Able Seaman

Career Path Requirements

Looking to obtain your Able Seaman Endorsement from the US Coast Guard? Take your courses with Northeast Maritime Institute and follow this guide. The Able Seaman Career Track identifies all the USCG requirements under 46 CFR 12.401 to become an AB. NMI is here to help you with all your needs, including reviewing and submitting your application to the National Maritime Center for free. An AB Endorsement is a great way to earn your Merchant Mariner Credential and to begin a career in the maritime industry. 

Minimum Age Required

  • 18 years

Sea Service Requirements

  • AB Unlimited 1080 days deck service on Oceans or Great Lakes
  • AB Limited 540 days deck service on vessels 100 GRT or over, not exclusive to rivers & small inland lakes of
    the U.S.
  • AB Special 360 days deck service on any navigable waters of the U.S.
  • AB OSV 180 days deck service on any navigable waters of the U.S.
  • AB Fishing 180 days of service on any navigable waters of the U.S. “Combi” is not deck service (Valid only on
    fish processing vessels)
  • AB Sail 180 days deck service on sailing school, oceanographic vessels powered primarily by sail or equivalent sailing vessels on any navigable waters of the U.S. (Valid only on sailing school vessels)
  • AB MODU 360 days service on vessels 65 feet or over on any navigable waters of the U.S.

Application Requirements

  • Completed USCG Application including sea service documentation
  • USCG Physical Examination
  • USCG Drug Test
  • Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC)

Training Requirements

  • Able Seaman Course – 80 hours
  • Proficiency in Survival Craft (Lifeboatman) Course – 40 hours

Optional Training for STCW Able Seafarer Deck Endorsement (II/5)

  • Rating Forming Part of a Navigation Watch Assessments (optional) – 8 hours
  • STCW Basic Safety Training (optional) – 40 hours
    First Aid/ CPR; Personal Safety and Social Responsibility; Personal Survival Techniques & Basic Marine Firefighting
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