Did you know that you could become a fully credentialed Merchant Mariner before you graduate high school? AVTEC’s Young Mariner Training Program introduces high school students to the exciting maritime industry, and assists them in developing the basic skills essential to their success and safety as a Mariner.
Don’t just take my word for it, though. Hear about it from a former student, Austin Hinton, who graduated from AVTEC’s Young Mariner Training Program before he graduated from high school! Like many costal Alaskans, Austin grew up commercially fishing on his family’s boat, earning extensive and valuable sea time. AVTEC’s Young Mariner Training Program assisted Austin in navigating the U.S. Coast Guard regulations, and in earning his Master/Mate endorsement. Subsequently, Austin was hired by Cook Inlet Tug & Barge as an Able Bodied (AB) Tankerman Trainee and shipped out May 5, 2018, a week before his high school graduation! Austin works aboard the “Taku Wind” delivering three different types of fuel up and down the inside passage in Southeast Alaska. He enjoys the flexible “time on-time off” schedule that enables him to live anywhere, and gives him enough time and money to work hard and play even harder.
I knew I wanted to work in Alaskan outdoors and combine my maritime experience with maritime education. I was shocked at the cost of the four-year maritime schools at $200,000+. Instead, I chose AVTEC to get my start into maritime career, and was able to get the training and credentials I needed during my junior and senior year of high school, and went to my first maritime job without a single penny of debt! AVTEC Instructors did an amazing job at keeping the courses interesting, fun, and hands-on. The skills I have gained through my courses at AVTEC have allowed me to be very knowledgeable and, most importantly, safe every time I step on deck. Thank you AVTEC for keeping it applicable and real in the classroom, and for giving me an incredible start right out of high school!
Sharm Setterquist, Port Captain at Cook Inlet Tug & Barge, adds: “Austin’s strong foundation of mariner skills and willingness to learn and work hard have made him a valuable addition to our operation. We look forward to seeing him advance within our company.”
Austin’s example proves that Alaska high school students can be on the path to a very successful career right out of high school. If you think the high-paying and adventurous maritme career could be right for you - climb aboard!
For more information about AVTEC’s Young Mariner Training Program, please visit www.avtec.edu/HSNS, or contact AVTEC Maritime Admissions at (907) 224-6196.
If you have questions or would like to sit down with an expert contact the ACPE Success Center, ACPESuccessCenter@alaska.gov, 800-441-2962 option #4
Or stop by one of the Success Centers in the Dimond and University malls.
*Special thanks to Deb Burdick-Hinton with AVTEC’s Young Mariner Training Program for her contribution to this blog post.