Youth Maritime

Youth Maritime Program

Our Youth Maritime Program helps prepare high school seniors for a career in the maritime industry. This two-year program provides students a smooth transition through their senior year in high school toward college readiness. It helps build strong soft-skills and connects students with future career maritime opportunities.

This program is geared toward high school seniors. Training takes place at the King County Job Training and Education Center.

This unique program offers:

  • Service learning, civic participation, team building, college and career readiness to prepare students for both their senior year and work.
  • Ongoing support and Saturday workshops throughout the students’ senior year to assure they are on track for high school graduation and ready for college programs in maritime pathways.
  • Up to four quarters of maritime classes at area colleges, a summer internship and ongoing college and career navigation and support services.

Program details:

  • The Youth Maritime Program is a two-year commitment.
  • The program will enroll high school juniors that will be selected through an interview and application process.
  • This opportunity is free to qualifying students. Participants can earn a financial stipend and 80 service learning hours.
  • Students will be expected to attend weekend workshops and activities throughout their senior year. Ongoing support is available to make sure they are on track for high school graduation and are ready for college and career exploration in the maritime industry.
  • During the program, students will take field trips and network with maritime industry experts as well as local community leaders.
  • During the first summer session in 2018, students will participate in service learning, civic participation, team building, and college and career readiness to prepare students for both their senior year and work. 
  • During the second summer session in 2019, students will begin maritime courses at an area college. Upon completion, students will receive job placement assistance.

Download the Youth Maritime Program flyer here

Maritime Q&A with the Seattle Maritime Academy

The maritime industry has a vast presence in our community and a bright future with a large number of mariners reaching retirement age during the next several years. The Youth Maritime Program is a great opportunity to explore a promising career. We asked members of the Seattle Maritime Academy a number of questions about the industry. Check out their responses below.

Q: What is maritime and how is it represented in Seattle and our state?

A: Maritime means connected with the sea, especially in relation to seafaring commercial or military activity. All six sectors of maritime are present in Seattle and Washington state.

  • Passenger water transportation
  • Maritime support services
  • Maritime logistics & shipping  
  • Fishing & seafood processing  
  • Boat & ship building  
  • Recreational boating  

Q: What type of job opportunities are there in the maritime industry?

A: At sea, job opportunities include:

  • Sailors, or deckhands (operate and maintain the vessel and deck equipment.)
  • Ship engineers (operate and maintain a vessel’s propulsion system.)
  • Marine oilers (work in the engine room, helping the engineers keep the propulsion system in working order.)
  • Motorboat operators (run small, motor-driven boats that only carry a few passengers.)

Ashore, job opportunities include:

Shipbuilding and repair (engineering, design and construction of new vessels and ship repair as well.)

  • Rigger (set up or repair rigging for construction projects)
  • Ship Fitter (lay out materials for manufacturing)
  • Painter or Construction Laborer
  • Welder, Plumber, Electrician, Machinist, or Diesel Mechanic
  • CNC Operator (operate computer-controlled machines)
  • Marine Engineer (design and evaluate marine vessels)

Port operations (cargo and passenger loading, unloading and distribution, fish processing, port security, tugboat guidance, spill cleanup and more.)

  • Port Security Officer
  • Longshoreman and Freight Movers
  • Bridge and Lock Tenders
  • Harbor Truckers and Truck and Ship Loaders
  • Cargo and Freight Agents and Clerk

Shore-based crossover positions:

  • Clerks and Warehouse Workers
  • Office Assistants and Receptionists
  • Marine Underwriters (reviews applications for insurance)
  • Systems Analysts

Q: What does the future look like for the maritime industry in relation to job opportunity?

A: The future of the maritime industry is bright! On its current trajectory, today’s workforce will fail to meet the future demand of our industry. The average age of maritime workers in Washington state is 54. Water-transportation workers face an impending mass retirement of almost a third of the workforce. Overall, the maritime industry projects a job shortage of 150,000 mariners by 2025.

Q: What is the average salary of a maritime worker?

A: The annual average salary before benefits for maritime industry employees is $70,800 — more than $20,000 above the average wage in Washington!

Q: What type of education is necessary for a maritime career?

A: This depends on the maritime position you want to pursue. There are a variety of training resources depending on the maritime job you desire.

Career and technical educational certificate programs:

Basic Safety Training & STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping):

Four-Year Maritime Institutions (Seven in the United States):

  1. U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
  2. California Maritime Academy
  3. Great Lakes Maritime Academy
  4. Maine Maritime Academy
  5. Massachusetts Maritime Academy
  6. SUNY Maritime College
  7. Texas A&M Maritime Academy

Q: What would you say to someone who is considering a maritime career but has never been on the water?

A: “While a maritime career can often be strenuous, with long stretches away from home, it can be incredibly rewarding if you decide it’s the lifestyle for you. It offers numerous opportunities that are unavailable in any other field of work.” – Thomas Crotty, Seattle Maritime Academy

The program is managed by the King County Job Training and Education Center, the Port of Seattle, Seattle Central College, the Youth Maritime Collaborative and other partners.


This program is made possible with the support of JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

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