Shipboard Employment Opportunities
The U. S.-flag Great Lakes fleet typically has a number of job openings during the shipping season. While many openings are "relief positions" (replacing regular crewmembers going on vacation or emergency leave), there are also permanent positions available in all ratings - entries, the qualified ratings (AB and QMED) and officers. Therefore, the length of employment could be several weeks or longer.
By law, no one may work on a U. S.-flag commercial vessel without a Merchant Mariner's Credential (MMC) and Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) Card. For information on obtaining an MMC, click here. For information on obtaining a TWIC card, click here.
Mariners already possessing a valid MMC and TWIC (they must be renewed every five years), may contact the following individuals and organizations.
The majority of U. S.-flag Lakers are contracted with American Maritime Officers to supply licensed officers. Individuals possessing an Engine or Deck license should contact Bruce DeWerth or Brian Krus (800-221-9395).
Grand River Navigation Company is contracted with Masters, Mates and Pilots (MMP), but hires directly. Contact Rick Turman, Sr. (440-930-2024, ext. 112). MMP's contact is Charles Malue (216-776-1667).
Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association (MEBA) represents officers on Interlake Steamship vessels. Contact Cheryl Kostreba (216-771-9830).
Some companies are contracted with the Seafarers' International Union (SIU) for their unlicensed personnel (810-794-4988).
The following companies are contracted with Steelworkers Local 5000, but hire unlicensed personnel directly.
- Central Marine Logistics, Inc. – Lori Johnston (219-922-2644)
- Great Lakes Fleet / Key Lakes, Inc. - Rachel Romich (800-535-2321, ext. 2)
- The Interlake Steamship Company – (800-327-3855, ext. 1140)
Grand River Navigation Company is contracted with Masters, Mates and Pilots (MMP), but hires directly. Contact Bill Penn (440-930-2024, ext. 113).
For employment opportunities with Lake Michigan Carferry and Pere Marquette Shipping Co., contact Aaron Personnaire (231-843-1509).
At Liberty Steamship Company (a subsidiary of American Steamship Company), contact Mary Banks (800-828-7230).
Working in the marine industry is a rewarding career, but as with all professions, it has its unique demands. Great Lakes shipping IS NOT a 9 to 5 job. The ships operate constantly, stopping only long enough to load or discharge cargo. If the ship arrives in port at 0130 (1:30 a.m.), that's when loading or unloading begins. Similarly, if loading/unloading finishes at 2300 (11 p.m.), the vessel is underway minutes later. Crewmembers are aboard ship for weeks on end, with only limited opportunities for going ashore. The pay is competitive and the food is good and plentiful. Meals and rooms are provided free of charge. All members of Lake Carriers' Association are Equal Opportunity Employers.