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About the Program

Seattle Central College’s Seattle Maritime Academy offers a Marine Deck Technology program that combines practical shipboard experience with classroom instruction to help you learn the theory, design, operation and maintenance of deck equipment and applied navigation skills.

Marine Deck Technology student in Navigator class

Career Opportunities

This maritime program will give you practical experience working on a vessel. Students will gain skills in navigation, marine math, vessel handling and seamanship, preparing them for an in-demand maritime career. As a graduate of the Marine Deck Technology program, you will be well-prepared for a job as an able seaman or an apprentice mate.

On the deck, sailors (or “deckhands”) operate and maintain the vessel and deck equipment. These individuals keep all parts of a ship – other than areas related to the engine and motor – in good working order. A position as an Able Seaman is your first step in an exciting career in the deck department that could one day lead you to the wheelhouse as a mate or a captain of a vessel.

Industry Certification

By completing this program, you will:

  • Satisfy both the written and practical examination requirements for the Able Seaman (AB).
  • Receive a Lifeboatman endorsement at graduation.
  • Qualify for an STCW “Rating Forming Part of a Navigational Watch” endorsement.

In addition, you will receive credit for a license as Master of Inland Steam or Motor Vessels of Not More Than 100 Gross Tons OR 240 days sea service credit towards a license as a Mate Coastal Steam or Motor Not more than 200 Gross Register Tons. You will also qualify for (receive 180 days sea service credit towards) a license as Apprentice Mate of Near Coastal Uninspected Towing Vessels with an additional 12 months of service on board a towing vessel.

Your primary duties would be to assist the mates and bosun in maintaining the vessel, maintaining safety equipment and assisting in the navigation of the vessel.

Able Seamen on vessels typically do the following:

  • Stand watch and steer the ship. This includes looking for other vessels or obstructions in their ship’s path, and for navigational aids, such as buoys and lighthouses
  • Do routine maintenance, such as painting the deck and chipping away rust
  • Keep the inside of the ship clean
  • Handle lines when docking or departing
  • Tie barges together when they are being towed
  • Load and unload cargo
  • Assist passengers, as necessary
Maritime training
Deck Tech students at Seattle Central College

Gainful Employment

Learn more about this program’s Gainful Employment information.


Seattle Maritime Academy
Seattle Central College
4455 Shilshole Avenue NW
Seattle, WA 98107

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