If you have a passion for the ocean, and have interests in working with the fishing industry or the US military, then becoming a deck cadet might be the best career path for you. A deck cadet performs all navigational and maintenance duties on a water based vessel under supervision of a deck officer.
Most deck cadets will work with all basic aspects of maintenance, seamanship, on board systems, and cargo control room systems.
With most dream jobs, comes heavy training and becoming a deck cadet doesn't lack in that area. The requirements in training to become a deck cadet comes from the US department of Homeland Security, which controls mostly all occupants working in the water transportation industry. Therefore, when applying or training for a job as a deck cadet, you should be prepared to be put through a security screening. You should also be prepared to go through extensive training to receive your coast guard license, which is required of anyone operating a motorized vessel in the water.
Often times you will find out that you may need to take some college courses in becoming a deck cadet. If this is the case, you can most likely find a college in your area that offers the particular courses that you would need to take in order to fulfill your education requirements and to then receive your specific deck cadet licenses. There are only 6 US academy's that have the degree programs to allow you to fully train to become a deck cadet. You will take classes such as navigation, meteorology, life saving, fire fighting and trigonometry.
Although the classes you take will be full of great information to help you succeed in your career as a deck cadet, most deck cadets feel as though they gain all of their greatest knowledge and experience while actually training and working on an actual vessel. With any job, you'll find that experience is sometimes greater then the book knowledge you learn before you get to try out your new found career.
Becoming a deck cadet isn't just as simple as gaining a few licenses and going through some screenings. The US requires 3 years of training and experience on a ship doing various jobs to get the full understanding of every position on any vessel.
Once you have passed all of your classes, paid all your dues and spent your 3 years of training time aboard a ship, you can then apply to become an entry level seaman or officer. From there, you can continue on and work your way up the career chain.
With the maritime industry growing at a rapid rate, becoming a deck cadet will give you great future in a career, experiences and travel. Being a deck cadet will give you opportunities you never thought were possible.