long is two months of sea time?2020-05-05T14:28:28-07:00

According to Transport Canada, two months of sea time is equivalent to 60, 8-hour days or 40, 12-hour days, for a total of 480 hours.

Where do I sit my Transport Canada exam or orals?2020-05-05T14:27:25-07:00

There are three offices in B.C., one in Prince Rupert, Victoria and Vancouver. Each office may have a different schedule for their exams. Please call Transport Canada to set up time to take exams.

What is a CDN?2020-05-05T14:25:47-07:00

A Candidate Document Number (CDN) is a unique number given to an individual by Transport Canada to assist with record keeping and document identification. This will be a requirement prior to your Seafarers Medical Examination and important if you are working towards a certain Certificate of Competency. The CDN can only be obtained from Transport Canada Marine Safety office.

How do I challenge a course?2020-03-21T13:27:50-07:00

Challenging a course needs to be booked and completed at a Transport Canada office. Please contact your nearest office to book a time and confirm what pre-requisites they may need prior to your exam.

Financial Aid

What are some funding options that are available?2020-05-13T18:52:43-07:00

Funding opportunities are available on the school website. As well, depending on your situation, you may consider other options like BC Student Loan, Employment Centers, and EI. Click here for more information.

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