Maritime High School 11th Graders Earn Merchant Mariner Credentials

Kelsey BrennerAll Blog Posts, Maritime High School

Our 18 11th-graders participating in the MHS Vessel Operations, Design, & Maintenance pathway in partnership with Seattle Maritime Academy (SMA) are almost halfway through their two-year program. The last six months have transformed these 15- and 16-year-olds from enthusiastic maritime novices into emerging professionals complete with Basic Safety Training, First Aid Certification, firefighting experience, and their Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) cards. This winter, students participated in a practicum session, in which they learned how to serve as Deckhands aboard SMA’s training vessel the “Maritime Instructor.” They have also been learning how to trace and diagram ship systems and turn on an onboard fire system independently. 

As we move into spring, they will be taking a technical math class and an introduction to tools, among other coursework. During the 24-25 school year, the senior class will dive into vessel engineering content—including diesel mechanics and marine electrical systems—and a new crop of 11th graders will start the program behind them. The first students are anticipated to graduate in June 2025 with their High School diploma and their QMED, which will give them access to entry-level jobs earning $70k a year.  Many will likely choose to connect directly with maritime employers in the next year—could it be with you?